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"Unexpected" Tropical Storm Forms Off South Carolina, May Disrupt July 4 Celebrations

"Unexpected" Tropical Storm Forms Off South Carolina, May Disrupt July 4 Celebrations.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 2nd, 2022

ONE Gas Announces Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results; Reaffirms 2022 Financial Guidance

TULSA, Okla., Aug. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- ONE Gas, Inc. (NYSE:OGS) today announced its second quarter 2022 financial results and reaffirmed its 2022 financial guidance. SECOND QUARTER 2022 FINANCIAL RESULTS & HIGHLIGHTS Second quarter 2022 net income was $32.1 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, compared with $30.1 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, in the second quarter 2021; Year to date 2022 net income was $131.0 million, or $2.42 per diluted share, compared with $125.7 million, or $2.35 per diluted share, in the same period last year; Actual heating degree days across the Company's service areas were 635 in the second quarter 2022, 6% warmer than normal and 15% warmer compared with the same period last year; The Company executed forward sale agreements for 591,736 shares of common stock under its at-the-market equity program; had shares been settled as of June 30, 2022, it would have generated net proceeds of approximately $48.3 million; and A quarterly dividend of $0.62 per share, or $2.48 per share on an annualized basis, was declared on July 18, 2022, payable on Sept. 1, 2022, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Aug. 15, 2022. "Customer growth and continued economic development activity across our service area contributed to our second quarter financial results. Our capital program remains on track for the year, including system expansions to meet growing customer demand and planned system integrity investments," said Robert S. McAnnally, president and chief executive officer. "We also released our 2022 ESG report which includes new disclosures, updates on our programs to support customers and employees and our progress toward a cleaner energy future." SECOND QUARTER 2022 FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE ONE Gas reported operating income of $58.6 million in the second quarter 2022, compared with $51.1 million in the second quarter 2021, which primarily reflects: an increase of $14.4 million from new rates; and an increase of $1.5 million in residential sales due to net customer growth in Oklahoma and Texas. These increases were offset partially by: an increase of $5.8 million in outside service costs; and an increase of $0.7 million in employee-related costs, which reflects $3.3 million of higher labor and employee benefit costs, offset partially by a $2.7 million decrease in expenses associated with the change in our nonqualified employee benefit plan liabilities. For the second quarter 2022, other expense, net, increased $4.4 million compared with the same period last year, due primarily to a $6.5 million decrease in the market value of investments associated with nonqualified employee benefit plans, offset partially by a decrease of $2.4 million in net periodic benefit cost other than service cost. Income tax expense includes a credit for amortization of the regulatory liability associated with excess accumulated deferred income taxes (EDIT) of $3.0 million and $2.6 million for the three-month periods ended June 30, 2022, and 2021, respectively. Capital expenditures and asset removal costs were $149.1 million for the second quarter 2022 compared with $129.4 million in the same period last year. The increase was due primarily to expenditures for system integrity and extension of service to new areas.  YEAR TO DATE 2022 FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE Operating income for the six-month 2022 period was $199.3 million, compared with $181.4 million in 2021, which primarily reflects: an increase of $29.5 million from new rates; an increase of $4.1 million in residential sales due to net customer growth in Oklahoma and Texas; a decrease of $3.0 million in bad debt expense; and an increase of $1.2 million in late payment, reconnect and collection fees. These increases were offset partially by: an increase of $9.5 million in outside service costs; an increase of $9.1 million in depreciation expense due to additional capital expenditures being placed in service; and an increase of $2.9 million in employee-related costs, which reflects $5.4 million of higher labor and employee benefit costs, offset partially by a $2.5 million decrease in expenses associated with the change in our nonqualified employee benefit plan liabilities. For the six-month 2022 period, other expense, net, increased $8.2 million compared with the same period last year, due primarily to a $10.0 million decrease in the market value of investments associated with nonqualified employee benefit plans, offset partially by a decrease of $2.6 million in net periodic benefit cost other than service cost. Income tax expense includes a credit for amortization of the regulatory liability associated with EDIT of $10.9 million and $10.7 million for the six-month periods ended June 30, 2022, and 2021, respectively. Capital expenditures and asset removal costs were $272.0 million for the six-month 2022 period compared with $238.4 million in the same period last year. The increase was due primarily to expenditures for system integrity and extension of service to new areas. REGULATORY ACTIVITIES UPDATE Securitization The Company continues to make progress in its efforts to utilize securitization as a means to finance extraordinary costs associated with the February 2021 Winter Storm Uri. The following updates reflect the most recent securitization activity in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority (ODFA) received a hearing before the Oklahoma Supreme Court and on May 24, 2022, the court validated the proposed bond issuance. On July 15, 2022, the ODFA began the marketing process for the bonds which are expected to be issued and proceeds received in the third quarter of 2022. At June 30, 2022, Oklahoma Natural Gas has deferred approximately $1.3 billion in extraordinary costs attributable to Winter Storm Uri. On July 14, 2022, Kansas Gas Service, the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) Staff and the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board reached a settlement agreement for the issuance of a financing order allowing securitized utility tariff bonds to be issued in the amount of approximately $328 million plus issuance fees. The agreement provides for the issuance of bonds with a scheduled final maturity of between 7 and 10 years. The final amount to be securitized will be provided in the final Issuance Advice Letter. The KCC has until Sept. 27, 2022, to review the application and issue a financing order if it deems the issuance of securitized bonds to be appropriate. If the KCC approves the financing order, the Company can begin the process to issue the securitized bonds. The Texas Public Finance Authority has begun the process to issue securitized bonds, which are expected to be issued in the fourth quarter of 2022. At June 30, 2022, Texas Gas Service has deferred approximately $246.7 million in extraordinary costs associated with Winter Storm Uri, including $48.5 million attributable to the West Texas service area which is being recovered through a separate surcharge over a three-year period that started in January 2022. Other Regulatory Updates In March 2022, Oklahoma Natural Gas filed its first annual Performance-Based Rate Change (PBRC) application following the general rate case that was approved in November 2021. The filing is for a calendar 2021 test year and includes a requested base rate increase of $19.7 million, an energy efficiency program incentive of $2.3 million and an estimated $9.1 million credit associated with EDIT. On May 27, 2022, the Public Utility Division (PUD) of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) filed responsive testimony supporting an increase of $19.6 million. On May 31, 2022, the Office of the Attorney General filed a statement supporting PUD's position. Pursuant to its tariff, Oklahoma Natural Gas placed new rates into effect on July 13, 2022, reflecting a base rate revenue increase of $19.6 million. These rates are subject to refund until approved by the OCC. A hearing is expected to be scheduled in September 2022. In February 2022, Texas Gas Service made Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program (GRIP) filings for all customers in the Central-Gulf Service Area, requesting a $9.1 million increase to be effective in June 2022. All municipalities, and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), approved the new rates or allowed them to take effect with no action. In March 2022, Texas Gas Service made GRIP filings for all customers in the West Texas service area, requesting a $5.0 million increase to be effective in July 2022. On June 23, 2022, the city of El Paso denied the requested increase and assessed fees associated with its review of the filing. Texas Gas Service appealed the city's action to the RRC. All other municipalities, and the RRC, approved the new rates or allowed them to take effect with no action. Texas Gas Service implemented the new rates in July 2022, pending the outcome of the appeal. In April 2022, Texas Gas Service made its annual Cost-of-Service Adjustment filings for the incorporated area of the Rio Grande Valley service area. In July 2022, the municipalities approved an increase of $2.5 million, and new rates will become effective in August 2022. In June 2022, Texas Gas Service filed a rate case seeking to consolidate its West Texas, North Texas and Borger/Skellytown service areas into a single West-North service area and requesting a rate increase of $13.0 million. If approved, new rates are expected to take effect in early 2023. 2022 FINANCIAL GUIDANCE ONE Gas reaffirmed its financial guidance issued on Jan. 18, 2022, with 2022 net income and earnings per share expected to be in the range of $215 million to $227 million, and $3.96 to $4.20 per diluted share. Capital expenditures, including asset removal costs, are expected to be approximately $650 million for 2022. EARNINGS CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST The ONE Gas executive management team will conduct a conference call on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (10 a.m. Central Daylight Time). The call also will be carried live on the ONE Gas website. To participate in the telephone conference call, dial 888-394-8218, passcode 2645252, or log on to www.onegas.com/investors and select Events and Presentations. If you are unable to participate in the conference call or the webcast, a replay will be available on the ONE Gas website, www.onegas.com, for 30 days. A recording will be available by phone for seven days. The playback call may be accessed at 888-203-1112, passcode 2645252. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ONE Gas, Inc. (NYSE:OGS) is a 100% regulated natural gas utility, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "OGS." ONE Gas is included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index and is one of the largest natural gas utilities in the United States. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ONE Gas provides a reliable and affordable energy choice to more than 2.3 million customers in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Its divisions include Kansas Gas Service, the largest natural gas distributor in Kansas; Oklahoma Natural Gas, the largest in Oklahoma; and Texas Gas Service, the third largest in Texas, in terms of customers. For more information and the latest news about ONE Gas, visit onegas.com and follow its social channels: @ONEGas, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Some of the statements contained and incorporated in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. The forward-looking statements relate to our anticipated financial performance, liquidity, management's plans and objectives for our future operations, our business prospects, the outcome of regulatory and legal proceedings, market conditions and other matters. We make these forward-looking statements in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following discussion is intended to identify important factors that could cause future outcomes to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include the items identified in the preceding paragraph, the information concerning possible or assumed future results of our operations and other statements contained or incorporated in this news release identified by words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "should," "goal," "forecast," "guidance," "could," "may," "continue," "might," "potential," "scheduled," "likely," and other words and terms of similar meaning. One should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are applicable only as of the date of this news release.  Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Those factors may affect our operations, markets, products, services and prices. In addition to any assumptions and other factors referred to specifically in connection with the forward-looking statements, factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in any forward-looking statement include, among others, the following: our ability to recover costs (including operating costs and increased commodity costs related to Winter Storm Uri in February 2021), income taxes and amounts equivalent to the cost of property, plant and equipment, regulatory assets and our allowed rate of return in our regulated rates or other recovery mechanisms; cyber-attacks, which, according to experts, have increased in volume and sophistication since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, or breaches of technology systems that could disrupt our operations or result in the loss or exposure of confidential or sensitive customer, employee or Company information; further, increased remote working arrangements as a result of the pandemic have required enhancements and modifications to our IT infrastructure (e.g. Internet, Virtual Private Network, remote collaboration systems, etc.), and any failures of the technologies, including third-party service providers, that facilitate working remotely could limit our ability to conduct ordinary operations or expose us to increased risk or effect of an attack; our ability to manage our operations and maintenance costs; the concentration of our operations in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas; changes in regulation of natural gas distribution services, particularly those in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas; the economic climate and, particularly, its effect on the natural gas requirements of our residential and commercial customers; the length and severity of a pandemic or other health crisis, such as the outbreak of COVID-19, including the impact to our operations, customers, contractors, vendors and employees, the effectiveness of vaccine campaigns (including the COVID-19 vaccine campaign) on our workforce and customers and the effect of other measures or mandates that international, federal, state and local governments, agencies, law enforcement and/or health authorities implement to address the pandemic or other health crisis, which could (as with COVID-19) precipitate or exacerbate one or more of the above-mentioned and/or other risks, and significantly disrupt or prevent us from operating our business in the ordinary course for an extended period; competition from alternative forms of energy, including, but not limited to, electricity, solar power, wind power, geothermal energy and biofuels; adverse weather conditions and variations in weather, including seasonal effects on demand and/or supply, the occurrence of severe storms in the territories in which we operate, and climate change, and the related effects on supply, demand, and costs; indebtedness could make us more vulnerable to general adverse economic and industry conditions, limit our ability to borrow additional funds and/or place us at competitive disadvantage compared with competitors; our ability to secure reliable, competitively priced and flexible natural gas transportation and supply, including decisions by natural gas producers to reduce production or shut-in producing natural gas wells and expiration of existing supply and transportation and storage arrangements that are not replaced with contracts with similar terms and pricing; our ability to complete necessary or desirable expansion or infrastructure development projects, which may delay or prevent us from serving our customers or expanding our business; operational and mechanical hazards or interruptions; adverse labor relations; the effectiveness of our strategies to reduce earnings lag, revenue protection strategies and risk mitigation strategies, which may be affected by risks beyond our control such as commodity price volatility, counterparty performance or creditworthiness and interest rate risk; the capital-intensive nature of our business, and the availability of and access to, in general, funds to meet our debt obligations prior to or when they become due and to fund our operations and capital expenditures, either through (i) cash on hand, (ii) operating cash flow, or (iii) access to the capital markets and other sources of liquidity; our ability to obtain capital on commercially reasonable terms, or on terms acceptable to us, or at all; limitations on our operating flexibility, earnings and cash flows due to restrictions in our financing arrangements; cross-default provisions in our borrowing arrangements, which may lead to our inability to satisfy all of our outstanding obligations in the event of a default on our part; changes in the financial markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, particularly those affecting the availability of capital and our ability to refinance existing debt and fund investments and acquisitions to execute our business strategy; actions of rating agencies, including the ratings of debt, general corporate ratings and changes in the rating agencies' ratings criteria; changes in inflation and interest rates; our ability to recover the costs of natural gas purchased for our customers, including those related to Winter Storm Uri and any related financing required to support our purchase of natural gas supply, including the securitized financings currently contemplated in each of our jurisdictions; impact of potential impairment charges; volatility and changes in markets for natural gas and our ability to secure additional and sufficient liquidity on reasonable commercial terms to cover costs associated with such volatility; possible loss of local distribution company franchises or other adverse effects caused by the actions of municipalities; payment and performance by counterparties and customers as contracted and when due, including our counterparties maintaining ordinary course terms of supply and payments; changes in existing or the addition of new environmental, safety, tax and other laws to which we and our subsidiaries are subject, including those that may require significant expenditures, significant increases in operating costs or, in the case of noncompliance, substantial fines or penalties; the effectiveness of our risk-management policies and procedures, and employees violating our risk-management policies; the uncertainty of estimates, including accruals and costs of environmental remediation; advances in technology, including technologies that increase efficiency or that improve electricity's competitive position relative to natural gas; population growth rates and changes in the demographic patterns of the markets we serve, and economic conditions in these areas' housing markets; acts of nature and the potential effects of threatened or actual terrorism and war, including recent events in Europe; the sufficiency of insurance coverage to cover losses; the effects of our strategies to reduce tax payments; the effects of litigation and regulatory investigations, proceedings, including our rate cases, or inquiries and the requirements of our regulators as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017; changes in accounting standards; changes in corporate governance standards; existence of material weaknesses in our internal controls; our ability to comply with all covenants in our indentures and the ONE Gas Credit Agreement, a violation of which, if not cured in a timely manner, could trigger a default of our obligations; our ability to attract and retain talented employees, management and directors, or a shortage of skilled labor; unexpected increases in the costs of providing health care benefits, along with pension and postemployment health care benefits, as well as declines in the discount rates on, declines in the market value of the debt and equity securities of, and increases in funding requirements for, our defined benefit plans; and our ability to successfully complete merger, acquisition or divestiture plans, regulatory or other limitations imposed as a result of a merger, acquisition or divestiture, and the success of the business following a merger, acquisition or divestiture. These factors are not necessarily all of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any of our forward-looking statements. Other factors could also have material adverse effects on our future results. These and other risks are described in greater detail in Part 1, Item 1A, Risk Factors, in our Annual Report. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these factors. Other than as required under securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or change in circumstances, expectations or otherwise. APPENDIX ONE Gas, Inc. CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME Three Months Ended Six Months Ended June 30, June 30, (Unaudited) 2022 2021 2022 2021 (Thousands of dollars, except per share amounts) Total revenues $       428,975 $      315,646 $   1,400,434 $       940,939 Cost of natural gas 188,251 93,701 828,197 407,770 Operating expenses Operations and maintenance 110,579 103,534 225,674 214,420 Depreciation and amortization 55,043 50,872 112,180 103,138 General taxes 16,533 16,437.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaAug 1st, 2022

Travelers and airlines are bracing for a chaotic July 4 weekend. Here"s what to do if your flight is canceled or delayed.

Rebooking on the airline's mobile app and familiarizing yourself with your travel card's trip insurance policies are a few of the ways to prepare. Travelers queue up at the north security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Denver.AP Photo/David Zalubowski US airlines canceled over 900 flights on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the July 4 weekend. Airlines have taken action to prevent disruptions, like starting boarding earlier or bringing in extra workers. Disruptions are still bound to happen — here's what you can do if your flight is delayed or canceled. Travelers may be in for a hectic Fourth of July weekend. In the days leading up to the long holiday, airlines have already started canceling and delaying flights. On Wednesday, United Airlines and American Airlines both delayed over 20% of their scheduled flights and canceled 103 and 277 others, respectively, according to FlightAware data.Delta Air Lines was not much better, delaying 538 flights, or 18% of its schedule, and canceling 65. The three mainline carriers continued the trend into Thursday, having canceled over 250 flights, per FlightAware. Over 5,500 flights total were delayed or canceled by all airlines operating to, from, or within the US.Another 350 have been canceled or delayed by American, Delta, and United on Friday, as of the time of publication, according to FlightAware.The disruptions come as booming demand and staffing shortages create chaos for airlines and passengers, especially over key holiday weekends. Over the Juneteenth weekend, more than 35,000 flights were canceled or delayed from Thursday to Monday, while 4,500 were canceled over Memorial Day weekend in May. With travelers getting nervous ahead of the likely hectic weekend, airlines are making efforts to keep their flights on schedule, like cutting departures, bringing in more workers, and starting boarding earlier.Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said in a message on Thursday that the airline deployed its "Peach Corps" program for the Fourth of July weekend, meaning the company has sent corporate workers to assist at its Atlanta and New York airports, like checking in passengers and helping with bag drop, among other duties. Moreover, the carrier is offering a fare difference waiver for travelers who want to change their flights over the weekend. United has opted to slash 12% of its daily departures out of its busy Newark Liberty International Airport hub, which is the second-most delayed airport in the nation, CNBC reported. The company says the move will improve on-time performance and make flying through Newark easier for all travelers. The Chicago-based carrier told Insider that it anticipates 5.2 million customers to fly United over the Independence Day weekend, which is 24% higher than in 2021 and about 92% of what they saw in 2019.Despite the airline's best efforts, many travelers are going to face challenges at the airport regardless of how well they prepare. Here are six things to do if your flight gets canceled or delayed.Know the ways to contact your airlineBreeze agents in Las Vegas during a long delay.Taylor Rains/InsiderAirline customer service can be reached via phone or by talking to agents at the airport. However, some airlines have a dedicated center in the terminal where everyone must go to get help, but those lines can be very long. If you prefer to call instead, here are the customer service numbers for US carriers:Alaska: 1-800-252-7522Allegiant: 1-702-505-8888American: 1-800-433-7300Avelo: 1-346-616-9500Breeze: No phone number. The fastest way to contact Breeze is via Facebook Messenger.Delta: 1-800-221-1212Frontier: 1-801-401-9000JetBlue: 1-800-538-2583Southwest: 1-800-435-9792Spirit: 1-855-728-3555Sun Country: 1-651-905-2737United: 1-800-864-8331While you wait for a representative to answer, which has taken up to four hours for some customers, try reaching out to companies via social media, like Twitter. Sending a direct message early on can act as a virtual placeholder, and you may hear back via a chat before you talk to a live human. However, this method is not fool-proof and is best to be used in conjunction with other lines of communication.Know how the airline is preparing for inclement weatherAmerican plane after landing on a snowy day.EchoVisuals/ShutterstockIf you travel this summer, it is almost guaranteed you'll experience some type of weather event. Thunderstorms and hurricanes are common across the US and can cause significant delays and cancellations, which are out of the airline's control.If there is impending weather then carriers known will disrupt operations, they will typically send an email or text message to customers, or publish a warning on their website. For example, Frontier Airlines waived change fees for passengers scheduled to travel during a tropical storm that moved across Florida in early June.Rebook flights on an airline's website or mobile appSouthwest Airlines mobile app.Brenda Rocha - Blossom/ShutterstockWhen flights get delayed or canceled, there is typically a rush of people eager to talk to a customer service agent at the airport. However, it is easier and faster to make changes on the carrier's website or mobile app. In most cases, flight changes should be free, or you can request a refund. During high-traffic situations where thousands of people are making changes at once, it is possible that all of the options will be taken. So, act quickly, or you may need to seek out a customer service agent as your plan B.Know your traveler rightsTravelers queue up move through the north security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Denver.David Zalubowski/APIf your flight is canceled altogether, airlines must offer customers a refund, according to the Department of Transportation. In other cases, like a voluntary cancelation, airlines may offer credits that can be used at a later date. Refunds, however, give more freedom to the customer to rebook a flight on a different carrier.If you find yourself stranded at an airport due to a delay or cancelation caused by the airline, like crew staffing, then you can ask for a meal or hotel voucher. Airlines, however, are not obligated to give passengers anything when things outside of their control, like weather, cause disruptions. Moreover, DoT laws do not require them to compensate customers for delays. In these cases, you should be familiar with your airline's reimbursement policies, and always ask for a meal voucher regardless of the reason for the delay — it never hurts to ask.Know what your travel credit card or trip insurance policy coversPassport and Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.Evgenia Parajanian/ShutterstockHigh-dollar credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum Card have built-in trip insurance when you make any travel-related purchases with those cards.There are also travel insurance companies, like Allianz, that cover costs lost by disruptions. For example, if you don't make it to your final destination for at least 24 hours "due to severe weather (or another covered reason)," then Allianz has a coverage plan.Allianz's 24-hour policy is not always the case. Chase's "trip delay reimbursement" policy reimburses customers for 6-hour delays or overnight stays.Insider used Chase's reimbursement benefit on a trip in summer 2021 and was covered for all expenses.Get ready for long lines, but know when enough is enoughPassengers in line in Miami to rebook canceled American Airlines flights in 2021.Taylor Rains/InsiderDuring the busy summer travel season, understand that airlines will be rebooking thousands of passengers and long lines will form. Expect to wait on hold with customer service agents for hours, and be ready to wait for a response via social media.Give yourself a cut-off time that you will wait for your flight or an agent. Once that passes, start looking at other options to get to your destination, like driving or taking a train. In many cases, these expenses are covered by trip insurance.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 1st, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Trump rattles off a dozen livid social media posts as ex-aide gives explosive testimony to Jan. 6 panel

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP The House committee investigating the Capitol riot held a surprise hearing on Tuesday. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide under former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified. Hutchinson said that Trump knew supporters were armed and even tried to get to the Capitol himself. Trump rattles off a dozen livid social media posts as ex-aide gives explosive testimony to Jan. 6 panelA trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Tuesday unleashed a dozen social media posts in the wake of the testimony of a former top White House aide before the January 6 committee, calling the staffer a "total phony," "third rate social climber' and suggesting she was a "whacko" because of her handwriting."There is no cross examination of this so-called witness. This is a Kangaroo Court!" Trump wrote on his social media platform.In another post, he said that her "body language is that of a total bull…. artist. Fantasy Land!"Read MoreA former Trump White House chief of staff says the latest January 6 hearing provided 'stunning' new evidence of potential criminalityWASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (L) listen to comments during a luncheon with representatives of the United Nations Security Council, in the Cabinet Room at the White House on December 5, 2019 in Washington, DC.Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesTuesday's congressional hearing on the insurrection was a "very, very bad day" for the former president, former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said.The hearing featured a former White House aide testifying that Donald Trump knew some protesters were armed before they marched to the US Capitol — and that his own top advisors asked for pardons after the January 6 riot."A stunning 2 hours," Mulvaney, a onetime Trump loyalist, posted on Twitter following the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows, who succeeded Mulvaney as Trump's White House chief of staff.Keep ReadingA Capitol Police officer injured on January 6 said 'our own president set us up'US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell wipes his eye as he watches a video being displayed during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.Jim Bourg/Pool via APA US Capitol Police officer injured during the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol told HuffPost's Igor Bobic "our own president set us up" during the sixth public hearing of the House commitee investigating the Capitol riot. Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, an Army veteran who was in the room during Tuesday's hearing, testified before Congress last year about the injuries he suffered while defending the Capitol. Gonell underwent surgery and was moved to desk duty as a result of the injuries he sustained to his foot and shoulder while being physically attacked by rioters during the Capitol siege."I just feel betrayed," Gonell told Bobic on Tuesday. "The president should be doing everything possible to help us and he didn't do it. He wanted to lead the mob and wanted to lead the crowd himself ... he wanted to be a tyrant." Read MoreCongressman says Trump sent police to the Capitol to be 'potentially slaughtered'Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesDemocratic Rep. Ruben Gallego said US Capitol cops were 'sent to be potentially slaughtered' on January 6 after a former White House staffer gave stunning testimony that former President Donald Trump knew that protesters were armed and heading to the Capitol. "If it wasn't because of this brave 25-year-old woman, we wouldn't even know what was happening," the Arizona lawmaker told reporters at the hearing on Thursday, referring to Cassidy Hutchinson. "This is a very sad moment in our country right now."Read Full StoryFormer top White House aide says Trump's attacks on Pence 'disgusted' herFormer Trump White House aide Cassidy HutchinsonJacquelyn Martin/APFormer top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said ex-President Donald Trump's attacks on then-Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot "disgusted" her."I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, and really, it felt personal, I was really sad," she testified when asked for her reaction to Trump's praise of the rioters on January 6, 2021. "As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic, it was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie." Read Full StoryLiz Cheney shares evidence of witness tampering at Jan. 6 hearingUS Representative Liz CheneyPhoto by OLIVIER DOULIERY/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 panel vice chair and GOP Rep. Liz Cheney shared two messages purportedly received by witnesses before their testimony that she said are signs of witness tampering.Cheney shared two messages that she said witnesses had received ahead of their depositions. The witnesses, who Cheney didn't name, subsequently shared the messages with the committee.In one, a witness received a phone call: "[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he's thinking about you. He knows you're loyal, and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition," the caller allegedly said.Witness tampering is a federal crime.Read MoreEx-White House aide said she wanted Mark Meadows to 'snap out of it' during Capitol riotFormer White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikTrump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows' former top aide testified that she wanted him to "snap out it" and pay attention to the chaos unfolding at the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.During her testimony before the January 6 committee, Cassidy Hutchinson said she saw Meadows on his couch on his phone as rioters stormed the Capitol building and fought with police.Hutchinson said she asked Meadows: "The rioters are getting really close. Have you talked with the president?"Meadows allegedly replied: "No, he wants to be alone right now."Read Full StoryRudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows both sought pardons from TrumpRudy Guiliani and Mark MeadowsGetty ImagesDonald Trump's lawyer and ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani as well as the president's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows both sought pardons after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.That's according to explosive testimony from Meadows' aide during a House hearing investigating the insurrection.Read Full Story Trump threw dishes and flipped tablecloths 'several times' while at the White House: former aideCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's temper flared "several times" in the White House, a former top aide says, recounting how he threw dishes and flipped tablecloths in the White House dining room."There were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him [Trump] either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break or go everywhere," said former aide Cassidy Hutchinson.After one outburst, Hutchinson said she had to wipe ketchup off the wall.KEEP READINGFox News host: Trump throwing his lunch isn't 'wholly out of character'Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts while he attempted to overturn the 2020 election.Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump threw a plate in the White House dining room after he found out former Attorney General Bill Barr publicly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, leaving "ketchup dripping down the wall."MacCallum said the alleged outburst didn't sound "wholly out of character," even as a Fox News colleague called the revelations "stunning."Read Full StoryDonald Trump says he 'hardly' knows the former top aide who gave damning testimony against himDonald TrumpChet Strange/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump called the ex-White House aide who gave damning testimony about his actions on January 6 "bad news" and said he "hardly" knew her."I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and "leaker") ...," Trump wrote in part on his social media platform, Truth.Read Full StoryMike Flynn pleaded the 5th when asked whether the violence on January 6 was justifiedFormer National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at a campaign event in Brunswick, Ohio on April 21, 2022.Dustin Franz/Getty ImagesMike Flynn, a former 3-star general and Trump's national security advisor, waited over a minute before pleading the Fifth Amendment when asked if violence during the Capitol riot was justified.During a House panel on the insurrection, committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming aired a clip of Flynn appearing to struggle with the question.Flynn also refused to say whether he supported the peaceful transition of power.Read MoreTrump threw his lunch at the wall after Barr said there wasn't widespread voter fraud: ex-aideCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesA former top White House aide testified that ex-President Donald Trump threw his lunch at a wall after then-Attorney General Bill Barr told him there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud."There was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor," Cassidy Hutchinson testified on Tuesday before a House panel investigating the Captiol riot on January 6, 2021.Read Full StoryTrump said Mike Pence 'deserves it' as Capitol rioters chanted that he should be hung: ex-aideDonald Trump and former US Vice President Mike Pence in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 2, 2020, in Washington, DC.MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump defended Capitol rioters who were chanting to hang Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot, a top White House aide testified."Mike deserves it," Trump allegedly said, according to testimony from ex-aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Donald Trump also said that the rioters storming the Capitol building "weren't doing anything wrong." Read Full StoryEx-aide says top GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy warned White House officials that Trump shouldn't go to the Capitol on January 6President Donald Trump (R) speaks as he joined by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that top House Republican Kevin McCarthy called White House advisors on January 6, 2021, warning that then-president Donald Trump should not come to the US Capitol.Hutchinson told a House panel that she got a call from McCarthy after Trump's speech on the Ellipse that day. McCarthy wasn't convinced that Trump wasn't planning to make his way to the Capitol building."Well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don't come up here," she testified he said in the call.Read Full StoryTrump lunged at his driver and demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6.Former President Donald Trump.AP Photo/Joe MaioranaFormer President Donald Trump lunged at his driver and tried to grab the steering wheel on January 6, 2021, as he demanded to be taken to the Capitol building as his supporters were marching away from his speech that morning, a former aide testified.Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to the then-White House chief of staff, told a House panel investigating the Capitol riot that a Secret Service agent relayed the story of what happened to her.Hutchinson said that Trump "said something to the effect of 'I'm the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now.' "Read Full StoryTrump knew the January 6 crowd was armed, but said 'they're not here to hurt me,' aide testifiesDonald TrumpSeth Herald/Getty ImagesA former White House aide said Donald Trump knew that his supporters were armed on January 6 hours before they stormed the Capitol building."I don't fucking care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me," Trump said the morning of the insurrection at the US Capitol, according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Hutchinson said Trump was incensed that there were gaps in the crowd of his speech on January 6.Read Full StoryTrump was 'fucking furious' armed supporters couldn't get to his speech: former aideFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesAn ex-White House aide testified that President Donald Trump was "fucking furious" that people in the MAGA crowd weren't able to get to his speech on January 6, 2021 because they were carrying weapons.Trump was insistent that security remove the metal detectors outside the White House so more people with weapons could get into the grounds, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the House panel investigating the insurrection.She also quoted the president as saying: "Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here."READ FULL STORY Feds seized John Eastman's phoneJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APAnother big development emerged Monday in the widening federal criminal probe into Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.This one involves federal agents who seized the phone of John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who advised Trump during his failed bid to stop the inauguration of Joe Biden. Eastman made the feds' move public in a filing with a New Mexico federal court, seeking the return of property from the government.According to his filing, FBI agents acting on behalf of DOJ's internal watchdog stopped Eastman as he was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico on June 22, taking his phone.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson in the spotlightCassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is shown during the fifth January 6 committee hearing on June 23, 2022.Demetrius Freeman-Pool/Getty ImagesCassidy Hutchinson is the surprise lead witness for Tuesday's sixth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.The former top aide under then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is a direct witness to many of the events and discussions of interest to the panel.She's given the committee several important pieces of information, including the six GOP House members who sought pardons from Trump and that the president told Meadows he agreed with rioters demands to "hang" Vice President Mike Pence.Read Full Story Select committee announces surprise hearing.January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi speaks to reporters following the committee’s fifth hearing on June 23, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesThe Jan. 6 select committee announced it would hold a sixth hearing to start Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET during the congressional recess and despite previous statements that it would hold its next hearings in July.A committee advisory said it would present "recently obtained evidence" and feature witnesses, whom it did not name.Read Full StoryKamala Harris said she commended her vice presidential predecessor Mike Pence for 'courage' in certifying Biden as president despite Trump's pressureVice President Kamala Harris.Al Drago-Pool/Getty ImagesVice President Kamala Harris said Monday that she commended former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying Joe Biden as president on January 6 despite him facing tremendous pressure by former President Donald Trump to overturn the election. "I think that he did his job that day," Harris said in a CNN interview after reporter Dana Bash asked her whether her opinion of Pence had changed. "And I commend him for that because clearly it was under extraordinary circumstances that he should have not had to face. And I commend him for having the courage to do his job."This month the House Select Committee probing the January 6 Capitol attack has detailed how Trump tried to push Pence not to recognize Biden's victory in the days leading up to January 6, 2021. Trump wanted Pence to "send back" slates of electors for Biden back to their states in order to overturn his election loss. But Pence put out an open letter saying he didn't have the authority to take such actions, and his role in the certification process was largely ceremonial.Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy says it's 'all good' between him and Trump as the former president fumes about the lack of Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee: 'The right decision was the decision I made'Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Donald Trump.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Monday that everything is good between him and Donald Trump as the former president publicly questions whether it was wise to keep more Republicans off of the House January 6 committee."The right decision was the decision I made," McCarthy told Fox News' Dana Perino. "If other people change their opinion, read the rules and I think they'll come back to the same conclusion." The former president and McCarthy have talked recently, according to the top House Republican. When Perino asked if things were "all good?" McCarthy responded, "Oh, all good. Yes."McCarthy repeated his long-held defense of the decision, arguing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have only selected Republicans that would have fit her views. The California Republican then named three of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump as examples of people Pelosi would have supported.Read Full StoryHow to watch the House January 6 committee hearings on the Capitol attackVideo featuring former President Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is played during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Stepien, who was scheduled to testify in person, was unable to attend due to a family emergency. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Insurrection at the US Capitol is bringing to light its findings from a year's worth of work with a series of public hearings this summer. The select committee, formed in May 2021, has nine members, seven Democrats, including Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, and two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Its members and staff have spent the past year conducting hundreds of closed-door interviews, poring over hundreds of thousands of documents, and parsing phone and email records to reconstruct how President Donald Trump and his allies sought to overturn his 2020 election loss before a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the US Capitol in an effort to stop the final certification of the 2020 election. Five public hearings, including one in primetime, have already taken place, and one more hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 hearing takeaways: Pardon pleas, more Bill Barr, and a riveting account of how Trump turned to the Justice Department and a loyal lawyer to 'help legitimize his lies'TheBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)Spanning more than two hours in the late afternoon, the House January 6 committee's fifth public hearing captured the drama that unfolded inside the Justice Department and White House as Trump looked to some of the country's most senior and important law enforcement officials to help him remain in power.READ FULL STORYMatt Gaetz 'personally' pushed for a pardon from Trump 'from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things,' Trump officials testifyRepublican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida at the White House on May 8, 2020.Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee aired a series of video testimonies from former Trump administration officials detailing which Republican members of Congress sought pardons from former President Donald Trump at the end of his term as he and his allies exhausted different avenues to stay in power.Most prominently featured: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.According to various officials who spoke with the committee, Gaetz began pushing for a pardon well before other Republicans who were involved in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election."Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early December," said Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in testimony aired by the committee on Thursday.READ FULL STORYFox News cut away from the Jan. 6 hearing minutes before testimony by Trump aides about GOP lawmakers who sought pardonsPlaque at the entrance to Fox News headquarters in New YorkErik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty ImagesJust as former Department of Justice Officials were detailing how they threatened to resign en masse if former President Donald Trump went ahead with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Fox News cut away to air its previously scheduled talk show, "The Five."CNN and MSNBC aired the hearings in full, which ended with Rep. Adam Kinzinger listing six GOP lawmakers whom Trump aides testified sought pardons in the administration's final weeks.Other than the first of the five hearings so far, Fox News has carried the proceedings without commercial breaks, save for recesses during the proceedings.READ FULL STORYDOJ officials threatened to resign if Jeffrey Clark was appointed Attorney GeneralJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesTop officials at the US Department of Justice threatened to resign if former President Donald Trump succeeded in making loyalist Jeff Clark the acting Attorney General, per testimony before the January 6 committee on Thursday.Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, said that the pledge to resign was made on a phone call in the wake of reports that Trump was considering installing Clark, who at the time was promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election."They would resign en masse if the president made that change," Donoghue told the committee. "All without hesitation said they would resign."At least six GOP members of Congress sought pardons after January 6, 2021, per testimony from a former White House aideRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are charged with crimes in the Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite/APCassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified Wednesday before the January 6 House panel that at least six House members asked the White House for a pardon following the Capitol siege.According to Hutchinson, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania requested pardons.The former White House aide added that GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio asked for an "update on whether the White House is going to pardon members of Congress" but did not personally ask for one.Keep Reading Trump suggested sending letter to states alleging 2020 election fraud, a former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen testifiedFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen has already testified about Trump's efforts to pressure DOJ.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump suggested that the Justice Department send letters to state legislatures in Georgia and other states alleging that there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election despite knowing there was no such evidence.Rosen told lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection that during Trump's final days in office, the former president and his campaign suggested several strategies for the Justice Department to overturn the presidential election results. These tactics included filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, making public statements, and holding a press conference."The Justice Department declined all of those requests that I was just referencing because we did not think they were appropriate based on the facts and the law, as we understood," Rosen said.Read MoreA former Trump DOJ official testified that former President Donald Trump urged him and other officials to 'just say the election was corrupt'Notes from Richard Donoghue displayed at the January 6 committee's hearing on June 23, 2022.Screenshot / C-SPANThe January 6 committee on Thursday displayed scans of notes taken by Richard Donoghue, then the acting deputy attorney general serving out the final days of the Trump administration.One note, displayed as Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois led the committee's questioning, included an apparent plea from then-President Donald Trump to "just say the election was corrupt" and "leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen."Read Full StoryBill Barr says he's 'not sure we would have had a transition at all' to Biden if DOJ hadn't investigated Trump's baseless voter fraud claimsFormer Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald TrumpDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer Attorney General William Barr said he was "not sure we would have had a transition at all" if the Justice Department had not investigated Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud and found them baseless.In a closed-door deposition, Barr suggested to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack that Trump might not have left office voluntarily if DOJ had not proactively examined the election fraud claims ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. Read Full Story'You would be committing a felony'Eric Herschmann spoke to the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday.Senate Television via APFormer White House attorney Eric Herschmann told the committee that he brutally mocked a plan from a Trump loyalist to hijack control of the Justice Department in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election."And when he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said, 'good, fucking, excuse me, f-ing, a-hole, congratulations you just admitted that your first step or act you would take as attorney general would be committing a felony and violating rule 6c," Herschmann told the panel, per an excerpt of his previously private deposition that was released on Thursday.Read Full Story  Fast times in the CapitolActor Sean Penn and DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges at the January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2022.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinSean Penn is in the House.The actor and well known Hollywood activist made an unexpected appearance at the fifth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. "I'm just here to observe — just another citizen," Penn told a CNN reporter. "I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we're looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney is mailing instructions to Democrats on how to change parties and vote for her in Wyoming's GOP primaryU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesAs Rep. Liz Cheney faces a tough reelection battle in Wyoming, she's turning to Democrats in her home state to help her chances in the August 16 Republican primary.Cheney's campaign has mailed instructions to Wyoming Democrats on how to change their party affiliation to vote for the incumbent congresswoman, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Under Wyoming law, voters must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican in order to vote in that party's primary election. Read Full StoryFeds search home of former top Trump DOJ officialJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesWe've got a major development that surfaced Thursday into what appears to be a widening federal investigation into Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election.Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the Northern Virginia home of Jeff Clark, a former top Justice Department official who became the go-to Trump ally trying to push DOJ into backing the then-president's baseless claims about voter fraud.ABC News first reported this, and a DOJ spokesperson has since confirmed to Insider's Ryan Barber that law enforcement activity did indeed happen in the Washington DC suburb where Clark lives. The spokesperson wouldn't comment on the nature of the activity or about any specific individuals.Expect to hear Clark's name a couple times or more during Thursday's House select committee hearing as the panel examines Trump's efforts to use DOJ in his bid to stop Joe Biden from being sworn in as the country's 46th president.Read Full Story#unprecedentedA trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesHere's something that doesn't show up on the internet very often: a 30-second trailer for a new three-part documentary taking people behind the scenes of Donald Trump's presidency and the January 6 insurrection.But that's exactly what landed online late Wednesday via Discovery+, which shows footage of the new series titled "Unprecedented." The clip features Trump and his adult children Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump and closes with the ex-president himself agreeing to discuss the riot at the US Capitol. —discovery+ (@discoveryplus) June 23, 2022House January 6 investigators have the documentary footage too, courtesy of a subpoena that Politico reported about. And Trump allies were apparently in the dark about the filming, with one texting Rolling Stone: "what the fuck is this?"Read Full Story Hearings to resume at 3 p.m. ET Thursday with testimony expected from former DOJ officialsFormer Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 commission's fifth hearing is expected to start at 3 p.m. Thursday, with testimony expected from former Trump-administration Justice Department officials. They are:Jeffrey Rosen, former acting attorney generalRichard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney generalSteven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal CounselRosen served as acting attorney general in the final weeks of Trump's presidency. He previously told the committee how he came under persistent pressure from Trump to have the DOJ back Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as Insider's C. Ryan Barber reported.Toward the end of his presidency, Trump considered ousting Rosen and installing Jeffrey Clark, a supporter of the bogus voter-fraud claims, in his place, but ultimately decided not to after officials threatened to resign if he went through.Analysis: Trump shot himself in the foot by opposing a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission because now he has no allies to defend him in scathing public hearingsLawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/APAs the House's January 6 committee lays out in devastating detail Donald Trump's effort to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, the former president is turning his anger on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Trump has complained about McCarthy's decision to boycott the panel, with the former president telling the Punchbowl newsletter on Wednesday: "Republicans don't have a voice. They don't even have anything to say."But Trump has no one but himself to blame for the situation, one of his Republican critics pointed out, as he was the one who opposed the formation of a bipartisan commission equally split between Republicans and Democrats to investigate the riot. Read Full StoryTrump is hate-watching every Jan. 6 hearing and almost screams at the TV because he feels nobody is defending him, report saysDonald TrumpJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump is hate-watching the January 6 committee hearings, incensed because he believes nobody is defending him, according to The Washington Post.Trump is at "the point of about to scream at the TV" as he tunes in to each hearing, one unnamed close advisor told the paper. Another in his circle, also unnamed, told the paper that Trump continually complains that "there's no one to defend me" at the hearings, which have attracted huge amounts of media coverage.Per The Post, Trump's anger centers on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who boycotted the committee at its formation, passing up the chance to put pro-Trump figures on the panel.Read Full StoryDOJ issued subpoenas to alleged fake Trump electors and a Trump campaign official, reports sayA general view shows a House January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022.Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Justice Department expanded its investigation into the Capitol riot after issuing subpoenas to a would-be Trump elector in Georgia and a Trump campaign official who worked in Arizona and New Mexico, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Wednesday.Arizona, Georgia, and New Mexico are among the seven battleground states where a failed effort to overturn the election took place by appointing pro-Trump electors.The news comes after Rep. Adam Schiff said the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection obtained evidence that former President Donald Trump was involved in the aforementioned scheme.Read Full StoryTrump aides didn't know someone was filming Trump on January 6 until the House committee got the footage: reportsPresident Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.Andrew Harnik/AP PhotoAides to Donald Trump had no idea a documentary maker filmed the former president on January 6, 2021, until the House committee investigating that day subpoenaed the footage, reports said. The existence of the footage by UK documentarian Alex Holder was first reported by Politico on Tuesday.The outlet said that Holder complied with the House committee request and handed over several months of footage of Trump up to and including January 6. The New York Times reported that many top Trump advisors were surprised by news of the project, which was known to only a small circle of close Trump aides.Read Full StoryIvanka Trump claimed to believe Trump's false voter-fraud theories but later told Jan. 6 panel she didn't, report saysIvanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump claimed to believe former President Donald Trump's false voter-fraud theories in a December 2020 interview, directly contradicting her testimony to congressional investigators earlier this year, a new report says.In April 2022, Trump had told the House committee investigating the Capitol riot that she had "accepted" former Attorney General Bill Barr's assessment that Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were wrong.But according to The New York Times, Ivanka Trump told the documentary filmmaker Alex Holder on December 10, 2020 — nine days after Barr made the assessment that supposedly swayed her — that she supported her father's efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.She said Trump should "continue to fight" the 2020 election results because Americans were questioning the "sanctity of our elections."Read Full StoryElection worker testifies that conspiracy theorists tried to citizen's arrest her grandmother after lies from Trump, GiulianiWandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman, right, during the House January 6 committee's hearing.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinA Georgia election worker testified that her grandmother faced a citizen's arrest by a group of election deniers who tried pushing their way into her house due to election lies told by former President Donald Trump and former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, told lawmakers during a January 6 select committee hearing that she and her mother Ruby Freeman, who worked as a short-term election worker in 2020, were among the workers counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. When Giuliani and Trump accused those workers of orchestrating election fraud, Moss said her family faced death threats and were pushed out of town, living in Airbnbs for two months around January 6 at the FBI's recommendation.Moss said she endured racist harassment as well, adding that a group of people influenced by the election conspiracies showed up to her grandmother's house and tried to perform a citizen's arrest.Read Full StoryWhere's Pat Cipollone?Former White House Counsel Pat CipolloneAlex Wong/Getty ImagesPaging Pat Cipollone.The former White House counsel under then-President Donald Trump is now front and center as a top witness the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection still wants to hear from.That's according to Rep. Liz Cheney, who publicly called Tuesday for Cipollone to testify about evidence the committee has collected showing that he "tried to do what was right" as  Trump pushed to overturn the 2020 election.Cheney also noted that the House panel is also "certain" Trump doesn't want Cipollone to testify. His previous job as Trump's top White House attorney could complicate the matter, though as Insider's Ryan Barber points out in his story, Bill Barr did participate in its investigation.Read Full StorySexualized texts, a break-in and doxxingsGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is sworn in to testify on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTuesday's House select committee featured jaw-dropping testimony from election officials who detailed the threats they faced after refusing to go along with then President Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 election results.One big dose of it came from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who explained how he received texts from all over the US and eventually his wife became a target of harassment too. "My wife started getting the texts and hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting," Raffensperger said during his testimony before the January 6 committee. "You have to understand that Trish and I met in high school and we have been married over 40 years now. They started going after her I think to probably put pressure on me: 'Why don't you just quit and walk away?'" Raffensperger also testified about Trump supporters who broke into the home of his daughter-in-law, a widow with two children. And he said his phone and email were doxxed, meaning that someone had posted the number and email publicly so that people would message him. Read Full StoryDeath threatsWandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is sworn in before January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA Black former Georgia election worker delivered stark testimony on Tuesday about the racist and deadly threats that came when President Donald Trump publicly attacked her and her mother amid his drive to overturn the 2020 election results.Insider's Bryan Metzger has more on the remarks from Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss, a veteran election official in Fulton County who ended up on the receiving end of myriad threats after Rudy Giuliani specifically named her and her mom when speaking to the Georgia state Senate."They included threats, a lot of threats wishing death upon me," Moss said. "Telling me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother, and saying things like, 'Be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.'" Read Full Story'We were just kind of useful idiots'Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on April 23, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty Images"We were just kind of useful idiots, or rubes at that point."That's a quote from former Donald Trump 2020 campaign staffer Robert Sinner describing to the House January 6 investigators his displeasure with a scheme to overturn now-President Joe Biden's 2020 victory in Georgia.Sinner's remarks were broadcast in a video recording shown during Tuesday's select committee hearing, Insider's John Dorman reports.Read Full Story Suspicious package found outside House hearing roomThe House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection.Photo by Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty ImagesThe House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection kept on going Tuesday despite a suspicious package being found right outside the hearing room where the panel was meeting.Insider's Lauren Frias reported that the US Capitol Police officials did issue an all-clear about an hour after first sending out its alert. The police advised staff and visitors on the premises to stay away from the area during the incident. A Fox News producer tweeted that the package appeared to be an unattended backpack on top of a walker outside of the House building.Read Full Story'Do not give that to him'Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and former Vice President Mike Pence.Drew Angerer and Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Sen. Ron Johnson sought to deliver a slate of "alternate" electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the counting of votes during a Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.That's according to a series of eye-catching text messages first displayed by the January 6 committee on Tuesday, Insider's Bryan Metzger reported."Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise," Sean Riley, Johnson's chief of staff, wrote of the materials that were related to "alternate" electors from two contested Midwestern states that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had narrowly carried: Michigan and Wisconsin. "What is it?" replied Chris Hodgson, a legislative aide to Pence."Alternate slate of elector for MI and WI because archivist didn't receive them," Riley replied."Do not give that to him," Hodgson replied.Read Full StoryRudy admitted to not having election fraud evidenceRudy Giuliani, former lawyer for President Donald Trump.William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesRudy Giuliani admitted to not having any evidence of election fraud after the 2020 presidential election despite repeatedly claiming he did, according to the Republican speaker of the Arizona state House."My recollection, he said, 'We've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence,'" Russell "Rusty" Bowers, the Arizona official, said in describing a conversation with then-President Donald Trump's personal attorney.Bowers, a Trump supporter, was testifying on Tuesday before the House January 6 select committee to recount his interactions with Giuliani and the Trump legal team surrounding the events of the last presidential election.He called the Trump team "a tragic parody" and compared them to the 1971 comedy "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight."Read Full Story A very real threat to the 2022 midtermsCouy Griffin, a central figure in a New Mexico county's refusal to certify recent election results based on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines, has avoided more jail time for joining the mob that attacked the US Capitol.AP Photo/Gemunu AmarasingheThe House select committee's January 6 hearings have spotlighted the very real threat to future US elections, including the midterms coming up this November.That's the big takeaway from a story by Insider's Grace Panetta published Tuesday that looks at how a court had to intercede after New Mexico county commission initially refused to certify results from the state's June 7 primary."The election denial movement pushed by Trump and his allies that spurred so many to attack the Capitol on January 6 has now fanned out to county commissions, town halls, and polling places around the country, presenting wholly novel burdens on election officials and new threats to the health of American democracy," Grace wrote.Read Full StoryTrump is ready to abandon attorney John Eastman after he was criticized in committee hearings, report saysJohn Eastman at a pro-Trump rally on January 6, 2021.Jim Bourg/ReutersFormer President Donald Trump sees no reason to defend the conservative attorney John Eastman, Rolling Stone reported.The decision the outlet relayed came in light of the heavy scrutiny of Eastman in the Congressional Jan. 6 committee hearings, which detailed his role helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.Eastman wrote a memo detailing a last-ditch plan for Vice President Mike Pence to block Joe Biden's certification as president on January 6, 2021, at the Congressional proceeding which was interrupted by the Capitol riot.Citing two sources close to Trump, the outlet reported that the committee's focus on Eastman in its public hearings had bothered Trump, and that Trump has started distancing himself from the attorney.READ FULL STORYFull list of witness testifying on June 21Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers is among those scheduled to testify in the committee's June 21 hearing.AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, FileInsider's Warren Rojas has a roster of those scheduled to appear in the committee's public hearings. See the full list below.Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee subpoenas filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the riotTrump speaks to supporters from the Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee sent a subpoena to Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the Capitol riot, Politico's Playbook newsletter reported Tuesday.The existence of this footage had never been reported before, and Holder is expected to fully cooperate with the panel, Playbook reported.Holder also spent several months interviewing members of Trump's family, including his children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Playbook reported.The subpoena asked Holder to provide any raw footage he might have from the Capitol riot and interviews with Trump, his family, and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as any footage he has of discussions about voter fraud in the 2020 election.Trump boasts he's been impeached twice and screams 'nothing matters!' amid ongoing January 6 hearingsFormer President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Friday bragged that he was impeached twice, while recycling his false claims about the 2020 election and attacking former Vice President Mike Pence and former Attorney General William Barr.Delivering a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Nashville, the former president said Pence didn't have the courage to embrace his effort to overturn the election and mocked Barr for being "afraid" of getting impeached."What's wrong with being impeached? I got impeached twice and my poll numbers went up," Trump said.Read Full StoryGinni Thomas says she 'can't wait' to talk to Jan. 6 committee after it asks for interview over her efforts to overturn 2020 electionGinni ThomasChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesGinni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said she "can't wait' to talk to the House January 6 commission after it asked to interview her over her efforts to overturn the 2020 election."I can't wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them," Thomas told the right-wing news site The Daily Caller. She did not say what those misconceptions might be.Her comments come after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot announced that it had requested an interview with her. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairman, said the panel wanted to talk to her "soon," Axios reported.Thomas faces scrutiny over her connections to former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Read Full StoryEven on the day of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still doubtful if Mike Pence had the power to overturn the election, says ex-Trump lawyerRudy Giuliani.Jacquelyn Martin/APEric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, revealed on Thursday that even on the morning of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still debating whether then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the votes in the 2020 election. Herschmann's testimony was aired on Thursday during the third of six public hearings organized by the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot. Thursday's session centered on the pressure exerted by the Trump camp in a bid to get Pence to overturn the vote.Herschmann said he received a call "out of the blue" from Giuliani on the morning of January 6, 2021, concerning what Pence's role would be that day."And, you know, he was asking me my view and analysis and then the practical implications of it," Herschmann said, who described the call as an "intellectual discussion." "And when we finished, he said, like, 'I believe that, you know, you're probably right.'" Read Full StoryMike Pence's former lawyer said he warned Trump's camp that overturning votes would lead to the 2020 election being 'decided in the streets'Then-US President Donald Trump arrives with then- Vice President Mike Pence for a "Make America Great Again" rally in Michigan on November 2, 2020.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesA lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence said that he strongly disagreed with conservative lawyer John Eastman about the Trump camp's plan to overturn the 2020 election result and warned Eastman that it might lead to violence in the streets.Testifying on Thursday before the January 6 panel investigating the Capitol riot, Greg Jacob said he had spoken to Eastman on January 5, 2021. During their conversation, Jacob said he expressed his "vociferous disagreement" with the plan for Pence to overturn the electoral vote on behalf of former President Donald Trump and send the votes back to their respective states. "Among other things, if the courts did not step in to resolve this, there was nobody else to resolve it," Jacob testified. Read Full StoryDemocracy on the brinkPeople arrive before a hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.Drew Angerer/Pool Photo via APAmerican democracy was on the brink like no time ever before.That's the lede paragraph from Insider's Grace Panetta in her story that sums up the biggest takeaways from Thursday's historic and marathon third public hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Grace writes that the two lead witnesses, Greg Jacob and Michael Luttig, were steeped in legal expertise and constitutional scholarship as they explained at a granular and methodical level why neither the Electoral Count Act nor the 12th Amendment permitted then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.Then-President Donald Trump and one of his personal legal advisors, John Eastman, were pushing the vice president to do exactly that in a break with all of US history. Read Full StoryMAGA world a "clear and present danger to American democracy"Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, looks at Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, as he testifies before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoFormer President Donald Trump and his supporters remain a "clear and present danger to American democracy."Those were the startling words of Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who has long been championed by Republicans. He made them near the end of Thursday's marathon House select committee hearing into the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Luttig, who advised then-Vice President Mike Pence about his ceremonial role on January 6, also went on to say Trump world is being more than blunt about its plans to manipulate the results of the next election for the White House. "The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 in open and plain view of the American public," Luttig testified, per Insider's Warren Rojas. Read Full Story'1 more relatively minor violation' of election law...please?Former Trump legal adviser John EastmanAP Photo/Susan WalshIt's perhaps one of the biggest bombshells to come out of Thursday's House select committee hearing on the Capitol insurrection: a Trump lawyer putting in writing a request to break the law.The no-no came from John Eastman, who sent an email at 11:44 p.m. on the night of January 6, 2021, repeated his demand that Vice President Mike Pence halt the proceedings to certify the 2020 election and send it back to the states for a period of 10 days."So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here," Eastman wrote to Pence lawyer Greg Jacob.Insider's Jake Lahut writes that the Eastman email was sent after Jacob and the then-vice president's staff and family, had been sheltering in place in a secure location during the riot.Read Full StoryEastman asked Giuliani to be added to Trump's pardon listJohn Eastman appeared onstage with Rudy Giuliani at the pro-Trump rally that preceded the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Jim Bourg/ReutersThe House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol made some news on Thursday by disclosing evidence that conservative lawyer John Eastman wanted to get added to lame-duck President Donald Trump's pardon list.Eastman was pushing to overturn the 2020 election, and as Insider's Oma Seddiq reports, his efforts prompted an email to personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. "I've decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," Eastman wrote  to Giuliani, according to Rep. Pete Aguilar, a lawmaker on the January 6 panel who read the email during Thursday's hearing. Eastman ultimately did not receive a pardon. Read Full StoryAides say Trump called Pence 'P-word' and 'wimp' on Jan. 6 callTrump and Pence at a White House event on July 13, 2020.AP Photo/Evan VucciThe language got pretty profane in the White House on the morning of January 6, 2021, Insider's Bryan Metzger reports.That's according to former aides who testified to the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection about a call then-President Donald Trump made to Mike Pence, his vice president."I remember hearing the word 'wimp'. Either he called him a wimp — I don't remember if he said, 'you are a wimp, you'll be a wimp' — wimp is the word I remember," said Nicholas Luna, a former assistant to Trump.Julie Radford, who served as Ivanka Trump's chief of staff, told the committee that Ivanka told her that the president "just had an upsetting conversation with the Vice President" in which he called Pence "the P-word."Read Full Story'Secret' MAGA back channel Jan. 6 investigators are teasing is also Oath Keepers' legal defenseStewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, on June 25, 2017.Susan Walsh/APThe House January 6 investigators keep on teasing how there'll soon be upcoming testimony that reveals secret coordination between Trumpworld and extremist groups.But as Insider's Laura Italiano points out in a new story, the Oath Keepers have long boasted of such a back channel.In fact, leader and founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes and other members of the pro-Trump militia are staking their seditious-conspiracy defense case on these yet-described communications with rally organizers.Read Full StoryCruz wanted the ex-judge testifying against Trump as a SCOTUS justiceRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired Judge Michael Luttig.AP Photos/Manuel Balce Ceneta and Susan WalshThere's an interesting twist to the retired conservative federal Judge Michael Luttig testifying as a key witness in Thursday's January 6 committee hearing.Insider's Bryan Metzger dug up video from the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates showing Luttig was once named by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as an ideal Supreme Court nominee.—bryan metzger (@metzgov) June 16, 2022 Bryan writes that it was "yet another example of just how much former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results has divided the conservative legal world."Read Full Story   DOJ: House's 'failure' to share transcripts hurting Jan. 6 investigationsTrump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesMore public tension is emerging between the Justice Department and the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Insider's Ryan Barber has the details on a new letter sent Wednesday from the top US attorney in Washington DC to the House panel. There, the DOJ official says that the House panel has complicated criminal cases with its 'failure' to turn over interview transcripts to prosecutions.DOJ is looking for access to more than 1,000 interviews the congressional panel has conducted during its months-long examination of the Capitol attack and former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election.Read Full StoryJudge Luttig: If Pence tossed valid electoral votes it would have been 'a revolution'Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, testifies Thursday to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.AP Photo/Susan WalshSome really powerful testimony to start Thursday's January 6 select committee hearing from former federal judge J. Michael Luttig.In his opening remarks, he told the panel investigating the insurrection at the US Capitol that Vice President Mike Pence overturning the 2020 election would've pushed the country into 'the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic.'"That declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have launched America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America which in my view would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the Republic," Luttig told lawmakers during a hearing Thursday. Read Full StoryFormer Pence counsel says 'the law is not a plaything' for presidentsVice President Mike PenceScott J. Applewhite/APMike Pence's former counsel Greg Jacob is a lead witness in Thursday's third public hearing for the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.In his written statement submitted before the hearing, Jacob called serving the vice president "the honor of a lifetime," while also warning that the rule of law is "not a plaything" for political leaders to bend per their whim."The law is not a plaything for presidents or judges to use to remake the world in their preferred image," he wrote. "Our Constitution and our laws form the strong edifice within which our heartfelt policy disagreements are to be debated and decided."Insider's Grace Panetta has more on Jacob's testimony and spells out why he was a key figure in rebuffing the intense pressure campaign and efforts to compel Pence to obstruct or meddle with the count. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 committee says it will 'soon' seek interview with Ginni ThomasConservative activist Ginni Thomas and January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.AP Photos/Susan Walsh and J. Scott ApplewhiteConservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, should be expecting an interview request soon from the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol."We think it's time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee," Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the panel, told Axios' Andrew Solender. He added that the invitation would come "soon."Thomas has recently come under scrutiny for her role in seeking to overturn the 2020 election, including emailing Trump lawyer John Eastman and pressuring 29 state legislators in Arizona to overturn the state's 2020 election results.Read Full Story  Meet the former Trump attorney starring in the January 6 hearingEric Herschmann, former White House attorney, speaks with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 13, 2022.(House Select Committee via APAnyone remember Eric Herschmann? The White House attorney burst into the national spotlight defending President Donald Trump during his first Senate impeachment trial way back in the early pre-pandemic days of 2020.Now he's back, but for a very different reason.That's the story that Oma Seddiq just delivered for Insider readers ahead of Thursday's House January 6 hearing profiling Herschmann. He's been in the news as video clips make the rounds of his testimony where he talks about warning Trump and his allies after the presidential election that there was no proof the race was rigged and stolen, and their efforts may be illegal. In addition to his colorful language, Herschmann has drawn notice because he gave his deposition in a room with a baseball bat hanging on the wall and the word "JUSTICE" inscribed on it in bold, white letters. Observers also have noted a large painting behind him of a panda, by the artist Rob Pruitt, is similar to one that appeared in the 2015 erotic drama "50 Shades of Grey."Read Full StoryNick Quested explains how it felt to testify before the January 6 committeeBritish filmmaker Nick Queste.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Trump defended Capitol rioters chanting to hang Pence, ex-aide testifies

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is holding a surprise hearing at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide under former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, is testifying. Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows both wanted pardons after the Capitol riot, she said. Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows both sought pardons from TrumpRudy Guiliani and Mark MeadowsGetty ImagesDonald Trump's lawyer and ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani as well as the president's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows both sought pardons after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.That's according to explosive testimony from Meadows' aide during a House hearing investigating the insurrection.Read Full Story Trump threw dishes and flipped tablecloths 'several times' while at the White House: former aideCassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies before the January 6 committee in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump's temper flared "several times" in the White House, a former top aide says, recounting how he threw dishes and flipped tablecloths in the White House dining room."There were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him [Trump] either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break or go everywhere," said former aide Cassidy Hutchinson.After one outburst, Hutchinson said she had to wipe ketchup off the wall.KEEP READINGDonald Trump says he 'hardly' knows the former top aide who gave damning testimony against himDonald TrumpChet Strange/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump called the ex-White House aide who gave damning testimony about his actions on January 6 "bad news" and said he "hardly" knew her."I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and "leaker") ...," Trump wrote in part on his social media platform, Truth.Read Full StoryMike Flynn pleaded the 5th when asked whether the violence on January 6 was justifiedFormer National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at a campaign event in Brunswick, Ohio on April 21, 2022.Dustin Franz/Getty ImagesMike Flynn, a former 3-star general and Trump's national security advisor, waited over a minute before pleading the Fifth Amendment when asked if violence during the Capitol riot was justified.During a House panel on the insurrection, committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming aired a clip of Flynn appearing to struggle with the question.Flynn also refused to say whether he supported the peaceful transition of power.Read MoreTrump threw his lunch at the wall after Barr said there wasn't widespread voter fraud: ex-aideCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesA former top White House aide testified that ex-President Donald Trump threw his lunch at a wall after then-Attorney General Bill Barr told him there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud."There was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor," Cassidy Hutchinson testified on Tuesday before a House panel investigating the Captiol riot on January 6, 2021.Read Full StoryTrump said Mike Pence 'deserves it' as Capitol rioters chanted that he should be hung: ex-aideDonald Trump and former US Vice President Mike Pence in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 2, 2020, in Washington, DC.MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump defended Capitol rioters who were chanting to hang Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot, a top White House aide testified."Mike deserves it," Trump allegedly said, according to testimony from ex-aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Donald Trump also said that the rioters storming the Capitol building "weren't doing anything wrong." Read Full StoryEx-aide says top GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy warned White House officials that Trump shouldn't go to the Capitol on January 6President Donald Trump (R) speaks as he joined by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that top House Republican Kevin McCarthy called White House advisors on January 6, 2021, warning that then-president Donald Trump should not come to the US Capitol.Hutchinson told a House panel that she got a call from McCarthy after Trump's speech on the Ellipse that day. McCarthy wasn't convinced that Trump wasn't planning to make his way to the Capitol building."Well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don't come up here," she testified he said in the call.Read Full StoryTrump lunged at his driver and demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6.Former President Donald Trump.AP Photo/Joe MaioranaFormer President Donald Trump lunged at his driver and tried to grab the steering wheel on January 6, 2021, as he demanded to be taken to the Capitol building as his supporters were marching away from his speech that morning, a former aide testified.Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to the then-White House chief of staff, told a House panel investigating the Capitol riot that a Secret Service agent relayed the story of what happened to her.Hutchinson said that Trump "said something to the effect of 'I'm the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now.' "Read Full StoryTrump knew the January 6 crowd was armed, but said 'they're not here to hurt me,' aide testifiesDonald TrumpSeth Herald/Getty ImagesA former White House aide said Donald Trump knew that his supporters were armed on January 6 hours before they stormed the Capitol building."I don't fucking care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me," Trump said the morning of the insurrection at the US Capitol, according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Hutchinson said Trump was incensed that there were gaps in the crowd of his speech on January 6.Read Full StoryTrump was 'fucking furious' armed supporters couldn't get to his speech: former aideFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesAn ex-White House aide testified that President Donald Trump was "fucking furious" that people in the MAGA crowd weren't able to get to his speech on January 6, 2021 because they were carrying weapons.Trump was insistent that security remove the metal detectors outside the White House so more people with weapons could get into the grounds, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the House panel investigating the insurrection.She also quoted the president as saying: "Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here."READ FULL STORY Feds seized John Eastman's phoneJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APAnother big development emerged Monday in the widening federal criminal probe into Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.This one involves federal agents who seized the phone of John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who advised Trump during his failed bid to stop the inauguration of Joe Biden. Eastman made the feds' move public in a filing with a New Mexico federal court, seeking the return of property from the government.According to his filing, FBI agents acting on behalf of DOJ's internal watchdog stopped Eastman as he was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico on June 22, taking his phone.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson in the spotlightCassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is shown during the fifth January 6 committee hearing on June 23, 2022.Demetrius Freeman-Pool/Getty ImagesCassidy Hutchinson is the surprise lead witness for Tuesday's sixth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.The former top aide under then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is a direct witness to many of the events and discussions of interest to the panel.She's given the committee several important pieces of information, including the six GOP House members who sought pardons from Trump and that the president told Meadows he agreed with rioters demands to "hang" Vice President Mike Pence.Read Full Story Select committee announces surprise hearing.January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi speaks to reporters following the committee’s fifth hearing on June 23, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesThe Jan. 6 select committee announced it would hold a sixth hearing to start Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET during the congressional recess and despite previous statements that it would hold its next hearings in July.A committee advisory said it would present "recently obtained evidence" and feature witnesses, whom it did not name.Read Full StoryKamala Harris said she commended her vice presidential predecessor Mike Pence for 'courage' in certifying Biden as president despite Trump's pressureVice President Kamala Harris.Al Drago-Pool/Getty ImagesVice President Kamala Harris said Monday that she commended former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying Joe Biden as president on January 6 despite him facing tremendous pressure by former President Donald Trump to overturn the election. "I think that he did his job that day," Harris said in a CNN interview after reporter Dana Bash asked her whether her opinion of Pence had changed. "And I commend him for that because clearly it was under extraordinary circumstances that he should have not had to face. And I commend him for having the courage to do his job."This month the House Select Committee probing the January 6 Capitol attack has detailed how Trump tried to push Pence not to recognize Biden's victory in the days leading up to January 6, 2021. Trump wanted Pence to "send back" slates of electors for Biden back to their states in order to overturn his election loss. But Pence put out an open letter saying he didn't have the authority to take such actions, and his role in the certification process was largely ceremonial.Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy says it's 'all good' between him and Trump as the former president fumes about the lack of Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee: 'The right decision was the decision I made'Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Donald Trump.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Monday that everything is good between him and Donald Trump as the former president publicly questions whether it was wise to keep more Republicans off of the House January 6 committee."The right decision was the decision I made," McCarthy told Fox News' Dana Perino. "If other people change their opinion, read the rules and I think they'll come back to the same conclusion." The former president and McCarthy have talked recently, according to the top House Republican. When Perino asked if things were "all good?" McCarthy responded, "Oh, all good. Yes."McCarthy repeated his long-held defense of the decision, arguing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have only selected Republicans that would have fit her views. The California Republican then named three of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump as examples of people Pelosi would have supported.Read Full StoryHow to watch the House January 6 committee hearings on the Capitol attackVideo featuring former President Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is played during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Stepien, who was scheduled to testify in person, was unable to attend due to a family emergency. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Insurrection at the US Capitol is bringing to light its findings from a year's worth of work with a series of public hearings this summer. The select committee, formed in May 2021, has nine members, seven Democrats, including Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, and two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Its members and staff have spent the past year conducting hundreds of closed-door interviews, poring over hundreds of thousands of documents, and parsing phone and email records to reconstruct how President Donald Trump and his allies sought to overturn his 2020 election loss before a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the US Capitol in an effort to stop the final certification of the 2020 election. Five public hearings, including one in primetime, have already taken place, and one more hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 hearing takeaways: Pardon pleas, more Bill Barr, and a riveting account of how Trump turned to the Justice Department and a loyal lawyer to 'help legitimize his lies'TheBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)Spanning more than two hours in the late afternoon, the House January 6 committee's fifth public hearing captured the drama that unfolded inside the Justice Department and White House as Trump looked to some of the country's most senior and important law enforcement officials to help him remain in power.READ FULL STORYMatt Gaetz 'personally' pushed for a pardon from Trump 'from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things,' Trump officials testifyRepublican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida at the White House on May 8, 2020.Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee aired a series of video testimonies from former Trump administration officials detailing which Republican members of Congress sought pardons from former President Donald Trump at the end of his term as he and his allies exhausted different avenues to stay in power.Most prominently featured: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.According to various officials who spoke with the committee, Gaetz began pushing for a pardon well before other Republicans who were involved in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election."Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early December," said Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in testimony aired by the committee on Thursday.READ FULL STORYFox News cut away from the Jan. 6 hearing minutes before testimony by Trump aides about GOP lawmakers who sought pardonsPlaque at the entrance to Fox News headquarters in New YorkErik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty ImagesJust as former Department of Justice Officials were detailing how they threatened to resign en masse if former President Donald Trump went ahead with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Fox News cut away to air its previously scheduled talk show, "The Five."CNN and MSNBC aired the hearings in full, which ended with Rep. Adam Kinzinger listing six GOP lawmakers whom Trump aides testified sought pardons in the administration's final weeks.Other than the first of the five hearings so far, Fox News has carried the proceedings without commercial breaks, save for recesses during the proceedings.READ FULL STORYDOJ officials threatened to resign if Jeffrey Clark was appointed Attorney GeneralJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesTop officials at the US Department of Justice threatened to resign if former President Donald Trump succeeded in making loyalist Jeff Clark the acting Attorney General, per testimony before the January 6 committee on Thursday.Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, said that the pledge to resign was made on a phone call in the wake of reports that Trump was considering installing Clark, who at the time was promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election."They would resign en masse if the president made that change," Donoghue told the committee. "All without hesitation said they would resign."At least six GOP members of Congress sought pardons after January 6, 2021, per testimony from a former White House aideRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are charged with crimes in the Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite/APCassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified Wednesday before the January 6 House panel that at least six House members asked the White House for a pardon following the Capitol siege.According to Hutchinson, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania requested pardons.The former White House aide added that GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio asked for an "update on whether the White House is going to pardon members of Congress" but did not personally ask for one.Keep Reading Trump suggested sending letter to states alleging 2020 election fraud, a former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen testifiedFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen has already testified about Trump's efforts to pressure DOJ.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump suggested that the Justice Department send letters to state legislatures in Georgia and other states alleging that there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election despite knowing there was no such evidence.Rosen told lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection that during Trump's final days in office, the former president and his campaign suggested several strategies for the Justice Department to overturn the presidential election results. These tactics included filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, making public statements, and holding a press conference."The Justice Department declined all of those requests that I was just referencing because we did not think they were appropriate based on the facts and the law, as we understood," Rosen said.Read MoreA former Trump DOJ official testified that former President Donald Trump urged him and other officials to 'just say the election was corrupt'Notes from Richard Donoghue displayed at the January 6 committee's hearing on June 23, 2022.Screenshot / C-SPANThe January 6 committee on Thursday displayed scans of notes taken by Richard Donoghue, then the acting deputy attorney general serving out the final days of the Trump administration.One note, displayed as Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois led the committee's questioning, included an apparent plea from then-President Donald Trump to "just say the election was corrupt" and "leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen."Read Full StoryBill Barr says he's 'not sure we would have had a transition at all' to Biden if DOJ hadn't investigated Trump's baseless voter fraud claimsFormer Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald TrumpDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer Attorney General William Barr said he was "not sure we would have had a transition at all" if the Justice Department had not investigated Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud and found them baseless.In a closed-door deposition, Barr suggested to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack that Trump might not have left office voluntarily if DOJ had not proactively examined the election fraud claims ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. Read Full Story'You would be committing a felony'Eric Herschmann spoke to the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday.Senate Television via APFormer White House attorney Eric Herschmann told the committee that he brutally mocked a plan from a Trump loyalist to hijack control of the Justice Department in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election."And when he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said, 'good, fucking, excuse me, f-ing, a-hole, congratulations you just admitted that your first step or act you would take as attorney general would be committing a felony and violating rule 6c," Herschmann told the panel, per an excerpt of his previously private deposition that was released on Thursday.Read Full Story  Fast times in the CapitolActor Sean Penn and DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges at the January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2022.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinSean Penn is in the House.The actor and well known Hollywood activist made an unexpected appearance at the fifth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. "I'm just here to observe — just another citizen," Penn told a CNN reporter. "I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we're looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney is mailing instructions to Democrats on how to change parties and vote for her in Wyoming's GOP primaryU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesAs Rep. Liz Cheney faces a tough reelection battle in Wyoming, she's turning to Democrats in her home state to help her chances in the August 16 Republican primary.Cheney's campaign has mailed instructions to Wyoming Democrats on how to change their party affiliation to vote for the incumbent congresswoman, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Under Wyoming law, voters must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican in order to vote in that party's primary election. Read Full StoryFeds search home of former top Trump DOJ officialJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesWe've got a major development that surfaced Thursday into what appears to be a widening federal investigation into Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election.Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the Northern Virginia home of Jeff Clark, a former top Justice Department official who became the go-to Trump ally trying to push DOJ into backing the then-president's baseless claims about voter fraud.ABC News first reported this, and a DOJ spokesperson has since confirmed to Insider's Ryan Barber that law enforcement activity did indeed happen in the Washington DC suburb where Clark lives. The spokesperson wouldn't comment on the nature of the activity or about any specific individuals.Expect to hear Clark's name a couple times or more during Thursday's House select committee hearing as the panel examines Trump's efforts to use DOJ in his bid to stop Joe Biden from being sworn in as the country's 46th president.Read Full Story#unprecedentedA trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesHere's something that doesn't show up on the internet very often: a 30-second trailer for a new three-part documentary taking people behind the scenes of Donald Trump's presidency and the January 6 insurrection.But that's exactly what landed online late Wednesday via Discovery+, which shows footage of the new series titled "Unprecedented." The clip features Trump and his adult children Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump and closes with the ex-president himself agreeing to discuss the riot at the US Capitol. —discovery+ (@discoveryplus) June 23, 2022House January 6 investigators have the documentary footage too, courtesy of a subpoena that Politico reported about. And Trump allies were apparently in the dark about the filming, with one texting Rolling Stone: "what the fuck is this?"Read Full Story Hearings to resume at 3 p.m. ET Thursday with testimony expected from former DOJ officialsFormer Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 commission's fifth hearing is expected to start at 3 p.m. Thursday, with testimony expected from former Trump-administration Justice Department officials. They are:Jeffrey Rosen, former acting attorney generalRichard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney generalSteven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal CounselRosen served as acting attorney general in the final weeks of Trump's presidency. He previously told the committee how he came under persistent pressure from Trump to have the DOJ back Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as Insider's C. Ryan Barber reported.Toward the end of his presidency, Trump considered ousting Rosen and installing Jeffrey Clark, a supporter of the bogus voter-fraud claims, in his place, but ultimately decided not to after officials threatened to resign if he went through.Analysis: Trump shot himself in the foot by opposing a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission because now he has no allies to defend him in scathing public hearingsLawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/APAs the House's January 6 committee lays out in devastating detail Donald Trump's effort to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, the former president is turning his anger on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Trump has complained about McCarthy's decision to boycott the panel, with the former president telling the Punchbowl newsletter on Wednesday: "Republicans don't have a voice. They don't even have anything to say."But Trump has no one but himself to blame for the situation, one of his Republican critics pointed out, as he was the one who opposed the formation of a bipartisan commission equally split between Republicans and Democrats to investigate the riot. Read Full StoryTrump is hate-watching every Jan. 6 hearing and almost screams at the TV because he feels nobody is defending him, report saysDonald TrumpJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump is hate-watching the January 6 committee hearings, incensed because he believes nobody is defending him, according to The Washington Post.Trump is at "the point of about to scream at the TV" as he tunes in to each hearing, one unnamed close advisor told the paper. Another in his circle, also unnamed, told the paper that Trump continually complains that "there's no one to defend me" at the hearings, which have attracted huge amounts of media coverage.Per The Post, Trump's anger centers on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who boycotted the committee at its formation, passing up the chance to put pro-Trump figures on the panel.Read Full StoryDOJ issued subpoenas to alleged fake Trump electors and a Trump campaign official, reports sayA general view shows a House January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022.Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Justice Department expanded its investigation into the Capitol riot after issuing subpoenas to a would-be Trump elector in Georgia and a Trump campaign official who worked in Arizona and New Mexico, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Wednesday.Arizona, Georgia, and New Mexico are among the seven battleground states where a failed effort to overturn the election took place by appointing pro-Trump electors.The news comes after Rep. Adam Schiff said the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection obtained evidence that former President Donald Trump was involved in the aforementioned scheme.Read Full StoryTrump aides didn't know someone was filming Trump on January 6 until the House committee got the footage: reportsPresident Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.Andrew Harnik/AP PhotoAides to Donald Trump had no idea a documentary maker filmed the former president on January 6, 2021, until the House committee investigating that day subpoenaed the footage, reports said. The existence of the footage by UK documentarian Alex Holder was first reported by Politico on Tuesday.The outlet said that Holder complied with the House committee request and handed over several months of footage of Trump up to and including January 6. The New York Times reported that many top Trump advisors were surprised by news of the project, which was known to only a small circle of close Trump aides.Read Full StoryIvanka Trump claimed to believe Trump's false voter-fraud theories but later told Jan. 6 panel she didn't, report saysIvanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump claimed to believe former President Donald Trump's false voter-fraud theories in a December 2020 interview, directly contradicting her testimony to congressional investigators earlier this year, a new report says.In April 2022, Trump had told the House committee investigating the Capitol riot that she had "accepted" former Attorney General Bill Barr's assessment that Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were wrong.But according to The New York Times, Ivanka Trump told the documentary filmmaker Alex Holder on December 10, 2020 — nine days after Barr made the assessment that supposedly swayed her — that she supported her father's efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.She said Trump should "continue to fight" the 2020 election results because Americans were questioning the "sanctity of our elections."Read Full StoryElection worker testifies that conspiracy theorists tried to citizen's arrest her grandmother after lies from Trump, GiulianiWandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman, right, during the House January 6 committee's hearing.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinA Georgia election worker testified that her grandmother faced a citizen's arrest by a group of election deniers who tried pushing their way into her house due to election lies told by former President Donald Trump and former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, told lawmakers during a January 6 select committee hearing that she and her mother Ruby Freeman, who worked as a short-term election worker in 2020, were among the workers counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. When Giuliani and Trump accused those workers of orchestrating election fraud, Moss said her family faced death threats and were pushed out of town, living in Airbnbs for two months around January 6 at the FBI's recommendation.Moss said she endured racist harassment as well, adding that a group of people influenced by the election conspiracies showed up to her grandmother's house and tried to perform a citizen's arrest.Read Full StoryWhere's Pat Cipollone?Former White House Counsel Pat CipolloneAlex Wong/Getty ImagesPaging Pat Cipollone.The former White House counsel under then-President Donald Trump is now front and center as a top witness the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection still wants to hear from.That's according to Rep. Liz Cheney, who publicly called Tuesday for Cipollone to testify about evidence the committee has collected showing that he "tried to do what was right" as  Trump pushed to overturn the 2020 election.Cheney also noted that the House panel is also "certain" Trump doesn't want Cipollone to testify. His previous job as Trump's top White House attorney could complicate the matter, though as Insider's Ryan Barber points out in his story, Bill Barr did participate in its investigation.Read Full StorySexualized texts, a break-in and doxxingsGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is sworn in to testify on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTuesday's House select committee featured jaw-dropping testimony from election officials who detailed the threats they faced after refusing to go along with then President Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 election results.One big dose of it came from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who explained how he received texts from all over the US and eventually his wife became a target of harassment too. "My wife started getting the texts and hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting," Raffensperger said during his testimony before the January 6 committee. "You have to understand that Trish and I met in high school and we have been married over 40 years now. They started going after her I think to probably put pressure on me: 'Why don't you just quit and walk away?'" Raffensperger also testified about Trump supporters who broke into the home of his daughter-in-law, a widow with two children. And he said his phone and email were doxxed, meaning that someone had posted the number and email publicly so that people would message him. Read Full StoryDeath threatsWandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is sworn in before January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA Black former Georgia election worker delivered stark testimony on Tuesday about the racist and deadly threats that came when President Donald Trump publicly attacked her and her mother amid his drive to overturn the 2020 election results.Insider's Bryan Metzger has more on the remarks from Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss, a veteran election official in Fulton County who ended up on the receiving end of myriad threats after Rudy Giuliani specifically named her and her mom when speaking to the Georgia state Senate."They included threats, a lot of threats wishing death upon me," Moss said. "Telling me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother, and saying things like, 'Be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.'" Read Full Story'We were just kind of useful idiots'Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on April 23, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty Images"We were just kind of useful idiots, or rubes at that point."That's a quote from former Donald Trump 2020 campaign staffer Robert Sinner describing to the House January 6 investigators his displeasure with a scheme to overturn now-President Joe Biden's 2020 victory in Georgia.Sinner's remarks were broadcast in a video recording shown during Tuesday's select committee hearing, Insider's John Dorman reports.Read Full Story Suspicious package found outside House hearing roomThe House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection.Photo by Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty ImagesThe House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection kept on going Tuesday despite a suspicious package being found right outside the hearing room where the panel was meeting.Insider's Lauren Frias reported that the US Capitol Police officials did issue an all-clear about an hour after first sending out its alert. The police advised staff and visitors on the premises to stay away from the area during the incident. A Fox News producer tweeted that the package appeared to be an unattended backpack on top of a walker outside of the House building.Read Full Story'Do not give that to him'Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and former Vice President Mike Pence.Drew Angerer and Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Sen. Ron Johnson sought to deliver a slate of "alternate" electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the counting of votes during a Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.That's according to a series of eye-catching text messages first displayed by the January 6 committee on Tuesday, Insider's Bryan Metzger reported."Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise," Sean Riley, Johnson's chief of staff, wrote of the materials that were related to "alternate" electors from two contested Midwestern states that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had narrowly carried: Michigan and Wisconsin. "What is it?" replied Chris Hodgson, a legislative aide to Pence."Alternate slate of elector for MI and WI because archivist didn't receive them," Riley replied."Do not give that to him," Hodgson replied.Read Full StoryRudy admitted to not having election fraud evidenceRudy Giuliani, former lawyer for President Donald Trump.William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesRudy Giuliani admitted to not having any evidence of election fraud after the 2020 presidential election despite repeatedly claiming he did, according to the Republican speaker of the Arizona state House."My recollection, he said, 'We've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence,'" Russell "Rusty" Bowers, the Arizona official, said in describing a conversation with then-President Donald Trump's personal attorney.Bowers, a Trump supporter, was testifying on Tuesday before the House January 6 select committee to recount his interactions with Giuliani and the Trump legal team surrounding the events of the last presidential election.He called the Trump team "a tragic parody" and compared them to the 1971 comedy "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight."Read Full Story A very real threat to the 2022 midtermsCouy Griffin, a central figure in a New Mexico county's refusal to certify recent election results based on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines, has avoided more jail time for joining the mob that attacked the US Capitol.AP Photo/Gemunu AmarasingheThe House select committee's January 6 hearings have spotlighted the very real threat to future US elections, including the midterms coming up this November.That's the big takeaway from a story by Insider's Grace Panetta published Tuesday that looks at how a court had to intercede after New Mexico county commission initially refused to certify results from the state's June 7 primary."The election denial movement pushed by Trump and his allies that spurred so many to attack the Capitol on January 6 has now fanned out to county commissions, town halls, and polling places around the country, presenting wholly novel burdens on election officials and new threats to the health of American democracy," Grace wrote.Read Full StoryTrump is ready to abandon attorney John Eastman after he was criticized in committee hearings, report saysJohn Eastman at a pro-Trump rally on January 6, 2021.Jim Bourg/ReutersFormer President Donald Trump sees no reason to defend the conservative attorney John Eastman, Rolling Stone reported.The decision the outlet relayed came in light of the heavy scrutiny of Eastman in the Congressional Jan. 6 committee hearings, which detailed his role helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.Eastman wrote a memo detailing a last-ditch plan for Vice President Mike Pence to block Joe Biden's certification as president on January 6, 2021, at the Congressional proceeding which was interrupted by the Capitol riot.Citing two sources close to Trump, the outlet reported that the committee's focus on Eastman in its public hearings had bothered Trump, and that Trump has started distancing himself from the attorney.READ FULL STORYFull list of witness testifying on June 21Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers is among those scheduled to testify in the committee's June 21 hearing.AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, FileInsider's Warren Rojas has a roster of those scheduled to appear in the committee's public hearings. See the full list below.Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee subpoenas filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the riotTrump speaks to supporters from the Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee sent a subpoena to Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the Capitol riot, Politico's Playbook newsletter reported Tuesday.The existence of this footage had never been reported before, and Holder is expected to fully cooperate with the panel, Playbook reported.Holder also spent several months interviewing members of Trump's family, including his children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Playbook reported.The subpoena asked Holder to provide any raw footage he might have from the Capitol riot and interviews with Trump, his family, and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as any footage he has of discussions about voter fraud in the 2020 election.Trump boasts he's been impeached twice and screams 'nothing matters!' amid ongoing January 6 hearingsFormer President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Friday bragged that he was impeached twice, while recycling his false claims about the 2020 election and attacking former Vice President Mike Pence and former Attorney General William Barr.Delivering a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Nashville, the former president said Pence didn't have the courage to embrace his effort to overturn the election and mocked Barr for being "afraid" of getting impeached."What's wrong with being impeached? I got impeached twice and my poll numbers went up," Trump said.Read Full StoryGinni Thomas says she 'can't wait' to talk to Jan. 6 committee after it asks for interview over her efforts to overturn 2020 electionGinni ThomasChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesGinni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said she "can't wait' to talk to the House January 6 commission after it asked to interview her over her efforts to overturn the 2020 election."I can't wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them," Thomas told the right-wing news site The Daily Caller. She did not say what those misconceptions might be.Her comments come after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot announced that it had requested an interview with her. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairman, said the panel wanted to talk to her "soon," Axios reported.Thomas faces scrutiny over her connections to former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Read Full StoryEven on the day of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still doubtful if Mike Pence had the power to overturn the election, says ex-Trump lawyerRudy Giuliani.Jacquelyn Martin/APEric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, revealed on Thursday that even on the morning of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still debating whether then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the votes in the 2020 election. Herschmann's testimony was aired on Thursday during the third of six public hearings organized by the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot. Thursday's session centered on the pressure exerted by the Trump camp in a bid to get Pence to overturn the vote.Herschmann said he received a call "out of the blue" from Giuliani on the morning of January 6, 2021, concerning what Pence's role would be that day."And, you know, he was asking me my view and analysis and then the practical implications of it," Herschmann said, who described the call as an "intellectual discussion." "And when we finished, he said, like, 'I believe that, you know, you're probably right.'" Read Full StoryMike Pence's former lawyer said he warned Trump's camp that overturning votes would lead to the 2020 election being 'decided in the streets'Then-US President Donald Trump arrives with then- Vice President Mike Pence for a "Make America Great Again" rally in Michigan on November 2, 2020.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesA lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence said that he strongly disagreed with conservative lawyer John Eastman about the Trump camp's plan to overturn the 2020 election result and warned Eastman that it might lead to violence in the streets.Testifying on Thursday before the January 6 panel investigating the Capitol riot, Greg Jacob said he had spoken to Eastman on January 5, 2021. During their conversation, Jacob said he expressed his "vociferous disagreement" with the plan for Pence to overturn the electoral vote on behalf of former President Donald Trump and send the votes back to their respective states. "Among other things, if the courts did not step in to resolve this, there was nobody else to resolve it," Jacob testified. Read Full StoryDemocracy on the brinkPeople arrive before a hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.Drew Angerer/Pool Photo via APAmerican democracy was on the brink like no time ever before.That's the lede paragraph from Insider's Grace Panetta in her story that sums up the biggest takeaways from Thursday's historic and marathon third public hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Grace writes that the two lead witnesses, Greg Jacob and Michael Luttig, were steeped in legal expertise and constitutional scholarship as they explained at a granular and methodical level why neither the Electoral Count Act nor the 12th Amendment permitted then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.Then-President Donald Trump and one of his personal legal advisors, John Eastman, were pushing the vice president to do exactly that in a break with all of US history. Read Full StoryMAGA world a "clear and present danger to American democracy"Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, looks at Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, as he testifies before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoFormer President Donald Trump and his supporters remain a "clear and present danger to American democracy."Those were the startling words of Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who has long been championed by Republicans. He made them near the end of Thursday's marathon House select committee hearing into the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Luttig, who advised then-Vice President Mike Pence about his ceremonial role on January 6, also went on to say Trump world is being more than blunt about its plans to manipulate the results of the next election for the White House. "The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 in open and plain view of the American public," Luttig testified, per Insider's Warren Rojas. Read Full Story'1 more relatively minor violation' of election law...please?Former Trump legal adviser John EastmanAP Photo/Susan WalshIt's perhaps one of the biggest bombshells to come out of Thursday's House select committee hearing on the Capitol insurrection: a Trump lawyer putting in writing a request to break the law.The no-no came from John Eastman, who sent an email at 11:44 p.m. on the night of January 6, 2021, repeated his demand that Vice President Mike Pence halt the proceedings to certify the 2020 election and send it back to the states for a period of 10 days."So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here," Eastman wrote to Pence lawyer Greg Jacob.Insider's Jake Lahut writes that the Eastman email was sent after Jacob and the then-vice president's staff and family, had been sheltering in place in a secure location during the riot.Read Full StoryEastman asked Giuliani to be added to Trump's pardon listJohn Eastman appeared onstage with Rudy Giuliani at the pro-Trump rally that preceded the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Jim Bourg/ReutersThe House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol made some news on Thursday by disclosing evidence that conservative lawyer John Eastman wanted to get added to lame-duck President Donald Trump's pardon list.Eastman was pushing to overturn the 2020 election, and as Insider's Oma Seddiq reports, his efforts prompted an email to personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. "I've decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," Eastman wrote  to Giuliani, according to Rep. Pete Aguilar, a lawmaker on the January 6 panel who read the email during Thursday's hearing. Eastman ultimately did not receive a pardon. Read Full StoryAides say Trump called Pence 'P-word' and 'wimp' on Jan. 6 callTrump and Pence at a White House event on July 13, 2020.AP Photo/Evan VucciThe language got pretty profane in the White House on the morning of January 6, 2021, Insider's Bryan Metzger reports.That's according to former aides who testified to the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection about a call then-President Donald Trump made to Mike Pence, his vice president."I remember hearing the word 'wimp'. Either he called him a wimp — I don't remember if he said, 'you are a wimp, you'll be a wimp' — wimp is the word I remember," said Nicholas Luna, a former assistant to Trump.Julie Radford, who served as Ivanka Trump's chief of staff, told the committee that Ivanka told her that the president "just had an upsetting conversation with the Vice President" in which he called Pence "the P-word."Read Full Story'Secret' MAGA back channel Jan. 6 investigators are teasing is also Oath Keepers' legal defenseStewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, on June 25, 2017.Susan Walsh/APThe House January 6 investigators keep on teasing how there'll soon be upcoming testimony that reveals secret coordination between Trumpworld and extremist groups.But as Insider's Laura Italiano points out in a new story, the Oath Keepers have long boasted of such a back channel.In fact, leader and founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes and other members of the pro-Trump militia are staking their seditious-conspiracy defense case on these yet-described communications with rally organizers.Read Full StoryCruz wanted the ex-judge testifying against Trump as a SCOTUS justiceRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired Judge Michael Luttig.AP Photos/Manuel Balce Ceneta and Susan WalshThere's an interesting twist to the retired conservative federal Judge Michael Luttig testifying as a key witness in Thursday's January 6 committee hearing.Insider's Bryan Metzger dug up video from the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates showing Luttig was once named by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as an ideal Supreme Court nominee.—bryan metzger (@metzgov) June 16, 2022 Bryan writes that it was "yet another example of just how much former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results has divided the conservative legal world."Read Full Story   DOJ: House's 'failure' to share transcripts hurting Jan. 6 investigationsTrump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesMore public tension is emerging between the Justice Department and the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Insider's Ryan Barber has the details on a new letter sent Wednesday from the top US attorney in Washington DC to the House panel. There, the DOJ official says that the House panel has complicated criminal cases with its 'failure' to turn over interview transcripts to prosecutions.DOJ is looking for access to more than 1,000 interviews the congressional panel has conducted during its months-long examination of the Capitol attack and former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election.Read Full StoryJudge Luttig: If Pence tossed valid electoral votes it would have been 'a revolution'Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, testifies Thursday to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.AP Photo/Susan WalshSome really powerful testimony to start Thursday's January 6 select committee hearing from former federal judge J. Michael Luttig.In his opening remarks, he told the panel investigating the insurrection at the US Capitol that Vice President Mike Pence overturning the 2020 election would've pushed the country into 'the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic.'"That declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have launched America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America which in my view would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the Republic," Luttig told lawmakers during a hearing Thursday. Read Full StoryFormer Pence counsel says 'the law is not a plaything' for presidentsVice President Mike PenceScott J. Applewhite/APMike Pence's former counsel Greg Jacob is a lead witness in Thursday's third public hearing for the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.In his written statement submitted before the hearing, Jacob called serving the vice president "the honor of a lifetime," while also warning that the rule of law is "not a plaything" for political leaders to bend per their whim."The law is not a plaything for presidents or judges to use to remake the world in their preferred image," he wrote. "Our Constitution and our laws form the strong edifice within which our heartfelt policy disagreements are to be debated and decided."Insider's Grace Panetta has more on Jacob's testimony and spells out why he was a key figure in rebuffing the intense pressure campaign and efforts to compel Pence to obstruct or meddle with the count. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 committee says it will 'soon' seek interview with Ginni ThomasConservative activist Ginni Thomas and January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.AP Photos/Susan Walsh and J. Scott ApplewhiteConservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, should be expecting an interview request soon from the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol."We think it's time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee," Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the panel, told Axios' Andrew Solender. He added that the invitation would come "soon."Thomas has recently come under scrutiny for her role in seeking to overturn the 2020 election, including emailing Trump lawyer John Eastman and pressuring 29 state legislators in Arizona to overturn the state's 2020 election results.Read Full Story  Meet the former Trump attorney starring in the January 6 hearingEric Herschmann, former White House attorney, speaks with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 13, 2022.(House Select Committee via APAnyone remember Eric Herschmann? The White House attorney burst into the national spotlight defending President Donald Trump during his first Senate impeachment trial way back in the early pre-pandemic days of 2020.Now he's back, but for a very different reason.That's the story that Oma Seddiq just delivered for Insider readers ahead of Thursday's House January 6 hearing profiling Herschmann. He's been in the news as video clips make the rounds of his testimony where he talks about warning Trump and his allies after the presidential election that there was no proof the race was rigged and stolen, and their efforts may be illegal. In addition to his colorful language, Herschmann has drawn notice because he gave his deposition in a room with a baseball bat hanging on the wall and the word "JUSTICE" inscribed on it in bold, white letters. Observers also have noted a large painting behind him of a panda, by the artist Rob Pruitt, is similar to one that appeared in the 2015 erotic drama "50 Shades of Grey."Read Full StoryNick Quested explains how it felt to testify before the January 6 committeeBritish filmmaker Nick Queste.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Trump knew the January 6 crowd was armed but still wanted metal detectors removed, former White House aide testifies

The House select committee is investigating the Capitol riot and the role Donald Trump and his allies played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Lawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/AP The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is holding a surprise hearing at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide under former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, is testifying. Trump knew the MAGA crowd on January 6 was armed, Hutchinson testified on Tuesday.  Trump was 'fucking furious' armed supporters couldn't get to his speech: former aideFormer White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesAn ex-White House aide testified that President Donald Trump was "fucking furious" that people in the MAGA crowd weren't able to get to his speech on January 6, 2021 because they were carrying weapons."I don't fucking care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me," Trump said the morning of the insurrection at the US Capitol, according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.Trump was also insistent that security remove the metal detectors outside the White House so more people with weapons could get into the grounds, Hutchinson told the House panel investigating the insurrection. She also quoted the president as saying: "Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here."READ FULL STORY Feds seized John Eastman's phoneJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APAnother big development emerged Monday in the widening federal criminal probe into Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.This one involves federal agents who seized the phone of John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who advised Trump during his failed bid to stop the inauguration of Joe Biden. Eastman made the feds' move public in a filing with a New Mexico federal court, seeking the return of property from the government.According to his filing, FBI agents acting on behalf of DOJ's internal watchdog stopped Eastman as he was leaving a restaurant in New Mexico on June 22, taking his phone.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson in the spotlightCassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is shown during the fifth January 6 committee hearing on June 23, 2022.Demetrius Freeman-Pool/Getty ImagesCassidy Hutchinson is the surprise lead witness for Tuesday's sixth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.The former top aide under then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is a direct witness to many of the events and discussions of interest to the panel.She's given the committee several important pieces of information, including the six GOP House members who sought pardons from Trump and that the president told Meadows he agreed with rioters demands to "hang" Vice President Mike Pence.Read Full Story Select committee announces surprise hearing.January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi speaks to reporters following the committee’s fifth hearing on June 23, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesThe Jan. 6 select committee announced it would hold a sixth hearing to start Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET during the congressional recess and despite previous statements that it would hold its next hearings in July.A committee advisory said it would present "recently obtained evidence" and feature witnesses, whom it did not name.Read Full StoryKamala Harris said she commended her vice presidential predecessor Mike Pence for 'courage' in certifying Biden as president despite Trump's pressureVice President Kamala Harris.Al Drago-Pool/Getty ImagesVice President Kamala Harris said Monday that she commended former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying Joe Biden as president on January 6 despite him facing tremendous pressure by former President Donald Trump to overturn the election. "I think that he did his job that day," Harris said in a CNN interview after reporter Dana Bash asked her whether her opinion of Pence had changed. "And I commend him for that because clearly it was under extraordinary circumstances that he should have not had to face. And I commend him for having the courage to do his job."This month the House Select Committee probing the January 6 Capitol attack has detailed how Trump tried to push Pence not to recognize Biden's victory in the days leading up to January 6, 2021. Trump wanted Pence to "send back" slates of electors for Biden back to their states in order to overturn his election loss. But Pence put out an open letter saying he didn't have the authority to take such actions, and his role in the certification process was largely ceremonial.Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy says it's 'all good' between him and Trump as the former president fumes about the lack of Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee: 'The right decision was the decision I made'Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Donald Trump.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/POOL/Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Monday that everything is good between him and Donald Trump as the former president publicly questions whether it was wise to keep more Republicans off of the House January 6 committee."The right decision was the decision I made," McCarthy told Fox News' Dana Perino. "If other people change their opinion, read the rules and I think they'll come back to the same conclusion." The former president and McCarthy have talked recently, according to the top House Republican. When Perino asked if things were "all good?" McCarthy responded, "Oh, all good. Yes."McCarthy repeated his long-held defense of the decision, arguing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have only selected Republicans that would have fit her views. The California Republican then named three of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump as examples of people Pelosi would have supported.Read Full StoryHow to watch the House January 6 committee hearings on the Capitol attackVideo featuring former President Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is played during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Stepien, who was scheduled to testify in person, was unable to attend due to a family emergency. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House Select Committee Investigating the January 6 Insurrection at the US Capitol is bringing to light its findings from a year's worth of work with a series of public hearings this summer. The select committee, formed in May 2021, has nine members, seven Democrats, including Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, and two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Its members and staff have spent the past year conducting hundreds of closed-door interviews, poring over hundreds of thousands of documents, and parsing phone and email records to reconstruct how President Donald Trump and his allies sought to overturn his 2020 election loss before a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the US Capitol in an effort to stop the final certification of the 2020 election. Five public hearings, including one in primetime, have already taken place, and one more hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 hearing takeaways: Pardon pleas, more Bill Barr, and a riveting account of how Trump turned to the Justice Department and a loyal lawyer to 'help legitimize his lies'TheBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)Spanning more than two hours in the late afternoon, the House January 6 committee's fifth public hearing captured the drama that unfolded inside the Justice Department and White House as Trump looked to some of the country's most senior and important law enforcement officials to help him remain in power.READ FULL STORYMatt Gaetz 'personally' pushed for a pardon from Trump 'from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things,' Trump officials testifyRepublican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida at the White House on May 8, 2020.Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee aired a series of video testimonies from former Trump administration officials detailing which Republican members of Congress sought pardons from former President Donald Trump at the end of his term as he and his allies exhausted different avenues to stay in power.Most prominently featured: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.According to various officials who spoke with the committee, Gaetz began pushing for a pardon well before other Republicans who were involved in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election."Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early December," said Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in testimony aired by the committee on Thursday.READ FULL STORYFox News cut away from the Jan. 6 hearing minutes before testimony by Trump aides about GOP lawmakers who sought pardonsPlaque at the entrance to Fox News headquarters in New YorkErik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty ImagesJust as former Department of Justice Officials were detailing how they threatened to resign en masse if former President Donald Trump went ahead with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Fox News cut away to air its previously scheduled talk show, "The Five."CNN and MSNBC aired the hearings in full, which ended with Rep. Adam Kinzinger listing six GOP lawmakers whom Trump aides testified sought pardons in the administration's final weeks.Other than the first of the five hearings so far, Fox News has carried the proceedings without commercial breaks, save for recesses during the proceedings.READ FULL STORYDOJ officials threatened to resign if Jeffrey Clark was appointed Attorney GeneralJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesTop officials at the US Department of Justice threatened to resign if former President Donald Trump succeeded in making loyalist Jeff Clark the acting Attorney General, per testimony before the January 6 committee on Thursday.Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, said that the pledge to resign was made on a phone call in the wake of reports that Trump was considering installing Clark, who at the time was promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election."They would resign en masse if the president made that change," Donoghue told the committee. "All without hesitation said they would resign."At least six GOP members of Congress sought pardons after January 6, 2021, per testimony from a former White House aideRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference about the treatment of people being held in the District of Columbia jail who are charged with crimes in the Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite/APCassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified Wednesday before the January 6 House panel that at least six House members asked the White House for a pardon following the Capitol siege.According to Hutchinson, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania requested pardons.The former White House aide added that GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio asked for an "update on whether the White House is going to pardon members of Congress" but did not personally ask for one.Keep Reading Trump suggested sending letter to states alleging 2020 election fraud, a former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen testifiedFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen has already testified about Trump's efforts to pressure DOJ.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesFormer acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump suggested that the Justice Department send letters to state legislatures in Georgia and other states alleging that there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election despite knowing there was no such evidence.Rosen told lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection that during Trump's final days in office, the former president and his campaign suggested several strategies for the Justice Department to overturn the presidential election results. These tactics included filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, making public statements, and holding a press conference."The Justice Department declined all of those requests that I was just referencing because we did not think they were appropriate based on the facts and the law, as we understood," Rosen said.Read MoreA former Trump DOJ official testified that former President Donald Trump urged him and other officials to 'just say the election was corrupt'Notes from Richard Donoghue displayed at the January 6 committee's hearing on June 23, 2022.Screenshot / C-SPANThe January 6 committee on Thursday displayed scans of notes taken by Richard Donoghue, then the acting deputy attorney general serving out the final days of the Trump administration.One note, displayed as Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois led the committee's questioning, included an apparent plea from then-President Donald Trump to "just say the election was corrupt" and "leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen."Read Full StoryBill Barr says he's 'not sure we would have had a transition at all' to Biden if DOJ hadn't investigated Trump's baseless voter fraud claimsFormer Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald TrumpDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer Attorney General William Barr said he was "not sure we would have had a transition at all" if the Justice Department had not investigated Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud and found them baseless.In a closed-door deposition, Barr suggested to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack that Trump might not have left office voluntarily if DOJ had not proactively examined the election fraud claims ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. Read Full Story'You would be committing a felony'Eric Herschmann spoke to the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday.Senate Television via APFormer White House attorney Eric Herschmann told the committee that he brutally mocked a plan from a Trump loyalist to hijack control of the Justice Department in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election."And when he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said, 'good, fucking, excuse me, f-ing, a-hole, congratulations you just admitted that your first step or act you would take as attorney general would be committing a felony and violating rule 6c," Herschmann told the panel, per an excerpt of his previously private deposition that was released on Thursday.Read Full Story  Fast times in the CapitolActor Sean Penn and DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges at the January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2022.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinSean Penn is in the House.The actor and well known Hollywood activist made an unexpected appearance at the fifth hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. "I'm just here to observe — just another citizen," Penn told a CNN reporter. "I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we're looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney is mailing instructions to Democrats on how to change parties and vote for her in Wyoming's GOP primaryU.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesAs Rep. Liz Cheney faces a tough reelection battle in Wyoming, she's turning to Democrats in her home state to help her chances in the August 16 Republican primary.Cheney's campaign has mailed instructions to Wyoming Democrats on how to change their party affiliation to vote for the incumbent congresswoman, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Under Wyoming law, voters must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican in order to vote in that party's primary election. Read Full StoryFeds search home of former top Trump DOJ officialJeff ClarkYuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesWe've got a major development that surfaced Thursday into what appears to be a widening federal investigation into Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election.Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the Northern Virginia home of Jeff Clark, a former top Justice Department official who became the go-to Trump ally trying to push DOJ into backing the then-president's baseless claims about voter fraud.ABC News first reported this, and a DOJ spokesperson has since confirmed to Insider's Ryan Barber that law enforcement activity did indeed happen in the Washington DC suburb where Clark lives. The spokesperson wouldn't comment on the nature of the activity or about any specific individuals.Expect to hear Clark's name a couple times or more during Thursday's House select committee hearing as the panel examines Trump's efforts to use DOJ in his bid to stop Joe Biden from being sworn in as the country's 46th president.Read Full Story#unprecedentedA trailer for a documentary that centers on Trump and January 6 was released by Discovery Plus.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesHere's something that doesn't show up on the internet very often: a 30-second trailer for a new three-part documentary taking people behind the scenes of Donald Trump's presidency and the January 6 insurrection.But that's exactly what landed online late Wednesday via Discovery+, which shows footage of the new series titled "Unprecedented." The clip features Trump and his adult children Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump and closes with the ex-president himself agreeing to discuss the riot at the US Capitol. —discovery+ (@discoveryplus) June 23, 2022House January 6 investigators have the documentary footage too, courtesy of a subpoena that Politico reported about. And Trump allies were apparently in the dark about the filming, with one texting Rolling Stone: "what the fuck is this?"Read Full Story Hearings to resume at 3 p.m. ET Thursday with testimony expected from former DOJ officialsFormer Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty ImagesThe January 6 commission's fifth hearing is expected to start at 3 p.m. Thursday, with testimony expected from former Trump-administration Justice Department officials. They are:Jeffrey Rosen, former acting attorney generalRichard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney generalSteven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal CounselRosen served as acting attorney general in the final weeks of Trump's presidency. He previously told the committee how he came under persistent pressure from Trump to have the DOJ back Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as Insider's C. Ryan Barber reported.Toward the end of his presidency, Trump considered ousting Rosen and installing Jeffrey Clark, a supporter of the bogus voter-fraud claims, in his place, but ultimately decided not to after officials threatened to resign if he went through.Analysis: Trump shot himself in the foot by opposing a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission because now he has no allies to defend him in scathing public hearingsLawmakers listen as an image of a Trump campaign donation banner is shown behind them during a House January 6 committee hearing.Susan Walsh/APAs the House's January 6 committee lays out in devastating detail Donald Trump's effort to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, the former president is turning his anger on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Trump has complained about McCarthy's decision to boycott the panel, with the former president telling the Punchbowl newsletter on Wednesday: "Republicans don't have a voice. They don't even have anything to say."But Trump has no one but himself to blame for the situation, one of his Republican critics pointed out, as he was the one who opposed the formation of a bipartisan commission equally split between Republicans and Democrats to investigate the riot. Read Full StoryTrump is hate-watching every Jan. 6 hearing and almost screams at the TV because he feels nobody is defending him, report saysDonald TrumpJoe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump is hate-watching the January 6 committee hearings, incensed because he believes nobody is defending him, according to The Washington Post.Trump is at "the point of about to scream at the TV" as he tunes in to each hearing, one unnamed close advisor told the paper. Another in his circle, also unnamed, told the paper that Trump continually complains that "there's no one to defend me" at the hearings, which have attracted huge amounts of media coverage.Per The Post, Trump's anger centers on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who boycotted the committee at its formation, passing up the chance to put pro-Trump figures on the panel.Read Full StoryDOJ issued subpoenas to alleged fake Trump electors and a Trump campaign official, reports sayA general view shows a House January 6 committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022.Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Justice Department expanded its investigation into the Capitol riot after issuing subpoenas to a would-be Trump elector in Georgia and a Trump campaign official who worked in Arizona and New Mexico, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Wednesday.Arizona, Georgia, and New Mexico are among the seven battleground states where a failed effort to overturn the election took place by appointing pro-Trump electors.The news comes after Rep. Adam Schiff said the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection obtained evidence that former President Donald Trump was involved in the aforementioned scheme.Read Full StoryTrump aides didn't know someone was filming Trump on January 6 until the House committee got the footage: reportsPresident Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.Andrew Harnik/AP PhotoAides to Donald Trump had no idea a documentary maker filmed the former president on January 6, 2021, until the House committee investigating that day subpoenaed the footage, reports said. The existence of the footage by UK documentarian Alex Holder was first reported by Politico on Tuesday.The outlet said that Holder complied with the House committee request and handed over several months of footage of Trump up to and including January 6. The New York Times reported that many top Trump advisors were surprised by news of the project, which was known to only a small circle of close Trump aides.Read Full StoryIvanka Trump claimed to believe Trump's false voter-fraud theories but later told Jan. 6 panel she didn't, report saysIvanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump claimed to believe former President Donald Trump's false voter-fraud theories in a December 2020 interview, directly contradicting her testimony to congressional investigators earlier this year, a new report says.In April 2022, Trump had told the House committee investigating the Capitol riot that she had "accepted" former Attorney General Bill Barr's assessment that Donald Trump's claims of election fraud were wrong.But according to The New York Times, Ivanka Trump told the documentary filmmaker Alex Holder on December 10, 2020 — nine days after Barr made the assessment that supposedly swayed her — that she supported her father's efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.She said Trump should "continue to fight" the 2020 election results because Americans were questioning the "sanctity of our elections."Read Full StoryElection worker testifies that conspiracy theorists tried to citizen's arrest her grandmother after lies from Trump, GiulianiWandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman, right, during the House January 6 committee's hearing.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinA Georgia election worker testified that her grandmother faced a citizen's arrest by a group of election deniers who tried pushing their way into her house due to election lies told by former President Donald Trump and former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, an election worker in Fulton County, Georgia, told lawmakers during a January 6 select committee hearing that she and her mother Ruby Freeman, who worked as a short-term election worker in 2020, were among the workers counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. When Giuliani and Trump accused those workers of orchestrating election fraud, Moss said her family faced death threats and were pushed out of town, living in Airbnbs for two months around January 6 at the FBI's recommendation.Moss said she endured racist harassment as well, adding that a group of people influenced by the election conspiracies showed up to her grandmother's house and tried to perform a citizen's arrest.Read Full StoryWhere's Pat Cipollone?Former White House Counsel Pat CipolloneAlex Wong/Getty ImagesPaging Pat Cipollone.The former White House counsel under then-President Donald Trump is now front and center as a top witness the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection still wants to hear from.That's according to Rep. Liz Cheney, who publicly called Tuesday for Cipollone to testify about evidence the committee has collected showing that he "tried to do what was right" as  Trump pushed to overturn the 2020 election.Cheney also noted that the House panel is also "certain" Trump doesn't want Cipollone to testify. His previous job as Trump's top White House attorney could complicate the matter, though as Insider's Ryan Barber points out in his story, Bill Barr did participate in its investigation.Read Full StorySexualized texts, a break-in and doxxingsGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is sworn in to testify on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTuesday's House select committee featured jaw-dropping testimony from election officials who detailed the threats they faced after refusing to go along with then President Donald Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 election results.One big dose of it came from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who explained how he received texts from all over the US and eventually his wife became a target of harassment too. "My wife started getting the texts and hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting," Raffensperger said during his testimony before the January 6 committee. "You have to understand that Trish and I met in high school and we have been married over 40 years now. They started going after her I think to probably put pressure on me: 'Why don't you just quit and walk away?'" Raffensperger also testified about Trump supporters who broke into the home of his daughter-in-law, a widow with two children. And he said his phone and email were doxxed, meaning that someone had posted the number and email publicly so that people would message him. Read Full StoryDeath threatsWandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is sworn in before January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesA Black former Georgia election worker delivered stark testimony on Tuesday about the racist and deadly threats that came when President Donald Trump publicly attacked her and her mother amid his drive to overturn the 2020 election results.Insider's Bryan Metzger has more on the remarks from Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss, a veteran election official in Fulton County who ended up on the receiving end of myriad threats after Rudy Giuliani specifically named her and her mom when speaking to the Georgia state Senate."They included threats, a lot of threats wishing death upon me," Moss said. "Telling me that, you know, I'll be in jail with my mother, and saying things like, 'Be glad it's 2020 and not 1920.'" Read Full Story'We were just kind of useful idiots'Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on April 23, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty Images"We were just kind of useful idiots, or rubes at that point."That's a quote from former Donald Trump 2020 campaign staffer Robert Sinner describing to the House January 6 investigators his displeasure with a scheme to overturn now-President Joe Biden's 2020 victory in Georgia.Sinner's remarks were broadcast in a video recording shown during Tuesday's select committee hearing, Insider's John Dorman reports.Read Full Story Suspicious package found outside House hearing roomThe House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection.Photo by Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty ImagesThe House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection kept on going Tuesday despite a suspicious package being found right outside the hearing room where the panel was meeting.Insider's Lauren Frias reported that the US Capitol Police officials did issue an all-clear about an hour after first sending out its alert. The police advised staff and visitors on the premises to stay away from the area during the incident. A Fox News producer tweeted that the package appeared to be an unattended backpack on top of a walker outside of the House building.Read Full Story'Do not give that to him'Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and former Vice President Mike Pence.Drew Angerer and Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Sen. Ron Johnson sought to deliver a slate of "alternate" electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the counting of votes during a Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.That's according to a series of eye-catching text messages first displayed by the January 6 committee on Tuesday, Insider's Bryan Metzger reported."Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise," Sean Riley, Johnson's chief of staff, wrote of the materials that were related to "alternate" electors from two contested Midwestern states that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had narrowly carried: Michigan and Wisconsin. "What is it?" replied Chris Hodgson, a legislative aide to Pence."Alternate slate of elector for MI and WI because archivist didn't receive them," Riley replied."Do not give that to him," Hodgson replied.Read Full StoryRudy admitted to not having election fraud evidenceRudy Giuliani, former lawyer for President Donald Trump.William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesRudy Giuliani admitted to not having any evidence of election fraud after the 2020 presidential election despite repeatedly claiming he did, according to the Republican speaker of the Arizona state House."My recollection, he said, 'We've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence,'" Russell "Rusty" Bowers, the Arizona official, said in describing a conversation with then-President Donald Trump's personal attorney.Bowers, a Trump supporter, was testifying on Tuesday before the House January 6 select committee to recount his interactions with Giuliani and the Trump legal team surrounding the events of the last presidential election.He called the Trump team "a tragic parody" and compared them to the 1971 comedy "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight."Read Full Story A very real threat to the 2022 midtermsCouy Griffin, a central figure in a New Mexico county's refusal to certify recent election results based on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines, has avoided more jail time for joining the mob that attacked the US Capitol.AP Photo/Gemunu AmarasingheThe House select committee's January 6 hearings have spotlighted the very real threat to future US elections, including the midterms coming up this November.That's the big takeaway from a story by Insider's Grace Panetta published Tuesday that looks at how a court had to intercede after New Mexico county commission initially refused to certify results from the state's June 7 primary."The election denial movement pushed by Trump and his allies that spurred so many to attack the Capitol on January 6 has now fanned out to county commissions, town halls, and polling places around the country, presenting wholly novel burdens on election officials and new threats to the health of American democracy," Grace wrote.Read Full StoryTrump is ready to abandon attorney John Eastman after he was criticized in committee hearings, report saysJohn Eastman at a pro-Trump rally on January 6, 2021.Jim Bourg/ReutersFormer President Donald Trump sees no reason to defend the conservative attorney John Eastman, Rolling Stone reported.The decision the outlet relayed came in light of the heavy scrutiny of Eastman in the Congressional Jan. 6 committee hearings, which detailed his role helping Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.Eastman wrote a memo detailing a last-ditch plan for Vice President Mike Pence to block Joe Biden's certification as president on January 6, 2021, at the Congressional proceeding which was interrupted by the Capitol riot.Citing two sources close to Trump, the outlet reported that the committee's focus on Eastman in its public hearings had bothered Trump, and that Trump has started distancing himself from the attorney.READ FULL STORYFull list of witness testifying on June 21Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers is among those scheduled to testify in the committee's June 21 hearing.AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, FileInsider's Warren Rojas has a roster of those scheduled to appear in the committee's public hearings. See the full list below.Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee subpoenas filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the riotTrump speaks to supporters from the Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe January 6 committee sent a subpoena to Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who interviewed Trump before and after the Capitol riot, Politico's Playbook newsletter reported Tuesday.The existence of this footage had never been reported before, and Holder is expected to fully cooperate with the panel, Playbook reported.Holder also spent several months interviewing members of Trump's family, including his children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Playbook reported.The subpoena asked Holder to provide any raw footage he might have from the Capitol riot and interviews with Trump, his family, and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as any footage he has of discussions about voter fraud in the 2020 election.Trump boasts he's been impeached twice and screams 'nothing matters!' amid ongoing January 6 hearingsFormer President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Friday bragged that he was impeached twice, while recycling his false claims about the 2020 election and attacking former Vice President Mike Pence and former Attorney General William Barr.Delivering a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Nashville, the former president said Pence didn't have the courage to embrace his effort to overturn the election and mocked Barr for being "afraid" of getting impeached."What's wrong with being impeached? I got impeached twice and my poll numbers went up," Trump said.Read Full StoryGinni Thomas says she 'can't wait' to talk to Jan. 6 committee after it asks for interview over her efforts to overturn 2020 electionGinni ThomasChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesGinni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said she "can't wait' to talk to the House January 6 commission after it asked to interview her over her efforts to overturn the 2020 election."I can't wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them," Thomas told the right-wing news site The Daily Caller. She did not say what those misconceptions might be.Her comments come after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot announced that it had requested an interview with her. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairman, said the panel wanted to talk to her "soon," Axios reported.Thomas faces scrutiny over her connections to former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Read Full StoryEven on the day of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still doubtful if Mike Pence had the power to overturn the election, says ex-Trump lawyerRudy Giuliani.Jacquelyn Martin/APEric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, revealed on Thursday that even on the morning of the Capitol riot, Rudy Giuliani was still debating whether then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the votes in the 2020 election. Herschmann's testimony was aired on Thursday during the third of six public hearings organized by the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot. Thursday's session centered on the pressure exerted by the Trump camp in a bid to get Pence to overturn the vote.Herschmann said he received a call "out of the blue" from Giuliani on the morning of January 6, 2021, concerning what Pence's role would be that day."And, you know, he was asking me my view and analysis and then the practical implications of it," Herschmann said, who described the call as an "intellectual discussion." "And when we finished, he said, like, 'I believe that, you know, you're probably right.'" Read Full StoryMike Pence's former lawyer said he warned Trump's camp that overturning votes would lead to the 2020 election being 'decided in the streets'Then-US President Donald Trump arrives with then- Vice President Mike Pence for a "Make America Great Again" rally in Michigan on November 2, 2020.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesA lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence said that he strongly disagreed with conservative lawyer John Eastman about the Trump camp's plan to overturn the 2020 election result and warned Eastman that it might lead to violence in the streets.Testifying on Thursday before the January 6 panel investigating the Capitol riot, Greg Jacob said he had spoken to Eastman on January 5, 2021. During their conversation, Jacob said he expressed his "vociferous disagreement" with the plan for Pence to overturn the electoral vote on behalf of former President Donald Trump and send the votes back to their respective states. "Among other things, if the courts did not step in to resolve this, there was nobody else to resolve it," Jacob testified. Read Full StoryDemocracy on the brinkPeople arrive before a hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.Drew Angerer/Pool Photo via APAmerican democracy was on the brink like no time ever before.That's the lede paragraph from Insider's Grace Panetta in her story that sums up the biggest takeaways from Thursday's historic and marathon third public hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Grace writes that the two lead witnesses, Greg Jacob and Michael Luttig, were steeped in legal expertise and constitutional scholarship as they explained at a granular and methodical level why neither the Electoral Count Act nor the 12th Amendment permitted then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.Then-President Donald Trump and one of his personal legal advisors, John Eastman, were pushing the vice president to do exactly that in a break with all of US history. Read Full StoryMAGA world a "clear and present danger to American democracy"Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, looks at Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, as he testifies before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoFormer President Donald Trump and his supporters remain a "clear and present danger to American democracy."Those were the startling words of Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who has long been championed by Republicans. He made them near the end of Thursday's marathon House select committee hearing into the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Luttig, who advised then-Vice President Mike Pence about his ceremonial role on January 6, also went on to say Trump world is being more than blunt about its plans to manipulate the results of the next election for the White House. "The former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 in open and plain view of the American public," Luttig testified, per Insider's Warren Rojas. Read Full Story'1 more relatively minor violation' of election law...please?Former Trump legal adviser John EastmanAP Photo/Susan WalshIt's perhaps one of the biggest bombshells to come out of Thursday's House select committee hearing on the Capitol insurrection: a Trump lawyer putting in writing a request to break the law.The no-no came from John Eastman, who sent an email at 11:44 p.m. on the night of January 6, 2021, repeated his demand that Vice President Mike Pence halt the proceedings to certify the 2020 election and send it back to the states for a period of 10 days."So now that the precedent has been set that the Electoral Count Act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations, as well as to allow a full forensic audit of the massive amount of illegal activity that has occurred here," Eastman wrote to Pence lawyer Greg Jacob.Insider's Jake Lahut writes that the Eastman email was sent after Jacob and the then-vice president's staff and family, had been sheltering in place in a secure location during the riot.Read Full StoryEastman asked Giuliani to be added to Trump's pardon listJohn Eastman appeared onstage with Rudy Giuliani at the pro-Trump rally that preceded the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Jim Bourg/ReutersThe House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol made some news on Thursday by disclosing evidence that conservative lawyer John Eastman wanted to get added to lame-duck President Donald Trump's pardon list.Eastman was pushing to overturn the 2020 election, and as Insider's Oma Seddiq reports, his efforts prompted an email to personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. "I've decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," Eastman wrote  to Giuliani, according to Rep. Pete Aguilar, a lawmaker on the January 6 panel who read the email during Thursday's hearing. Eastman ultimately did not receive a pardon. Read Full StoryAides say Trump called Pence 'P-word' and 'wimp' on Jan. 6 callTrump and Pence at a White House event on July 13, 2020.AP Photo/Evan VucciThe language got pretty profane in the White House on the morning of January 6, 2021, Insider's Bryan Metzger reports.That's according to former aides who testified to the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection about a call then-President Donald Trump made to Mike Pence, his vice president."I remember hearing the word 'wimp'. Either he called him a wimp — I don't remember if he said, 'you are a wimp, you'll be a wimp' — wimp is the word I remember," said Nicholas Luna, a former assistant to Trump.Julie Radford, who served as Ivanka Trump's chief of staff, told the committee that Ivanka told her that the president "just had an upsetting conversation with the Vice President" in which he called Pence "the P-word."Read Full Story'Secret' MAGA back channel Jan. 6 investigators are teasing is also Oath Keepers' legal defenseStewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, on June 25, 2017.Susan Walsh/APThe House January 6 investigators keep on teasing how there'll soon be upcoming testimony that reveals secret coordination between Trumpworld and extremist groups.But as Insider's Laura Italiano points out in a new story, the Oath Keepers have long boasted of such a back channel.In fact, leader and founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes and other members of the pro-Trump militia are staking their seditious-conspiracy defense case on these yet-described communications with rally organizers.Read Full StoryCruz wanted the ex-judge testifying against Trump as a SCOTUS justiceRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired Judge Michael Luttig.AP Photos/Manuel Balce Ceneta and Susan WalshThere's an interesting twist to the retired conservative federal Judge Michael Luttig testifying as a key witness in Thursday's January 6 committee hearing.Insider's Bryan Metzger dug up video from the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates showing Luttig was once named by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as an ideal Supreme Court nominee.—bryan metzger (@metzgov) June 16, 2022 Bryan writes that it was "yet another example of just how much former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results has divided the conservative legal world."Read Full Story   DOJ: House's 'failure' to share transcripts hurting Jan. 6 investigationsTrump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesMore public tension is emerging between the Justice Department and the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.Insider's Ryan Barber has the details on a new letter sent Wednesday from the top US attorney in Washington DC to the House panel. There, the DOJ official says that the House panel has complicated criminal cases with its 'failure' to turn over interview transcripts to prosecutions.DOJ is looking for access to more than 1,000 interviews the congressional panel has conducted during its months-long examination of the Capitol attack and former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election.Read Full StoryJudge Luttig: If Pence tossed valid electoral votes it would have been 'a revolution'Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, testifies Thursday to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.AP Photo/Susan WalshSome really powerful testimony to start Thursday's January 6 select committee hearing from former federal judge J. Michael Luttig.In his opening remarks, he told the panel investigating the insurrection at the US Capitol that Vice President Mike Pence overturning the 2020 election would've pushed the country into 'the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic.'"That declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have launched America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America which in my view would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the Republic," Luttig told lawmakers during a hearing Thursday. Read Full StoryFormer Pence counsel says 'the law is not a plaything' for presidentsVice President Mike PenceScott J. Applewhite/APMike Pence's former counsel Greg Jacob is a lead witness in Thursday's third public hearing for the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.In his written statement submitted before the hearing, Jacob called serving the vice president "the honor of a lifetime," while also warning that the rule of law is "not a plaything" for political leaders to bend per their whim."The law is not a plaything for presidents or judges to use to remake the world in their preferred image," he wrote. "Our Constitution and our laws form the strong edifice within which our heartfelt policy disagreements are to be debated and decided."Insider's Grace Panetta has more on Jacob's testimony and spells out why he was a key figure in rebuffing the intense pressure campaign and efforts to compel Pence to obstruct or meddle with the count. Read Full StoryJanuary 6 committee says it will 'soon' seek interview with Ginni ThomasConservative activist Ginni Thomas and January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.AP Photos/Susan Walsh and J. Scott ApplewhiteConservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, should be expecting an interview request soon from the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol."We think it's time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee," Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair of the panel, told Axios' Andrew Solender. He added that the invitation would come "soon."Thomas has recently come under scrutiny for her role in seeking to overturn the 2020 election, including emailing Trump lawyer John Eastman and pressuring 29 state legislators in Arizona to overturn the state's 2020 election results.Read Full Story  Meet the former Trump attorney starring in the January 6 hearingEric Herschmann, former White House attorney, speaks with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 13, 2022.(House Select Committee via APAnyone remember Eric Herschmann? The White House attorney burst into the national spotlight defending President Donald Trump during his first Senate impeachment trial way back in the early pre-pandemic days of 2020.Now he's back, but for a very different reason.That's the story that Oma Seddiq just delivered for Insider readers ahead of Thursday's House January 6 hearing profiling Herschmann. He's been in the news as video clips make the rounds of his testimony where he talks about warning Trump and his allies after the presidential election that there was no proof the race was rigged and stolen, and their efforts may be illegal. In addition to his colorful language, Herschmann has drawn notice because he gave his deposition in a room with a baseball bat hanging on the wall and the word "JUSTICE" inscribed on it in bold, white letters. Observers also have noted a large painting behind him of a panda, by the artist Rob Pruitt, is similar to one that appeared in the 2015 erotic drama "50 Shades of Grey."Read Full StoryNick Quested explains how it felt to testify before the January 6 committeeBritish filmmaker Nick Queste.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Activity In Tropics Emerges As Next Big Hurricane Could Send Gas Prices To "Apocalyptic" Levels

Activity In Tropics Emerges As Next Big Hurricane Could Send Gas Prices To "Apocalyptic" Levels Three tropical disturbances are being closely monitored for development in the Atlantic as fears mount that above-average storms could wreak havoc on oil/gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico and send gas prices at the pump to "apocalyptic" heights.  "The lull in the tropics has come to an end as we're now watching three different areas for development from the Gulf of Mexico to the central Atlantic," The Weather Channel reports.  The first system is an area of low pressure in the northern Gulf of Mexico and is expected to track westward early this week and could dump heavy rains along with parts of the Texas coast. Even though the storm has low probabilities of formation over the next 2-5 days, the system is situated near the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), which has the highest concentration of US refineries.  The second is a disturbance located 900 miles east-southeast of the southern Windward Islands and has a 70% chance of cyclone formation in 2 days with probabilities at 90% for five days. Called Invest 94L, the storm is expected the strengthen as it enters the Caribbean Sea this week. Behind Invest 94L is a tropical wave with a 20% probability of developing into a storm over the next five days.  The elevated tropical activity comes as OPIS energy analysis global head Tom Kloza told Fox Bussiness," if we have an active tropical season" that impacts domestic refining efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, then it could send gas prices to "apocalyptic" heights.  "I think for gasoline, we go back above $5 and apocalyptic numbers come into play with hurricanes.  "The thing that people have to watch and is really insidious for inflation are the values for diesel and jet fuel. Stocks of those fuels are not building, they're tight internationally and that's where we're going to have to pay the piper in the last 100 days of the year," Kloza said.  Tropical activity in the Gulf can shutter offshore drilling rigs and onshore refining operations. And given today's extremely tight refining capacity and a bulk of the nation's refineries are situated on the Gulf Coast, we "have to cross our fingers that no refining infrastructure gets damaged by hurricanes or by the electric grid," Kloza said.  Ahead of the hurricane season, which began on the first of June, Bloomberg Markets's Jake Lloyd-Smith warned about the consequences of an active hurricane season and how it could severely disrupt refinery operations.  Everyone, including the Biden administration, has figured out that the bottleneck in refining is the culprit behind soaring diesel and gasoline prices. The US is structurally short and down 1 million barrels from April 2020 to 17.95 million bpd as of June.  All it would take is one (or multiple) major hurricanes with direct landfall on the Gulf Coast (or PADD 3) to send fuel prices at the pump even higher.  Tyler Durden Mon, 06/27/2022 - 18:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 27th, 2022

Citadel is heading to Miami

In today's 10 Things on Wall Street: Ken Griffin is taking his talents to South Beach, and meet our Banker of the Week Uzair Dossani. Hi, Aaron Weinman here. Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel is moving the firm's global headquarters to Miami from Chicago.And, let's not forget our Banker of the Week!Let's get into it.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson1. Hedge fund Citadel and the market-maker business Citadel Securities are moving to Miami. But it is not closing offices in its current HQ Chicago.Citadel founder Ken Griffin told employees in a Thursday memo that he had recently moved to Miami and was keen to expand the company's presence in the city.Griffin's decision comes after he repeatedly expressed concerns about crime rates in Chicago and frustrations with the city and Illinois state's leadership."We're getting to the point that if things don't change, we're gone," Griffin told Bloomberg in May. "Things aren't changing."Griffin also said "many" of Citadel's Chicago teams had asked to relocate to Miami and New York, among other offices around the world.A Citadel employee has been stabbed, shootings have happened near the homes of some employees, and even Griffin's car was nearly hijacked."Talent wants to live in cities where they feel safe," Citadel spokesperson Zia Ahmed told Insider. He noted that over the past decade, the firms' principals and employees had driven billions in tax revenue to Illinois and Chicago, adding that Griffin had donated more than $600 million to educational, cultural, medical, and civic organizations.Citadel's not the only firm drawn to the balmier climes of Florida. Goldman Sachs and Blackstone have unveiled plans to open offices in Florida thanks in part to lower state taxes.Chicago, however, remains important to Citadel. Griffin recalled in the memo the "incredible civic pride" he felt when the firm opened its doors in Chicago in 1990.The move to Miami, and construction of the new HQ, will take some years. It won't disrupt Citadel's expansion plans in New York. The first of its New York teams are moving to new digs at 425 Park Avenue in the coming months.Read more on why Citadel's headed south in this report from Alyson Velati and Dakin Campbell.And for more on companies' love affair with Miami, check out these reads:Miami's tech scene is having a momentMiami: The tropical Silicon ValleyMiami's the home of Bitcoin 2022In other news:IStock; Vicky Leta/Insider2. Texas is also fielding increased interest from Wall Street firms. Goldman Sachs' decision to create 5,000 jobs in Texas is the latest example of a financial institution turning to the Lone Star State for talent. It comes as Texas transforms into a hotbed for tech-savvy folks.3. Staffers at Wells Fargo are forging ahead with an unprecedented union effort. Here's a look inside the bank employees' long, uphill battle to unionize.4. Lawyers hate their jobs, and they're desperate to quit. Some are so miserable in their roles, but they're scared to quit for myriad reasons, from parental disappointment to the need to pay back sizable student loans.5. Unlike lawyers that need to pay their loans, ChangPeng Zhao doesn't "care much about money." The CEO of crypto exchange Binance is pretty comfy with a net worth of $18.5 billion, but that's down from $96 billion just a few months ago. He's also more controlling of the company than one might expect.6. Another individual who's probably not lacking in the bank account is Deutsche Bank's CEO Christian Sewing, who's waiving a bit of his bonus. Sewing and his top team are lowering their extra pay to show that management at the German bank is taking some of the blame for the use of unapproved messaging apps, the Financial Times reported.7. ValueWorks founder Charles Lemonides reckons Netflix is "very solid." The hedge fund has returned about 24% this year. Netflix, meanwhile, just confirmed another round of layoffs.8. Fintech startup Bolt offered to buy back shares from laid-off employees. These are the same former staffers the company encouraged to take out risky loans for the stock options. Here's a peek at the leaked email.9. A former McDonald's cook nabbed $20 million for a startup called Tapcheck. The fintech enables hourly workers to "clock out and cash out." Here's a look at the pitch deck.Uzair Dossani, managing director, ICGICG10. And here's our Friday Banker of the Week. Meet Uzair Dossani, a multi-decade dealmaking veteran with private investment firm Intermediate Capital Group.Dossani just wrapped up a deal for medical device company Seaway Logistics, and in an interview with Insider, he dubbed it a "jewel" of a business.Before joining ICG, Dossani worked at a few private-equity shops including Warburg Pincus and Charlesbank Capital Partners where he notched up a series of transactions for middle-market companies.Here's how Dossani is applying his investment strategy at ICG.If you know of any bankers we should feature in our Banker of the Week series, please email me at aweinman@insider.com.Done deals:Evinced, a software company, just bagged a $38 million Series B funding round led by Insight Partners.Investment firm Tikehau Capital's SPAC Pegasus Entrepreneurs announced its combination with European sports betting platform FL Entertainment. FL and Pegasus have raised over $650 million in this transaction.Curated by Aaron Weinman. Tips? Email aweinman@insider.com or tweet @aaronw11. Edited by Lisa Ryan (tweet @lisarya) and Jordan Parker Erb (tweet @jordanparkererb).Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022

Protection From A Currency Collapse

Protection From A Currency Collapse Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, While markets seem becalmed, financial conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Last week Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase gave the clearest of signals that bank credit is beginning to contract. Russia has consolidated its rouble, which has now become the strongest currency by far. The Fed announced the previous week that its balance sheet is in negative equity. And there’s mounting evidence that we have a nascent crack-up boom. Russia now appears to be protecting the rouble from these developments in the West, while previously she was only attacking the dollar’s hegemony. China has yet to formulate a defensive currency policy but is likely to back the renminbi with a commodity basket, at least for foreign trade. If it is taken up more widely by the members if the Shanghai Cooperation organisation and the BRICS, the development of a new commodity-based super-currency in Central Asia could end the dollar’s global hegemony. These are major developments. And finally, due to widespread interest in the subject, I examine the outlook for residential property values in the event of a collapse of Western fiat currencies. The mechanics of an apocalypse Against the grain of the establishment, for years I have been warning that the world faces a fiat currency collapse. The reasoning was and still is because that’s where monetary and economic policies are taking us. The only questions arising are whether the authorities around the world would realise the dangers of their inflationary and socialistic policies and change course (extremely unlikely) and in that absence in what form would the final crisis take. History tells us that fiat currencies always fail, only to be replaced by Mankind’s sound money — metallic gold, and silver. And now that fiat currencies have seen a rapid debasement followed by soaring commodity and raw material prices, interest rates should be considerably higher. Yet, in the Eurozone and Japan they are still suppressed in negative territory. The reluctance of the ECB and the Bank of Japan to permit them to rise is palpable. Worse still, even with just the threat of a slowdown in the issuance of extra credit by the commercial banks, we suddenly face a sharp downturn in economic and financial activities. Commercial banks in the Eurozone and Japan are uncomfortably leveraged and unlikely to survive the mixture of higher interest rates, contracting bank credit, and an economic downturn without being bailed out by their respective central banks. But so massive are the central banks’ own bond positions that the losses from rising yields have put them in negative equity. Even the Fed, which is in a far better position than the ECB and BOJ, has admitted unrealised losses on its bond portfolio are $330bn, wiping out its balance sheet equity six times over. So, without the injection of huge amounts of new capital from their existing shareholders the major central banks are bust, the major commercial banks soon will be, and prices are rising uncontrollably driving interest rates and bond yields higher. And like a hole in the head, all we now need to complete the misery is a contraction in bank credit. On cue, last week we got a warning that this is also on the cards, when Jamie Dimon, boss of JPMorgan Chase, the largest commercial bank in America and the Fed’s principal conduit into the commercial banking network, upgraded his summary of the financial scene from “stormy” only nine days before, to “hurricane”. That was widely reported. Less observed were his remarks about what JPMorgan Chase was going to do about it. Dimon went on to say the bank is preparing itself for “a non-benign environment” and “bad outcomes”. We can be sure that the Fed will have spoken to Mr Dimon about this. JPMorgan’s chief economist, Bruce Kasman was then urgently tasked with rowing back, saying he only saw a slowdown. No matter. The signal is sent, and the damage is done. We are unlikely to hear from Dimon on this subject again. But you can bet your bottom dollar that the cohort of international bankers around the world will have taken note, if they hadn’t already, and will be drawing in their lending horns as well. The importance of monitoring bank credit is that when it begins to contract it always precipitates a crisis. This time the crisis revolves more around financial assets than in the past, because for the last forty years, bank credit expansion has increasingly focused not on stimulating production of real things — that has been chased overseas, but the creation of financial ephemera, such as unproductive debt, securitisations of securities, derivatives, and derivatives of derivatives. If you like, the world of unbacked currencies has generated a parallel world of purely financial assets. This is now changing. Commodities are creeping back into the monetary system indirectly due to sanctions against the world’s largest commodities exporter, Russia. Financing for speculation is already contracting, as shown in Figure 1. Given recent equity market weakness this is hardly surprising. But it should be borne in mind that this is unlikely to be driven by speculators cleverly taking profits at the top of the bull market. It is almost certainly forced upon them by margin calls, a fate similarly suffered by punters in cryptos. Bank deposits, which are the other side of bank credit, make up most of the currency in circulation. Since 2008, dollar bank deposits have increased by 160% to nearly $19.5 trillion (M3 less bank notes in circulation). But there is the additional problem of shadow bank credit, which is unknowable and is likely to evaporate with falling financial asset values. And Eurodollars, which similarly are outside the money supply figures will likely contract as well. We are now moving rapidly towards a human desire to protect what we have. This is fear, instead of the desire to make easy money, or greed. We can be reasonably certain that with the reluctance of banks to even maintain levels of bank credit the move is likely to be swift, catching the wider public unawares. It is the stuff of an apocalypse. A financial and economic crisis is now widely expected. Everyone I meet in finance senses the danger, without being able to put a finger on it. They are almost all talking of the authorities taking back control, perhaps of a financial reset, without knowing what that might be. But almost no one considers the possibility that this time the authorities will fail to stop a crisis before it turns our world upside down. Nevertheless, a crisis is always a shock when it comes. But its timing is always anchored in what is happening to bank credit. The bank credit cycle The true role of banks in the economy is as creators of and dealers in credit. The licence granted to them by the state allows them to issue credit where none had existed before. Initially, it stimulates economic activity and is welcomed. The negative consequences only become apparent later, in the form of a fall in the expanded currency’s purchasing power, firstly on the foreign exchanges, followed in markets for industrial commodities and raw materials, and then in the domestic economy. The seeds for the subsequent downturn having been sown by the earlier expansion of credit. As night follows day it duly follows and is triggered by credit contraction. Since the end of the Napoleonic wars, this cycle of credit expansion and contraction has had a regular periodicity of about ten years —sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. A cycle of bank credit is a more relevant description of the origin of periodic booms and slumps than describing them as a trade or business cycle, which implies that the origin is in the behaviour of banking customers rather than the banking system. How it comes about is important for an understanding of why it always leads to a contractionary crisis. The creation of bank credit is a simple matter of double entry bookkeeping. When a bank agrees to lend to a borrower, the loan appears on the banker’s balance sheet as an asset, for which there must be a corresponding liability. This liability is the credit marked on the borrower’s deposit account which will always match the loan shown as an asset. This is a far more profitable arrangement for the bank than paying interest on term deposits to match a bank’s loan, which is the way in which banks are commonly thought to originate credit. The relationship between his own capital and the amount of loan business that a banker undertakes is his principal consideration. By lending credit in quantities which are multiples of his own capital, he enhances the return on his equity. But he also exposes himself to a heightened risk from loan defaults. It follows that when he deems economic prospects to be good, he will lend more that he would otherwise. But bankers though their associations and social and business interactions tend to share a common view of economic prospects at any one time. Furthermore, they have their own sources of economic intelligence, some of which is shared on an industry-wide basis. They are also competitive and prepared to undercut rivals for loan business in good times, reducing their lending rates to below where a free-market rate would perhaps otherwise be. Being dealers in credit and not economists, they probably fail to grasp the fact that improving economic conditions — growth in Keynesian jargon — is little more than a reflection of their own credit expansion. The currency debasement from extra credit results in prices and interest rates rising, especially in fiat currencies, undermining business calculations and assumptions. Bankruptcies begin to increase as the headline below from last Monday’s Daily Telegraph shows: While this headline was about the UK, the same factors are evident elsewhere. No wonder Jamie Dimon is worried. As a rule of thumb, bank credit makes up about 90% of the circulating media, the other 10% being bank notes. Today in the US, bank notes in circulation stand at $2.272 trillion, and M3 broad money, which also contains narrower forms of money stands at $21.8 trillion, so bank notes are 10.4% of the total. The ratio in December 2018 following the Lehman crisis was 10.7%, similar ratios at different stages of the credit cycle. Therefore, at all stages of the cycle, it is the balance between greed for profit and fear of losses in the bankers’ collective minds that set the prospects for boom and bust, and not an increase in the note issue. A further consideration is the lending emphasis, whether credit has been extended primarily to manufacturers of consumer goods and providers of services to consumers, or whether credit has been extended mostly to support financial activities. Since London’s big-bang and America’s repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, the major banks have increasingly created credit for purely financial activities, leaving credit for Main Street in the hands of smaller banks. Because credit expansion has been aimed at supporting financial activities, it has inflated financial assets values. So, while central banks have been suppressing interest rates, the major banks have created the credit for buyers of financial assets to enjoy the most dramatic, widespread, and long-lasting of investment bubbles in financial history. Now that interest rates are on the rise, the bubble environment is over, to be replaced with a bear market. The smart money is leaving the stage, and the public faces an unwinding of the bubble. The combination of rising interest rates and contracting bank credit is as bearish as falling interest rates and the fuel of expanding bank credit were bullish. As loan collateral, banks have retained financial assets to a greater extent than in the past, and their attempts to protect themselves from losses by fire sales of stocks and bonds when they no longer cover loan obligations can only accelerate a financial market collapse. Russia’s new priority is to escape from the West’s crisis While the financial sanctions imposed on Russia have led to a tit-for-tat situation with Russia saying it will only accept payments in roubles from the “unfriendlies”, there can be little doubt that sanctions have come at an enormous cost to the imposers. In a recent interview, Putin correctly identified the West’s inflation problem: “In a TV interview that followed his meeting with the African Union head Macky Sall in Sochi, Putin added that attempts to blame Ukraine's turmoil for the West's skyrocketing cost of living amount to avoiding responsibility. Almost all governments used the fiscal stimulus to help people and businesses affected by the Covid-19 lockdowns. Putin stressed that Russia did so "much more carefully and precisely," without disrupting the macroeconomic picture or fuelling inflation. In the United States, by contrast, the money supply increased by 38% – or $5.9 trillion – in less than two years, in what he referred to as the ‘unprecedented output of the printing press’." This is important. While the West’s monetary authorities and their governments have suppressed the connection between the unprecedented increase in currency and credit and the consequence for prices, if the quote above is correct, Putin has nailed it. In all logic, since the Russians clearly understand the destabilising ramifications of the West’s monetary policies, it behoves them to protect themselves from the consequences. They will not want to see the rouble sink alongside western currencies. And indeed, the policy of tying Russian energy exports to settlements in roubles divorces the rouble from the West’s mounting financial crisis. It is further confirmation that Zoltan Pozsar’s description of a Bretton Woods 3, whereby currencies are moving from a world of financial activity towards commodity backing, is correct. It’s not just a Russian response in the context of a financial war, but now it’s a protectionist move. Russia enjoys the position of the world’s largest exporter of energy and commodities. For the West to cut itself off from Russia may be justifiable in the narrow political context of a proxy war in Ukraine, but it is madness in the economic perspective. The other nation upon which the West heavily relies, China, has yet to formulate a proper currency policy response. But the alacrity with which China began stockpiling commodities and grains following the Fed’s reduction of interest rates to the zero bound and its increase of QE to $120bn monthly in March 2020 shows she also understands the price consequences of the West’s inflationism. The difference between China and Russia is that while Russia is a commodity exporter, China is a commodity importer. Her currency position is therefore radically different. The Chinese advisers who have absorbed Keynesian economics will be arguing against a stronger currency relationship with the dollar, particularly at a time of a significant slowing of China’s GDP growth. They might also argue that they have preferential access to discounted Russian exports, the benefits of which would be squandered if the yuan strengthened materially. One can imagine that while Russia is certain about her “Bretton Woods 3 strategy”, China has yet to take some key decisions. But everything is relative. It is true that China is offered substantial discounts on Russian energy and other commodities. It is in her interests to accumulate as much of Russia’s commodities as she can — particularly energy. But it must be paid for. Broadly, there are two sources of funding. China can sell down its US Treasury holdings, or alternatively issue additional renminbi. The latter seems more likely since it would keep the dollar well away from any Chinese-Russian trade settlements and could accelerate the start of a new offshore renminbi market. All these moves are responses to a crisis brought about by Western sanctions. Given the history of price stability for energy and most other commodities measured in gold grammes, Russia’s move represents a barely transparent move away from the world of fiat and its associated financial ephemera to a proxy for a gold standard. It is a statist equivalent of the latter, whereby Russia uses commodity markets without having to deliver anything monetary. While protecting the rouble from a collapsing western currency and financial system it works for now, but it will have to evolve into a monetary system that is more secure. One possibility might be to use the new commodity-based trade currency planned for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which is likely to rope in all the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation network, and possibly the commodity-exporting BRICS as well. It has been reported that even some Middle Eastern states have expressed interest though that’s hard to verify. In the financial war against the dollar, the announcement of the new currency’s terms would represent a significant escalation, cutting the dollar’s hegemony down at a stroke for over half the world’s population. It would also raise a question mark over the estimated $33 trillion dollars of US financial assets and bank deposits owned by foreigners. Timing is an issue, because if the new EAEU trade currency is introduced following a crisis for the dollar, the move would be protectionist rather than aggressive, but it seems likely to trigger substantial dollar liquidation in the foreign exchanges either way. The elephant in the currency room is gold. It is what Zoltan Pozsar of Credit Suisse terms “outside money”. That is, money which is not fiat produced by central banks by keystrokes on a computer, or by expansion of bank credit. A basket of commodities for the proposed EAEU trade currency is little more than a substitute for linking their currencies with gold. So, why don’t Russia and China just introduce gold standards? There are probably three reasons: A working gold standard, by which is meant an arrangement where members of the public and foreigners can exchange currency for coin or bullion takes away control over the currency from the state and places it in the hands of the public. This is a course of action that modern governments will only consider as a last resort, given their natural reluctance to cede control and power to the people. Nowhere is this truer than of dictatorial governments such as those governing Russia and China. It could be argued that to introduce a working gold standard would give America power to disrupt the currency by manipulating gold prices on international markets. But it is hard to see how any such disruption would be anything other than temporary and self-defeating. Proceeding nakedly into a gold standard, when America has spent the last fifty years telling everyone gold is a pet rock, yet at the same time grabbing everyone else’s gold (Germany, Libya, Venezuela, Ukraine… the list is pretty much endless) is probably the financial equivalent of a nuclear escalation, only to be considered as a last resort. Clearly, it is the most sensitive subject and a frontal challenge to the dollar’s post-Bretton Woods hegemony. The flight into real assets While national governments are considering their position in the wake of sanctions against Russia, the status of their reserves, and how best to protect themselves in a worsening financial conflict between Anglo-Saxon led NATO and Russia, ordinary people are acting in their own interest as well. Most of us are aware that second hand values for motor cars have soared, in many cases to levels higher than new models. The phenomenon is reported in yachts and power boats as well. And on Tuesday, it was reported that US citizens had escalated their credit card spending to unexpected heights. Is this evidence of a flight from zero-yielding bank deposits, or the emergence of wider concerns about rising prices and the need to acquire goods while they are available at anything like current prices? When it comes to their own interests, people are not stupid. They understand that prices are rising and there is no sign of this ending. Their mantra is to buy now before prices rise further, while they can be afforded and the liquidity is to hand. While it is probably too dramatic to call this behaviour a crack-up boom, unless something is done to stop it a crack-up boom appears to be developing. But the asset which is on many peoples’ minds is residential property. Where residential property prices are dependent on the availability and cost of mortgage finance, rising interest rates will undermine property values. Given that the loss of currencies’ purchasing power fails to be reflected yet in sufficiently high interest rates, mortgage rates for new and floating rate loans can be expected to rise substantially, driving residential property prices lower. But this assumes that a financial and currency crisis won’t occur before interest rates have risen sufficiently to discount future losses of a currency’s purchasing power. It seems unlikely that that will happen. It is more likely that increases of not more than a few per cent will be sufficient to destabilise the West’s monetary order, with systemic risk spreading rapidly from the weakest points — the Eurozone and Japan, where interest rates rising from negative values will expose as demonstrably insolvent the ECB and the Bank of Japan, while major commercial banks in both jurisdictions are the two most highly leveraged cohorts. That being the case, and if a banking crisis originating in a deflating financial asset bubble requires insolvent central banks to rescue commercial banks, there is a significant risk that the West’s fiat currencies could lose credibility and collapse as well. Therefore, as well as the effect of rising mortgage costs (which will probably be capped by the emerging crisis) we must consider residential property values measured in currencies which have imploded. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that measured nominally in fiat currencies, after a brief period of uncertainty property prices might rise. A million-dollar house today might become worth many millions, but many millions might buy only a few ounces of gold. That appears to have been the situation in 1923 Germany, reported by Stefan Zweig, the Austrian author who in his autobiography recounted that at the height of the inflation US$100 could buy you a decent town house in Berlin. It might have been several hundred million paper marks, but at the time US$100 was the equivalent of less than five ounces of gold. Any investor in real assets such as real estate and farmland must be prepared to look through a collapse of financial asset values and a currency crisis. For a time, they will have to suffer rents which don’t cover the costs of maintaining property. But the message from Germany in 1923 is that it is far better to hoard what the Romans told us is legally money, that is everlasting physical gold. And the lessons of history backed up by pure logic tell us loud and clear that gold is not a portfolio investment. It is no more than money. An incorruptible means of exchange to be hoarded and spent after all else has failed. Tyler Durden Sat, 06/11/2022 - 19:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 11th, 2022

The Dark Side Of The Internet

Superinvestor Warren Buffett called it “the number-one problem with mankind.” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “it may be the biggest threat to the US financial system.” And Bob Dudley, the former CEO of oil giant BP, told investors it’s what “keeps me awake at night.” These guys have millions or billions of dollars… so you […] Superinvestor Warren Buffett called it “the number-one problem with mankind.” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “it may be the biggest threat to the US financial system.” And Bob Dudley, the former CEO of oil giant BP, told investors it’s what “keeps me awake at night.” These guys have millions or billions of dollars… so you might assume they’re worried about direct threats to their wealth like inflation, runaway government spending, or the plunge markets have taken lately. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Believe it or not… they’re talking about the grave threat of cyberattacks. As I’ll show you today, cyberattacks are skyrocketing. And the industry tasked with stopping them is growing faster—and more consistently—than almost any other industry out there. It’s the perfect industry to bet on now, while stocks are down… knowing it practically must come back stronger than ever when the storm in markets passes. Today, I’ll share an easy one-click way to play it. But first, let’s talk about the dark side of the internet… How The Internet Changed Our Lives Think about how the internet changed our lives over the past 30 years… In 1990, less than 1% of Americans had browsed the World Wide Web. Online shopping wasn’t a thing. If you wanted a question answered, you opened an encyclopedia. Meeting people online was considered strange and dangerous. Folks are now buying groceries and selling their homes on their smartphones. And did you know four in 10 Americans met their partner online? Even our homes are plugged into the web through devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest. The internet is the most transformative tech of the past century. But the internet isn’t perfect. It created a tradeoff between privacy and convenience. Need a new coffee maker? Press a few buttons, and it’ll show up in a brown box on your front porch tomorrow morning. But we forfeit a little privacy for this convenience. Now your name, address, and credit card details are in some company’s database. And the problem is… bad guys regularly break into databases and steal your info. In fact, everyone from the IRS to the NSA to defense giant Lockheed Martin to Google has been hacked in the past couple years. By doing virtually anything online, you expose your personal details. That makes it possible for hackers to steal your money, access your secrets, and, if they’re determined to do so, potentially destroy your reputation. But hackers aren’t just targeting people… NotPetya Ransomware Virus Remember the NotPetya ransomware virus a few years ago? In short, ransomware is a type of cyberattack where hackers freeze a victim’s files, then demand money to unlock them. NotPetya crippled 30,000 computers and 7,500 servers belonging to drug giant Merck. It also hit FedEx, shipping giant Maersk, advertising firm WPP, and hundreds of other companies. It was the most destructive cyberattack ever, with damages topping $10 billion. NotPetya showed a few lines of malicious code can bring multibillion-dollar companies to their knees. And hackers aren’t just stealing digital data anymore. They’ve gone “big game hunting” by attacking real-world infrastructure. Last May, hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies 45% of the East Coast’s fuel. For days, two-thirds of gas stations in South Carolina were empty. A month later, cybercriminals pulled the plug on JBS, the world’s biggest meat processor. JBS, which produces 20% of all US beef, had to pay an $11 million ransom to get their systems back online. And did you hear about the attack on a water treatment plant near Tampa, Florida? Hackers broke into its systems and altered the levels of lye (sodium hydroxide) in the drinking water. Luckily an operator noticed the chemical levels changing and shut off the pipes. And the cost of cleaning up a cyberattack is soaring… Breaches now cost an average of $4.2 million, according to a new IBM report. When you get hacked, you must hire expensive cybersecurity experts to find and fix the problem. And you might need to rip out and replace all your computer systems. The total cost of cybercrime runs into the trillions. Why Money Is Pouring Into Cybersecurity This is why money is pouring into cybersecurity… Cybersecurity companies protect companies, governments, and other organizations from hacks and other forms of cybercrime. The service they provide is critical to our modern digital world. Top research firm Gartner expects cybersecurity spending will soon hit $200 billion per year. Cybersecurity spending has grown steadily by 10–15% per year without much notice. When you achieve this year in, year out for two decades running… you soon have a HUGE market. And we’re only getting started. Robust cybersecurity used to be a “nice to have.” Now you can’t run a business without it. Every Fortune 500 company employs a chief security officer. No cost is too high when it comes to protecting your computer systems. CEO Brian Moynihan said Bank of America has an “unlimited” cybersecurity budget. Microsoft is quadrupling its cybersecurity spending to $20 billion over the next five years. Google just announced it will invest $10+ billion to safeguard its networks. And the US government will plow $19 billion into cybersecurity this year alone. Cybersecurity is a never-ending arms race… Hackers are always inventing new ways to attack. Firms must constantly develop new tools and—spend billions of dollars—to stay a step ahead. This all but guarantees cybersecurity spending will keep marching higher. Turmoil in the cyber insurance industry is also adding fuel to the fire… The market for insuring yourself against hacks grew from zilch to $15 billion/year over the past decade. And the cost of cyber insurance is going through the roof. Research from consulting firm Marsh shows US cyber insurance premiums jumped by 130% in the fourth quarter of 2021. What’s going on? Cyber-insurers make money when you take out insurance and avoid getting hacked. But everyone is getting hacked right now. Victims are turning to insurers to cover the costs. And insurers are racking up billions of dollars in losses. Many cyber-insurers have exited the market. Many companies can no longer get cyber coverage. Instead, they’re spending record sums of money on security to avoid getting hacked to begin with. An easy, one-click way to play this is to invest in an ETF like the First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ:CIBR), which invests in a basket of cybersecurity stocks. 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money in 2022 Get our latest report where we reveal our three favorite stocks that can hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here. Article by Stephen McBride, Mauldin Economics Updated on May 24, 2022, 1:00 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 24th, 2022

Woke Medicine"s Got A Tricky Operation: Grafting "Systemic Racism" Onto Hard Science

Woke Medicine's Got A Tricky Operation: Grafting 'Systemic Racism' Onto Hard Science Authored b John Murawski via RealClear Investigations, Just a few years ago, concepts such as “white supremacy,” “systemic racism,” and “structural intersectionality” were not the standard fare of prestigious medical journals. These are now the guiding ideas in a February special issue of “Health Affairs” that focuses on medicine and race. Piron Guillaume Featuring nearly two dozen articles with titles such as “Racism Runs Through It” and “Sick and Tired of Being Excluded,” as well as a poem called “Identity,” the Washington, D.C.-based, peer-reviewed journal analyzes racial health disparities not through biology, behavior, or culture, but through the lens of  “whiteness,” along with concepts such as power, systems of oppression, state-sanctioned violence, and critical race praxis – a sampling of terms that come up in the February issue. Health Affairs, dubbed by a Washington Post columnist as “the bible of health policy,” represents something much more ambitious than woke virtue signaling. Its February issue reflects the effort of newly empowered “anti-racist” scholars to transform concepts that are still considered speculative and controversial – and some say unprovable – into scientific fact. This growing effort to document, measure, and quantify racism is being advanced by other high-profile publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and Scientific American, which last year ran articles entitled “Modern Mathematics Confronts Its White, Patriarchal Past” and “Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy.” But this scientific aspiration faces major challenges. Science demands verification, testability, and replicability, whereas race is a social construct that can be difficult to separate from factors like class or culture, and explaining the data often remains dependent on academic theories about systemic racism. The articles in Health Affairs indicate that elevating the concept of systemic racism from moral certitude to scientific fact will require developing new tools and methods – and even more theories – in the face of skepticism and resistance from dissenters who view this direction in research as unscientific and ideological. For example, five co-authors of the Health Affairs article “Improving the Measurement of Structural Racism to Achieve Antiracist Policy” observe that “there is a disconnect between the conceptualization and measurement of structural racism in the public health literature” – that is to say that acceptance of the idea outpaces the evidence for it. In a Health Affairs paper titled “The Intellectual Roots of Current Knowledge on Racism and Health,” researchers from Harvard University and the University of Maryland argue that turning the study of systemic racism into a scientific enterprise will require the scientific community to embrace terminology and research that “can be unsettling to some”: Until recently, the language and terminology of racism has been contested, often ignored, and viewed as not relevant to, or acceptable for, accounting for and intervening on racial and ethnic inequities in health. The Harvard and Maryland scholars identify “the critical need for paradigmatic shifts that incorporate racism as a driver of inequities,” noting that “scientific language has the power to encourage normative standards.” In another article, a team of five scholars calls for “outlining specific methodological approaches that will move the field forward.” Those pushing the effort expect that it will take years to build up a knowledge base and critical mass of scholarly research. If successful, it would empower the anti-racist movement with what advocates expect to be recognized as unimpeachable scientific authority that could be used to support a myriad of diversity and equity policies and interventions that are now being advocated as moral and polemical arguments by legal scholars, educators, historians, and journalists. According to researchers now studying the relationship of medicine and race, racial inequalities in lifespans, health, income, and other metrics largely result from a single cause: cultural norms and unconscious beliefs that have the appearance of colorblindness but systematically privilege whites and males at the expense of groups that lack power and are oppressed. Since the murder of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer in May 2020, the cultural elites advocating this view – whether one calls it wokeness, systemic racism, critical race theory, or just the truth – are no longer marginalized outsiders. They are now in charge of many leading institutions that produce culture and certify knowledge through the media, publishing, universities, scholarly journals, foundations and advocacy groups, large K-12 school systems, and the sprawling apparatus of the federal government. Although medical research informed by critical race theory has been conducted for decades, its broad embrace by the field’s highest echelons has been both sudden and expansive. Alan Weil, Health Affairs’ editor-in-chief, committed the journal to “dismantling institutional racism” in January 2021. Scientists must question their assumptions about merit, quality, and excellence and make room for new research designs, methods, paradigms, and theories, Weil suggested, because traditional scientific protocols can make it impossible to study racism in the United States or recognize the problem within their own institutions. “The reason it’s relevant is because if you decide only certain [research] methods are valid, then you have also decided that certain questions cannot be answered – they can’t even be asked,” Weil said in a phone interview. “I view this as a call to researchers to try to look at questions that they might have historically passed by -- or viewed as ones that couldn’t be studied.” Mass Brigham General, where equity is now a core part of the institutional culture, like patient safety. Mass Brigham General The February issue of Health Affairs provides examples of how the new approach to research can be implemented to make the case for the pervasiveness of systemic racism in routine aspects of society. The first of the nearly two dozen articles in the February issue sets the tone. The article describes an anti-racist initiative at the Mass General Brigham health system, where measuring and attaining equity – an ideal of equal health outcomes across racial groups – is now a core component of the institutional culture, like patient safety. One thing that system leaders are not doing: studying whether or not racism actually affects health outcomes. “They believe that this fundamental question has already been answered,” the article states. The anti-racist initiative, called United Against Racism, will cost $40 million in the first year alone. “The initiative has no set end date,” the article states, and a system executive “expects their budget to increase every year.” Another article urges the need to teach white Americans “the truth” about racial oppression, “despite the discomfort that it generates.” True racial progress requires the “understanding by White people of how they have benefited from systemic racism” – and how much more they stand to gain from social justice. An article about the generational trauma of racism recommends respect for “Indigenous principles” and adopting a policy of federal reimbursement to traditional Native American healers who perform ceremonial and spiritual interventions. There are also articles about black women in low-wage jobs in the healthcare sector; about black people living farther from rural hospitals than whites; about racial and minority Medicaid enrollees reporting significantly worse experiences; an article titled “Addressing the Interlocking Impact Of Colonialism And Racism On Filipinx/a/o American Health Inequities,” and more. Medicine is just one of the major American institutions that has committed itself to equity. The seemingly overnight transformation has not been without its share of “cancellations” and controversy over such issues as prioritizing non-whites for Covid vaccines and suspending conventional academic standards to boost diversity. As high-profile journals advance the systemic racism argument, other influential institutions are putting the contested ideas into practice. The American Medical Association’s 86-page strategic plan for racial justice and health equity also challenges the morality of prevailing standards of quality and merit as a strategy of protecting the privileged domain of white males: The AMA condemns “equal treatment” and meritocracy as “malignant” white supremacist ideologies that obscure “true power and site of responsibility.” The Association of American Medical Colleges, which co-sponsors the accrediting body for U.S. medical schools, is working to establish an advocacy culture in medical schools that haven’t yet gotten with the program voluntarily. The AAMC is expected to issue an update this year to its recommended professional “competencies,”  the AAMC's term for professional standards and best practices, that medical schools would be encouraged to adopt. The proposed competencies include practicing self-reflection, “allyship,” and cultural humility, as well as attaining fluency in the “various systems of oppression,” to wit: colonization, white supremacy, acculturation, and assimilation. For medical school faculty, the AAMC sets such professional expectations as teaching “how systems of power, privilege, and oppression inform policies and practices and how to engage with systems to disrupt oppressive practices.” Not surprisingly, the handful of people who are willing to risk their careers and reputations to publicly critique anything to do with systemic racism and equity say the medical establishment has become captive to a leftist ideological agenda. These dissenters argue that “anti-racism” can be hard to distinguish from anti-science when it fixates on a single variable (race), selectively seeks out data to prove a hypothesis (confirmation bias), ignores plausible alternative explanations – and worst of all – silences criticism.  “Confounding science with political ideology is never good,” said Michael Shermer, the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, whose monthly column was terminated at Scientific American after 18 years in a disagreement over what Shermer saw as woke ideology infecting the venerable publication. “They’re saying we already know the answer – the answer is racism,” Shermer said in a phone interview with RealClearInvestigations. “We’re going to ignore all the other variables. They’re just reducing complex problems to one variable.” Stop and frisk: "Racialized violence" by police impacts health, self-described antiracist scholars say. Franklin This embrace of systemic racism is piggybacking on a long tradition of public health research that attributes population health disparities to social conditions, going back to a study by Friedrich Engels in the 1840s that said life expectancies in Liverpool, England, varied by the occupation of the city’s residents. For generations, however, the mainstream medical establishment understood racial health disparities to be a matter of genetics, behavior, culture, class – or a combination of these factors. Public health scholars, meanwhile, have been pouring forth hundreds of scholarly articles that attribute racial disparities in heart disease, diabetes, mental illness and other key metrics to societal conditions. Health Affairs traces the evolution of racism as medical scourge through the release of “Unequal Treatment,” the groundbreaking 2003 Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) report that said black people received inferior care in nearly every medical category. More recent is the 2019 declaration by the Pan American Health Organization, a regional arm of the World Health Organization, that structural racism is a key driver of health inequity, followed by the 2021 declaration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that racism is a public health threat. The Health Affairs articles in the February special issue rely on sociological theories, personal testimonials, and even poetry to augment traditional scientific protocols. Because there is no single correct way to measure structural racism, the five scholars “encourage the use of a theory-driven approach” to interpret data that would otherwise have to be treated as random or inconclusive. For such scholars, theory is often the connective tissue that can link practices or events that, to the untrained eye, might seem too remote or speculative or simply unrelated. Within the narrative structure of a productive theory, facts fall neatly into place, and hidden patterns emerge. Thus, theories are the key to linking sociological phenomena separated by 50, 100, and even 200 years. “Future studies should examine how modern health is shaped by a wider array of past forms of structural racism, such as slavery, lynching, unequal treatment in the criminal-legal system, forced sterilization, and other manifestations of racialized violence,” according to the quintet of academic scholars. “Theory suggests inextricable links,” they say, “with historical forms directing, constructing, and molding contemporary structural racism.” Researchers from Duke University and Florida State University argue that depriving African American felons of the right to vote affects the health of the entire community. The co-authors acknowledge they can’t directly prove that voting prohibitions for convicted felons harmed community health, but they noted that “there is a strong theoretical basis on which to expect that racialized disenfranchisement affects health.”  The article states that living in states with higher levels of “racialized felony disfranchisement” is "associated with" worse physical and mental health among black people, such as more symptoms of depression and functional limitations. The article concludes that "enacting laws to dismantle racialized felony disenfranchisement would likely improve the health of Black people and make progress toward achieving health equity." That claim includes footnotes that take the reader to three other articles – one based on “ecosocial theory,” another drawing on sociologist Bruce Link's theory of “stigma power,” and another resting on the theory of “fundamental causes.” These articles provide the so-called theoretical basis for concluding that stripping felons of the right to vote affects community health. (The Link theory posited that "stigma is a form of power" used to control, exploit, and dominate people with mental illness.)  “Skeptics dismiss structural racism as a slippery concept for which robust empirical evidence documenting its effects is lacking,” the two researchers declare in their paper. “This study provides empirical evidence that makes it harder to dismiss the links between health and structural racism manifested as disproportionate Black felony disenfranchisement.” Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a kidney specialist who retired last year from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, agreed to review this article for RCI. A former associate dean of curriculum at Penn’s medical school, Goldfarb said the Health Affairs article contains all the mandatory caveats about its methodological limitations, and then ignores them. “This approach just drives me crazy. It’s basically finding associations and claiming it proves causality,” Goldfarb said. “They are going to find evidence for their theory because they are trying to do everything they can to prove their theory. That’s why they keep saying: We have to find the evidence.”  Alan Weil declined to discuss critiques of individual Health Affairs articles, and the lead author of the felon study and of the hospital study didn’t respond to RealClearInvestigations’ emails. But Weil, and others, say the anti-racist imperative in medicine is no more of an ideological “agenda” than the quest to discover a cure for cancer. Moreover, the advocates assert that the imperative to dismantle systemic racism is more urgent because it is more lethal than cancer. “These sociopolitical exposures are exposures, just like we study in cancer research,” said Katherine Theall, a social epidemiologist and professor of public health at Tulane University. “And they’re even more powerful in many ways across a host of health outcomes.” One way of summarizing this dispute is that traditionalists like Goldfarb are suspicious of scholarly activism as a corrupting influence on science, whereas researchers like Weil and Theall are suspicious of neutrality and colorblindness as an invisibility cloak for systemic racism. “We want objective science, but there’s a point in public health, too, where we need to be doing more consequential work,” said Theall, a co-author of one of the Health Affairs articles. “We should be doing more advocacy, we should be trying to change these factors that we know matter for health.” Weil describes researchers as “heroic” for trying to make sense of a complicated problem for which there is no single measure, but whose existence is beyond dispute. “I don’t find the existence of systemic racism to be a controversial or difficult question to answer,” Weil said. “I see it around me all the time. I think the evidence base is so clear that I don’t want to spend a lot of my time trying to figure out whether or not the problem exists.” Other articles in Health Affairs seek to document evidence of systemic racism in unexpected places. The team of scholars that includes Theall suggests that urban policing, specifically stop-and-frisk encounters, can lead to domestic violence and violent crime, as well as to poorer community health. Theall said there are a number of theories scholars can “pull off the shelf” to analyze the effect of stop-and-frisk encounters on community health and local crime. But the causality is complicated, she said, because some effects, like heart disease and obesity, can take years to develop. Other effects, like rates of smoking or inadequate physical activity, could happen relatively quickly. And taking this tack requires scholars to connect smoking for the alleviation of stress, or a reluctance to go outside for exercise, to police harassment – as opposed to connecting it to, say, gang terror. Theall said it takes years of effort and reams of studies to create a convincing case, patiently building evidence and refining methods. “Our thesis is that even if you’re not a perpetrator of violence, for example, that level of community stress, of over-policing, is important for health,” Theall said. “And it’s important for that production of violence, whether that’s additional violent crime in the neighborhood or maybe the stress of living in a stressful neighborhood and what that might do for domestic violence.”  Theall’s article focuses on data from New Orleans. The article notes that the city had the fourth-highest murder rate in the United States in 2019 – a rate five times the national average. Much of the action in Theall’s article takes place in the substratum of footnotes. The cited research relies on an array of sociological, psychological, and criminological theories that associate cops with harmful effects, including stress and distrust, the latter presumably causing residents not to call 911 for police assistance when they need it. One of the articles cited by Theall (in footnote 27), in turn, cites previous articles that have been passed down from paper to paper. And it is here, burrowing into the footnotes, where one can find explanations and theories that speculate on how policing can lead to crime and poor health. “Policing may also have epigenetic implications,” the reader learns, “whereby chronic exposure to stress from a particularly imposing police presence can lead to altered gene transcription/expression and epigenetic changes that can be passed on to subsequent generations.” But with so many theories to choose from, could a researcher be tempted to cherry-pick a theory, or just make one up, to make the data tell a coherent story about how cops are escalating crime and violence and community illness?   “I don’t know the best answer for that, but I see where it can be a critique,” Theall said. “I would just think that’s probably not the route most researchers are taking in terms of analyzing their data, and then finding a theory to fit it.”  To the contrary, Theall believes some scholars are so scrupulous that they “overcontrol” for random factors and end up with research findings that are inconclusive. She said that because papers with negative findings tend not to get published as often as papers with splashy results – a research phenomenon called publication bias – a misimpression can result, that anti-racist scholars find racism everywhere they look.   Still, there is a theory in criminology called “the Ferguson effect,” developed after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, that posits the opposite of Theall’s: that crime increases when cops reduce pro-active policing. Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. (not related to the Ferguson effect theory), agreed to read Theall’s paper for RCI. He described this scholarship as a classic example of stubborn data being shoehorned into an uncooperative theory. “This feels like an example of institutional capture, where you’re only good if you buy into the theory,” he said, “and therefore everything is seen through the lens of that theory, no matter how much you have to torture the data to make that happen.” Ferguson is a hardcore skeptic of this sort of research. In a Quillette article last December, he described his resignation from the American Psychological Association as a protest against the organization’s embrace of wokeness. In the long run, Ferguson predicted, this research approach will prove unsustainable. “We’re in this confirmatory mode where people try to find evidence and not look at alternative explanations,” he said. “That’s the best way to form a consensus – just exclude the scholars who disagree. “What happens is, other scholars begin to pick at it and it falls apart,” Ferguson added. “Twenty years out this is going to look like a huge embarrassment.” email: jmurawski@realclearinvestigations.com Twitter: @johnmurawski Tyler Durden Wed, 04/06/2022 - 21:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 6th, 2022

10 hotels in South Florida with gorgeous rooftop pools and lively bars

These are the best hotels with rooftop pools and restaurants in South Florida, including Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and more. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Tripadvisor South Florida's warm, tropical climate makes it a top vacation destination. From West Palm Beach to Miami, South Florida hotels have incredible rooftops to soak up the sun. Some hotel rooftop bars, restaurants, and pools are open to the public in addition to guests. Table of Contents: Masthead StickySouth Florida is known for its dazzling beaches but also its lively nightlife. And because the region stays warm when the sun goes down, many hotels have in-demand rooftops with outdoor restaurants, bars, and pools that draw visitors day and night.Few things top an afternoon laying out by a pool perched in the sky, enjoying happy hour with views of the Atlantic Ocean in the background, or watching a sunset while savoring a delicious meal. Living in South Florida has given me the opportunity to frequent some of the best hotels, and the following list of hotels all have incredible rooftops that make it easy to savor all the best parts of visiting the Sunshine State.Browse all the best hotels with rooftop pools and restaurants below, or jump directly to a specific area here:The best hotel rooftops in South FloridaFAQ: South Florida hotelsHow we selected the best South Florida hotels with rooftopsMore of the best hotels in FloridaThese are the best hotel rooftops with pools and restaurants in South Florida, sorted by price from low to high. Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown The Easton rooftop combines a pool, restaurant, bar, and nightclub. Marriott Book Courtyard Fort Lauderdale DowntownCategory: Budget Town: Fort Lauderdale Typical starting/peak prices: $152/$365Best for: Friends, solo travelers, Marriott loyalists On-site amenities: 24-hour fitness center, library, business center, pet-friendly rooms, pool, restaurant, barPros: The rooms are well priced, and the rooftop bar is a hot nightlife destination with a DJ and bottle service on the weekends. Cons: On the flip side, the rooftop bar can get crowded, and noise can carry into the guest rooms late into the night.The Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown recently opened in March 2021, nestled in the hip Fort Lauderdale Arts District, just a few miles from Fort Lauderdale Beach and Las Olas Boulevard, the main dining and entertainment strip. Rooms start under $200, which is well priced for a new hotel in such a great location. Most of the 137 guest rooms and suites have views of the Fort Lauderdale city skyline and are outfitted with modern wallpaper, soft carpeting, orange leather armchairs, and sofa beds in some rooms. The hotel is also home to The Easton, a ninth-story rooftop with a restaurant, bar, pool, and plush outdoor seating.  The Easton fills up quickly, especially during weekday Golden Happy Hour, and on the weekends, the rooftop transforms into a nightclub from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. with visitors lining up for live music and bottle service. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach Downtown Ban.ter Treehouse, the 13th-floor rooftop bar and restaurant has seating spread around a sparkling infinity pool. Tripadvisor Book Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach DowntownCategory: Mid-rangeTown: West Palm Beach Typical starting/peak prices: $174/$423 Best for: Friends, Hilton loyalists, travelers with pets  On-site amenities: Pet-friendly rooms, complimentary evening wine and beer tastings, complimentary bicycle rentals, restaurant, bar, poolPros: The hotel is close to the airport in a great central location for exploring trendy downtown West Palm Beach. Cons: While the views on the rooftop are great, the seating is limited.Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach opened in 2020 and is the only Hilton Canopy in Florida, a new boutique lifestyle concept from the brand. Canopy hotels pride themselves on creating a locally-driven by connecting guests to events, music, and restaurants in the surrounding area. The 150 room hotel is less than three miles from Palm Beach International Airport and about a mile from the beach. Rooms are brand new and have been outfitted with gray bedding, oversized artwork, and a dedicated workspace. Standard rooms are spacious at almost 400 square feet, and Deluxe Rooms have city and ocean views. Ban.ter, the lobby restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Ban.ter Treehouse, the 13th-floor rooftop bar and restaurant serves small plates and cocktails. The indoor/outdoor flow of the latter rooftop restaurant is lush with lots of plants and palm trees and seating is a mix of bartop and four-person tables spread around a sparkling infinity pool. On weekends, a poolside DJ plays high-energy music. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Kimpton Angler's South Beach The hotel is just two blocks from the beach. Tripadvisor Book Kimpton Angler's South BeachCategory: Boutique Town: South Beach, Miami Typical starting/peak prices: $228/$483Best for: Couples, families, IHG Kimpton reward members, travelers with pets   On-site amenities: Evening wine hours, complimentary morning coffee, Orange Theory fitness classes, in-room spa treatments, pool, restaurant, bar, beach accessPros: The Kimpton Angler is just two blocks from the beach and accommodations are large, with options for two and three-story lofts and bungalows.Cons: There's no fitness center, but the hotel has a partnership with OrangeTheory fitness, and classes are included in your stay. Also, there's a charge for Wi-Fi if you're not an IHG Kimpton rewards member.Kimpton hotels are known for their well-designed boutique properties, the Kimpton Angler's South Beach is no exception. Located on the south end of Miami Beach, it's also minutes from the nightlife on Ocean DriveThere's a cohesive nautical theme carried throughout, with sand-colored loveseats, wicker lamps, and navy patterned lounge chairs and curtains in the 132 guest rooms and suites. Standard rooms are 400 square feet with King or Queen sized beds, ample closet space, and oversized walk-in showers with separate tubs. Most rooms also have balconies that overlook either Washington Ave or the hotel's courtyard Mermaid Pool. The sixth-floor rooftop pool and sun deck is a standout feature, with chic black and white lounge chairs framed by panoramic views of the Miami skyline. Large potted plants add privacy to lounge areas, and the pool deck is quiet enough for those who want to catch up on reading. After a dip, order drinks like the photogenic watermelon margarita from the Minnow Bar. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Conrad Miami The sleek pool terrace is one of multiple rooftop lounge areas at the Conrad Miami. Tripadvisor Book Conrad MiamiCategory: LuxuryTown: Brickell, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $275/$574Best for: Couples, Hilton loyalists   On-site amenities: Spa, hot tub, rooftop tennis courts, restaurant, pool, barPros: In addition to the great views, the hotel is in a walkable neighborhood and the customer service is top-notch. Cons: Part of the hotel is commercial real estate, and floors 4-15 are business offices, which may take away from the luxury hotel feel. Also, the lobby is located on the 25th floor, which can be confusing.Conrad Miami is in the heart of Brickell, Miami's business district near upscale, art, and dining. This hotel has multiple great outdoor spaces, but chief among them is Nativo Kitchen and Bar on the 25th floor with views of Virginia Key Beach, Key Biscayne, and Biscayne Bay.There is also the 13th-floor rooftop pool with sleek cabanas and the adjacent Sky Pool Bar, serving a casual menu of burgers and chicken wings, local and imported beers, and frozen cocktails.  When not sunning yourself on one of these terraces, retreat to guest rooms with a clean, minimalist style and light wood furniture, gold fixtures, and baby blue accent chairs. Standard rooms have a separate bathtub and shower, complimentary bathrobes, and 50-inch televisions, and all rooms come with wide windows that offer city or ocean views.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Dalmar, Tribute Portfolio A saltwater pool is flanked by a sleek bar. Tripadvisor Book The Dalmar, Tribute PortfolioCategory: Luxury Town: Fort Lauderdale Typical starting/peak prices: $284/$455 Best for: FriendsOn-site amenities: Yoga classes, restaurants, pool, bar, coffee shopPros: The rooftop restaurant, Sparrow, is great for adults-only celebrations and has exceptional views of Fort Lauderdale. Cons: Past guests have noted that food and drink prices are steep. The Dalmar is located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, only two miles from Fort Lauderdale beach. From framed art by the Lobby Bar restaurant to the living plant wall adorning Rose's Coffee shop near the hotel's entrance, fun design features prominently.There are two great rooftop venues on the 6th floor of the hotel. Sparrow is an indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar, and after 9 p.m., the venue turns into a 21+ lounge. There's a strict dress code (no athletic gear or beachwear) and a DJ that spins late into the night.The other rooftop venue is the saltwater pool reserved for hotel guests, but the poolside bar and grill, Sip and Dip, is open to everyone from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Inside, guest rooms have midcentury flair with pastel furniture, pleated curtains, and brass lamps. The rooms also have premium Sferra sheets, spacious bathrooms with rainfall showers, and tablets for ordering in-room services. Most rooms have floor-to-ceiling views of either Fort Lauderdale or the Intracoastal and select rooms have balconies. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Ben, Autograph Collection Spruzzo serves coastal Italian cuisine on the rooftop. Tripadvisor Book The Ben, Autograph CollectionCategory: Luxury Town: West Palm Beach Typical starting/peak prices: $286/$483Best for: Couples, Marriott loyalists, travelers with pets  On-site amenities: Rooftop fire pit, hotel library, in-room dining, pet-friendly rooms, restaurant, poolPros: In addition to the great downtown location and views of the waterfront, Spruzzo, the hotel's Italian rooftop restaurant, has a delicious menu and extensive imported wines. Cons: Spruzzo doesn't take reservations, but instead operates on a first-come, first-served policy. One of the newest additions to downtown West Palm Beach is the waterfront hotel, The Ben. The Marriott-owned luxury boutique hotel commands a great location within walking distance of Clematis Street, West Palm Beach's lively district filled with restaurants and bars, and Rosemary Square, an upscale shopping and dining destination. Guest rooms are polished, with sleek wood floors, leather pleated headboards, and luxe Turkish linens. A standard Interior Double Queen is a comfortable 343 square feet, and many guest rooms have views of Palm Harbor Marina or Palm Beach Island. The hotel's 7th-floor rooftop restaurant and bar, Spruzzo, is quite popular, especially on weekends, serving coastal Italian cuisine. It's quickly become a local hangout for young professionals. During the day, hotel guests may reserve one of the cabanas next to the heated saltwater pool, and at night, enjoy watching the sunset over the Palm Beach Intracoastal from the fire pit with a cocktail in hand. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Moxy Miami South Beach There are six different hotel restaurants including a swanky rooftop lounge. Marriott Book Moxy Miami South BeachCategory: BoutiqueTown: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $289/$489Best for: Friends, Marriott loyalists Onsite amenities: 6 dining and drinking venues, pet-friendly rooms, complimentary beach chairs, complimentary rooftop fitness classes, complimentary morning coffee, poolPros: The Upside rooftop level has incredible views of the South Beach oceanfront along with plenty of seating. Each guestroom also have two beach chairs on South Beach included. Cons: Although there's plenty of places to sunbathe, The Upside rooftop only has a shallow wading pool.Newly opened Moxy Miami South Beach is the first resort-style property for the Moxy brand.Only two blocks from the bustling nightlife of South Beach, the hotel gets lively, especially on the weekends and caters to a young crowd. The purposeful design features lots of Instagrammable details like neon wall signs and fun pool floats.Standard guestrooms are a cozy 224 square feet but maximize the space with retro details like rotary phones and custom artwork by local Miami artists. Walk-in rain showers and Egyptian cotton linens add a sumptuous touch.There are six different hotel restaurants including a lobby bar, Bar Moxy, and Serena, an elevated Mexican restaurant in a lush garden setting adjacent to the hotel's main 72-foot pool. The hotel's 8th story rooftop, The Upside is reserved for hotel guests and has a shallow pool, lounge chairs, and plenty of daybeds. The Upside has great views of South Beach, and a DJ spins house and hip-hop tunes throughout the afternoon and evening. The hotel also offers complimentary bikes (helmets included) to explore the neighborhood. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Betsy South Beach The oceanfront deck offers a front-row view of the Atlantic Ocean. Tripadvisor Book The Betsy South BeachCategory: BoutiqueTown: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $289/$609Best for: Couples, travelers with pets On-site amenities: Spa, library, fitness center, restaurants, bars, arts and cultural programming, beach access, poolPros: With only 130 rooms, the hotel offers a peaceful, intimate South Beach stay and all the arts programming is a boon for culture enthusiasts. Cons: Restaurant menu items are expensive and come with an automatic 20% gratuity fee, but that's on par with most hotels on Ocean Drive.The Betsy Hotel is a landmark hotel on South Beach located on Miami's main strip, Ocean Drive, but is tucked away from the noise of the nightclubs and late-night revelry. Arts programming features heavily here, drawing a sophisticated crowd of well-heeled creative types who book posh, albeit sometimes small, rooms with walnut floors, velvet armchairs, and cream-colored curtains that frame floor-to-ceiling windows. The 250-square-foot standard Classic King is cozy but comes with a marble bathroom, a large walk-in shower, luxe Sferra linens, and is pet-friendly, welcoming dogs under 40 pounds. There are two pools: a courtyard pool and a fourth-floor rooftop infinity pool with chaise lounges and 360-degree views of Miami. The bar serves poolside drinks, and food may be brought up from the hotel's restaurant, LT Steak & Seafood. After a swim, catch a sunset from the rooftop's Skyline Deck, a patio overlooking the ocean with unobstructed water views.COVID-19 procedures are available here. East Miami An expansive rooftop pool deck has stellar views over the city and multiple areas to swim. Tripadvisor Book East MiamiCategory: Luxury Town: Brickell, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $305/$529Best for: Couples, business travelersOn-site amenities: 24-hour fitness center with classes, complimentary bicycles, restaurants, 4 pools, barsPros: Sugar, the bar on the 40th floor, has one of the best views of downtown Miami and some of the best cocktails I've had in Miami. Cons: The food and cocktails at Sugar are great, but even with a reservation, the wait is long and service can be slow. East Miami is centrally located in downtown Brickell and Sugar, the hotel's rooftop restaurant and bar on the 40th floor has arguably the best view of the entire Miami skyline.The restaurant is 21+ after 6 p.m. and there's a strict dress code (nightlife attire is enforced after sunset). Equally impressive are the four pools (a lap pool, spa pool, plunge pool, and hot tub) on the hotel's fifth-floor deck. So many offerings mean you won't have to worry about waiting for a sun lounger.Standard guest rooms start at 300 square feet, though there are also has large one, two, and three-bedroom residences. All 352 rooms come with a private balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows, and contemporary decor that includes cream-colored furniture, teal wallpaper, and orange throw pillows. COVID-19 procedures are available here. 1 Hotel South Beach Four distinct pool decks offer incredible views. 1 Hotel South Beach/TripAdvisor Book 1 Hotel South BeachCategory: Luxury Town: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $425/$899Best for: Couples, friends, familiesOn-site amenities: Spa, fitness classes, salon, pet-friendly rooms, coffee and juice bar, beach club, restaurants, bars, multiple poolsPros: There are four different dazzling pool areas, one of which has stunning views from the hotel's 18th-story rooftop. Food, rooms, and customer service are all outstanding at this hotel. Cons: Prices can more than double during the winter high season, and the hotel's 18 story rooftop pool is restricted to adults 21+.Considered one of the best hotels on South Beach, 1 Hotel South Beach takes up an entire block and sits on 600 feet of Miami's prime beachfront. The hotel is pricey but worth the splurge for its sophisticated boho beach vibes, impeccable service, outstanding food, and airy rooms.The lobby makes a remarkable first impression with soaring ceilings and crisp seating around glass-topped wooden coffee tables, but it's the multiple pool decks that really dazzle.There are four different pools: the beachfront South pool, the third floor Cabana Pool, the enormous 30,000 square foot Center Pool, and the gorgeous 18th-story rooftop pool, Watr at the 1 Hotel Rooftop, which is Miami's largest rooftop pool and lounge. Inside, the 426 guest rooms are a celebration of nature and sustainability, sourcing most items from reclaimed materials. A coastal-inspired color palette and large windows make them feel airy and light alongside beachy accents featuring driftwood, tree stumps, and custom wood plank headboards. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: South Florida hotels When is the best time to visit South Florida?While South Florida experiences nearly year-round sunshine, the best time to visit is from February to May. During those months, temperatures are cooler, and crowds tend to taper off, although there is a spike of visitors during spring break.During the summer months, the temperature and humidity soar, and daily afternoon thunderstorms are common. Florida's hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until the end of November with August and September being the most active hurricane months.Weather-wise, November through January is also a good time to visit. The temperatures hover around 75 degrees, although it's not uncommon to experience a few sub 50 degree days when a cold front comes through. But keep in mind that hotel prices tend to peak during the November to January holiday months. Do I have to book a room to visit a hotel rooftop?Many of the hotels included in this list have rooftop bars and restaurants open to the public that do not require an overnight hotel reservation, but most of the rooftop pools are reserved for hotel guests. Some hotels offer daytime cabana rentals or a day pass through Resort Pass that includes access to the hotel's pool, spa, or other amenities. Availability changes often, so always call ahead and ask. How do I get around South Florida?South Florida is a large area that encompasses three counties: Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe, though most locals consider southern cities in Palm Beach County like West Palm Beach as part of South Florida.Touring South Florida requires a car and some planning as traffic can get congested, especially during morning and evening rush hours. While the public transportation system is mostly reliable in downtown areas, renting a car is the best way to explore all of South Florida. If you're flying into Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach and staying close to your hotel, you can use taxis or rideshare apps to get around. How do I find a hotel with a rooftop?Most hotels with a rooftop will list it on their hotel website, and third-party booking sites like Booking.com and Hotels.com will usually include a  rooftop in the hotel description or on the list of hotel amenities. Also, the third-party booking site Kayak has a search filter to only pull up properties with rooftops. Do hotel guests receive priority on rooftops?It depends on the property. Most of the hotels restrict the pool areas to hotel guests or guests with day passes. Rooftops with a combined pool and restaurant area do take outside reservations, so it's advised to make restaurant reservations when checking in. How we selected the best South Florida hotels with rooftops I'm a South Florida-based travel writer and have personally visited almost every hotel on this list. All of the hotel rooftops have an excellent bar or restaurant, a picturesque pool, and sensational city or ocean views.Every hotel is located in a popular neighborhood in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami. Some of the hotels have downtown locations close to shopping, museums, and restaurants. Others are beachfront or within walking distance to the beach.Besides the great rooftops, many of the properties include perks like a nightly hosted wine hour, complimentary bicycles, and pet-friendly guest rooms.All of the properties have excellent recent reviews on third-party travel sites like Tripadvisor or Booking.com.Because of the location and amenities of the properties, most of the hotels are in the luxury category, but booking during low season can lock in reasonable rates.We've indicated which hotels are ideal for couples, friends, families, or solo travelers, and have included a mix of all kinds of properties.Each hotel promotes COVID safe practices and has updated its COVID practices to include enhanced cleaning procedures. More of the best hotels in Florida Trip Advisor The best hotels in FloridaThe best beach hotels in FloridaThe best hotels in South BeachThe best hotels in MiamiThe best hotels in Key WestThe best hotels in Fort LauderdaleThe best hotels in Orlando and KissimmeeThe best hotels in Walt Disney WorldThe best hotels in Destin Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Special Ops Veteran Cancels Plans For Sunday Protest At FBI Headquarters After "Trap" Warnings

Special Ops Veteran Cancels Plans For Sunday Protest At FBI Headquarters After 'Trap' Warnings Authored by Patricia Tolson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), In the wake of the unexpected fallout sparked by an Aug. 8 media pitch, a military veteran has revised his plans to hold a protest at the FBI headquarters in Washington on Sunday, Aug. 14. Adam Hardage, veteran and CEO of Remote Health Solutions, calling for a protest at the FBI headquarters in Washington on Aug. 14, 2022. (Courtesy of Adam Hardage) Following the unprecedented raid on the Mar-a-Lago residence of former President Donald Trump, an Aug. 8 media pitch announced that a 20-year military and former Special Ops veteran named Adam Hardage was “calling on fellow veterans and Americans of all walks to join him Sunday 8/14 at the FBI HQ in Washington DC to protest the out of control FBI and its actions against President Trump.” Adam Hardage, military and Special Operations veteran, pictured here in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Courtesy of Adam Hardage) However, the unexpected fallout that quickly ensued caused Hardage to revise his plans. It all started with an Aug. 9 report about the proposed protest mentioned in the Aug. 8 media pitch. Screenshot of the Aug. 8, 2022 media pitch sent out to numerous news outlets regarding a protest proposed at the FBI headquarters in Washington. (With permission from the media relations company) The contact information was included in the media pitch for those who wanted to interview Hardage. While Hardage did receive requests for radio and podcast spots, the media relations company that sent out the media pitch confirmed that The Epoch Times was the only print/web news outlet to actually request and receive an interview with Hardage about his proposed protest. The Best Laid Plans There has been much speculation that Jan. 6, 2021 was a setup, a coordinated campaign to use the anger of those who believe the 2020 election was stolen against them in order to take down former President Donald Trump and arrest and incarcerate his supporters, with the goal of ultimately destroying the entire MAGA movement. As The Epoch Times reported, evidence has emerged that proves protesters were peaceful until Capitol Police began lobbing tear gas and flashbangs into the crowd, shooting them with rubber bullets and spraying them in the face with pepper gel. Experts say a “cadre of provocateurs” then instigated fights, broke through bike rack barricades and encouraged protesters to storm the Capitol. Members of a secret, plainclothes Electronic Surveillance Unit were even embedded into the crowd, recognized to Capitol Police by a special multi-colored bracelet worn on their left wrist, for the express purpose of filming the ensuing confrontations between protesters and law enforcement for the purposes of entrapment. It wasn’t long before speculation grew that the proposed protest at the FBI headquarters on Aug. 14, 2022 could be staged as a trap to ensnare protesters just like those who attended the protest at the Capitol on Jan. 6. 2021. ‘It’s a Trap’ In response to the Aug. 9 report, chatter on social media and right-wing blogs ranged from support to warnings the proposed protest could be “a trap.” Other comments on social media posts suggest everything from the inevitable win of Trump in 2024 because of the raid to suggestions that the FBI planted evidence at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence. An Aug. 11 report said Trump’s supporters were warning people to “beware of possible FBI agents urging rebellion.” Another social media post warned of the FBI saying, “We advise individuals taking part in protest activities to remain aware of their immediate surroundings and to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.” Warnings of entrapment were followed by misinformation. The host of one social media video wrongfully attributed a quote from “another concerned veteran,” mentioned at the end of one report, to Hardage, inaccurately insisting Hardage said he wasn’t even planning on attending his own protest. “I am a 20-year retired navy commander and J6 attendee,” the unnamed “concerned veteran” said in the Aug. 9 story. “I am incensed by the FBI raid on DJT’s home yesterday. I will be protesting an end to the FBI on the busiest intersection in my town of Kingwood, TX in full uniform Saturday.” Hardage lives in Virginia with his wife and two children. According to Dave Scarlett, a Marine and pastor of His Glory ministries, the proposed Aug. 14 protest would “most definitely” wind up being another Jan. 6 “trap.” “If you’re in the Washington, D.C. area, there go your rights,” Scarlett told The Epoch Times. “Do not go into Washington. D.C. If you want a peaceful protest, do it outside of Washington. D.C. “If you are truly representing the nation, patriots, Christians, and the military in this country, that is not the place to do it,” Scarlett said. “It’s a trap. Stay out of it. Do not go there,” Scarlett warned. “I have many military intel sources who are former generals and they said exactly that. Do not go into Washington D.C., because it’s a trap.” ‘Overreach and Abuse’ Hardage believes “the raid on Mar-a-Lago was a massive governmental overreach.” He is not alone. Even multiple high-profile Democrat politicians and liberal media outlets are calling the raid an unprecedented overreach that will require a lot of explaining. While he also knows the Mar-a-Lago raid “was intended to scare Americans and to intimidate people,” Hardage believes the only thing it really accomplished was to “energize Trump’s base and the MAGA crowd.” Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26, 2021. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) “I’m excited to see MAGA 2.0, because I think it’s going to be absolutely epic,” Hardage said. “It’s going to make the original Trump Train and Trump Wave look like a snooze fest.” Scarlett agrees. “The FBI and tyrants in Washington have overplayed their hand by desecrating the home of the People’s President and the most influential Leader of the Free World—a cowardly act previously only seen in Third-World countries,” Scarlett said in a statement issued after the raid. “They have not just attacked the rightful President, but every freedom-loving American Patriot in this country. This disgusting overreach of power and display of lawlessness will go down in history as the exact moment they sealed their fate. I foresee a fully committed and united MAGA party, the likes of which has never been seen in this great nation. Christians, Patriots, Military, and every freedom-loving citizen will now unite. They have awakened a sleeping giant. We will once again be One Nation Under God, where justice, truth, and light prevails.” It’s a sentiment echoed by Rick Green, Founder of Patriot Academy. “The FBI raid on President Trump’s home will go down in infamy as the turning point for a generation,” Green told The Epoch Times, adding that “the unknown is whether the turn will be towards complete tyranny or a turn back to liberty and the answer depends on whether we average Americans say enough is enough.” “The church-going, hard-working, family and community-focused people that make up the backbone of America are not normally the type to protest,” Green said further. “They vote, they donate, they might write a letter of concern. None of that is enough anymore. Saving America from these Marxists will require a civically active, vocal, consistent citizenship and we’re about to find out if enough Americans are up to the challenge.” Recent surveys appear to show that the rise of the “civically active” and “vocal” citizenry is already happening. The Surveys In the wake of the Jan. 6 protests, the government has done much to use the event against Donald Trump and anyone who supports him. The arrest, incarceration, and abuse of the protesters; the ongoing efforts of the Select Committee to convict Trump of insurrection and render him ineligible to ever run for office again; and the raid on Mar-a-Lago, some, like Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), believe “it’s about vengeance. It’s about intimidation.” Still, the silver lining behind these dark clouds is revealed through a string of recent surveys, which show a simultaneous frustration with growing government overreach, a spike in the number of Americans who believe the nation has a two-tiered justice system and an increase in the number of Americans becoming tangibly involved in civic activism. An online survey by Daily Mail shows over 70 percent of their readers disapprove of the Mar-a-Lago raid. The Nationwide Issues Survey (pdf) conducted between July 24–28 by the Trafalgar Group with Convention of States Action found that 79 percent of 1,080 likely U.S. voters interviewed believe “there are two tiers of justice: one set of laws for politicians and Washington D.C. insiders vs one set of laws for everyday Americans.” According to a national survey of general election likely voters conducted by McLaughlin & Associated for Summit Ministries from July 21–25, while 48 percent of American voters say their level of civic engagement has remained the same in recent years, nearly 30 percent said they have gotten more involved in the civic process within the last two years. Of those, 81 percent say they are civically engaged because they believe their activism is making a difference. The first national survey taken after the FBI raid on Trump at Mar-a-Lago shows 83 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents, and 55.2 percent of Democrats are now more likely to vote in the 2022 Midterm Elections as a result of the raid. While only 11.9 percent of Democrats believe Trump’s political enemies are behind the FBI raid on the former president’s private home, 53.9 percent of Independent voters and 76.7 percent of Republican voters believe they are. More striking is that a majority of independents and Republicans believe the raid was unreasonable and that the raid is moving America closer to becoming a police state. Democrats, on the other hand, think such an invasion is completely reasonable. A Change of Plans “After the politically-motivated raid on President Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago, I initially called for a rally in the Northern Virginia/DC area,” Hardage told The Epoch Times amid the fallout from the Aug. 9 report. “My intent was to show solidarity and support for freedom, for the U.S. Constitution, and for President Trump. After receiving thousands of online comments and emails from across this nation from veterans on all sides of politics, I have decided to make a change to our plans to peacefully protest the FBI.” Read more here... Tyler Durden Sat, 08/13/2022 - 22:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge12 hr. 28 min. ago

Hurricane-Stoking La Nina To Persist Through Peak Season

Hurricane-Stoking La Nina To Persist Through Peak Season As peak hurricane season is underway, the odds of La Nina sticking around for at least a few months are rising, potentially leading to more hurricanes and tropical storms.  According to the US Climate Prediction Center's latest data, there's an 80% chance of cool waters across the equatorial Pacific Ocean through October. Last month the agency estimated 62% odds of La Nina for the same period, a noticeable increase over the previous month.  The weather phenomenon known as La Nina helps to fuel tropical development by cutting down on the amount of wind shear across the western Atlantic. High wind shear can disorganize the structure of tropical systems by weakening them or destroying them. We pointed out earlier this month that the first two months of hurricane season have been relatively quiet, but that is all expected to change as peak hurricane season has arrived.  Increased tropical storm activity usually begins in August and lasts through early October.  The concern with entering the most active part of hurricane season, plus a possible boost in the severity of storms due to lingering La Nina, is that more areas of the US are prone to possible landfall.  The National Hurrican Center has identified one disturbance in the Atlantic, though formation odds in the next 48% hours are extremely low.  And here's what La Nina means for the weather conditions across the country this fall.  Another problem is if a hurricane or tropical storm were to make landfall on US soil and damage infrastructure, a critical supply shortage of transformers, distribution lines, and poles could prolong power outages. Then there's the risk of a tropical system slamming into the Gulf Coast of the US, where major oil/gas refinery operations exist -- any disruption due to storm-related damage could reverse the steepest declines in fuel prices since GFC.  Tyler Durden Thu, 08/11/2022 - 22:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 12th, 2022

How Experts Think About Bear Market Opportunities

Today, the majority of Americans are worried a bear market is looming. The good news: there are silver linings. Bear markets can present bargains for investors, thanks to inefficient pricing and fear in the market. Going further, many investing greats have made key investments during market downturns including: Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and […] Today, the majority of Americans are worried a bear market is looming. The good news: there are silver linings. Bear markets can present bargains for investors, thanks to inefficient pricing and fear in the market. Going further, many investing greats have made key investments during market downturns including: .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Warren Buffett: Automotive sector during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis Shelby Davis: Financial sector during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis Peter Bernstein: Gold during the 2000 Dot-Com Crash In this infographic from New York Life Investments, we show four quotes on bear market opportunities and the data behind their insight. How Experts Think About Bear Market Opportunities When faced with the challenges of a bear market, how do experts respond? 1. “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” — Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Just like a bargain on socks may be an opportunity for buyers, a bargain on stocks is an opportunity for potential upside. In fact, the S&P 500 Index has seen double-digit gains 85% of the time after extremely pessimistic sentiment since 1987. Investor pessimism can be measured by a ‘bull-bear spread’. This is based on an AAII survey that measures investor expectations for the market in the next six months. It is calculated by taking the percentage of investors who are ‘bullish’ on the market minus those who are ‘bearish’. For example, in the week of April 29, 2022: Bullish: 16.4% Bearish: 59.4% Bull-Bear Spread: – 43 Here’s how the S&P 500 Index performed after periods of extreme investor pessimism: Date Bull-Bear Spread S&P 500 Index 12-Month Return 10/19/1990 -54 26% 3/6/2009 -51 67% 10/5/1990 -44 22% 9/21/1990 -43 25% 11/16/1990 -43 21% 4/29/2022 -43 ? 8/17/1990 -41 18% 1/11/2008 -39 -36% 3/14/2008 -39 -41% 8/31/1990 -38 23% Source: Bloomberg, 5/12/22 As the above chart shows, investor pessimism is at its highest in 20 years. Instead of thinking of how bad the market is doing, investors may be better of thinking of the market as being significantly less expensive. 2. “History provides crucial insight regarding market crises: they are inevitable, painful, and ultimately surmountable.” — Shelby Davis, founder of Shelby Cullom Davis & Company Bear markets hurt. On the bright side, they only account for 29% of the market environment, with bull markets making up the lion’s share (71%). What’s more, stocks have spent the vast majority of time at or near their all-time highs. Market Environment Description % of Time in Market Environment All-Time High Stock market hits all-time high 35% Bull Market Dip Stock market falls under 10% from all-time high 33% Bull Market Correction Stock market falls over 10% but less than 20% from all-time high 3% Bear Market Drawdown Stock market falls over 20% from peak to trough 10% Bear Market Recovery Time it takes to reach next all-time high 19% Source: Morningstar Direct, PerformanceAnalytics, UBS 4/30/2022. Based on monthly returns from 1945. Overall, stocks have spent around two-thirds of the time at or near all-time highs. 3. “The most important lesson an investor can learn is to be dispassionate when confronted by unexpected and unfavorable outcomes.” — Peter Bernstein, economist and financial historian To avoid falling for the behavioral pitfalls of a market cycle, investors can identify key macro indicators of each stage. Below, we show the economic indicators and how they associate with each type of market cycle. Market Cycle Monetary Policy Shock* Consumer Sentiment Employment Sales Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) Bull Positive Positive Positive Highly Positive Highly Positive Correction Positive Negative Positive Negative Negative Bear Positive Highly Negative Highly Negative Highly Negative Highly Negative Rebound Highly Negative Positive Negative Negative Negative Source: Goulding, L. et al., May 2022. *Represents an unexpected move in monetary policy. As the above table shows, bear markets are associated with low consumer sentiment, high unemployment, low corporate sales, and weak manufacturing performance—with a high number of macroeconomic shocks. 4. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Britain Just like bear markets can stoke investor uncertainty, rising interest rates can cause stock market disruption. However, since 1954 the S&P 500 Index has returned an average 9.4% annually during Fed rate hike cycles. Fed Rate Hike Cycle S&P 500 Index Annualized Total Return Aug 1954 - Oct 1957 14% Jun 1958 - Nov 1959 24% Aug 1961 - Nov 1966 7% Aug 1967 - Aug 1969 4% Mar 1972 - Jul 1974 -9% Feb 1977 - Jun 1981 11% Mar 1983 - Aug 1984 13% Jan 1987 - May 1989 16% Feb 1994 - Feb 1995 4% Jun 1999 - May 2000 10% Jun 2004 - Jun 2006 8% Dec 2015 - Dec 2018 8% Source: Morningstar, Haver Analytics, March 2022 Not only that, the S&P 500 Index has had positive returns 11 out of 12 times during periods of rising interest rates. Despite the short-term impact to the market, stocks often weather the storm. Finding Bright Spots In summary, it is helpful to remember the following historical characteristics of a bear market: Extreme pessimism Short-lived Higher macroeconomic shocks (employment, sales, PMI) Investors can find opportunities by considering a contrarian point of view and learning from the time-tested experience of investing legends. Article by Visual Capitalist Updated on Aug 9, 2022, 2:21 pm.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkAug 10th, 2022

The Mayor White Problem for Investors

Dear fellow investors, While reading Jeff Nussbaum’s new book Undelivered, I came across the story of Boston’s Mayor Kevin White and the 1974 busing of Boston public school students. As a millennial, busing is something I’ve heard of and never had to experience personally. The story was very telling. Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences […] Dear fellow investors, While reading Jeff Nussbaum’s new book Undelivered, I came across the story of Boston’s Mayor Kevin White and the 1974 busing of Boston public school students. As a millennial, busing is something I’ve heard of and never had to experience personally. The story was very telling. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Busing was a theory pushed in the 1970s to fix the inequalities that were seen after the civil rights movements of the 1960s. White neighborhoods were white and black neighborhoods were black and unlikely to make in-roads between those communities. The theory was that if you would integrate the children, these stark community contrasts would change. Let me highlight those ideas like open enrollment, where a child in Boston could enroll at whatever Boston public school he or she would like, was not the principal at hand. It was telling the child that they had to be bussed to another community in this grand social experiment. The city of Boston had experienced its first two days of court-mandated busing to integrate the city’s schools the week prior. In the initial phase of busing, ordered by district court judge Arthur Garrity, white students would be bused from South Boston to integrate predominantly Black Roxbury, and Black students would make the opposite trip to integrate predominantly white South Boston. The first two days had not gone well; chaos ruled, several buses had been damaged, and six student and one police officer had been injured. Now the word on the street was that on Monday of the first full week of school (later that very morning), Boston’s notorious Irish American Mullen Gang intended to co-opt a planned anti-busing march and get violent, potentially even trying to shoot and kill black students. Mayor White’s Problems This was a very dark hour in the history of the city of Boston. Ideological lines ran everywhere. Caught in the middle of this storm were innocent children. Boston Mayor Kevin White had decisions to make. He couldn’t violate a judge’s order but hated the idea of forcing policies down on families. Investors may feel some of Mayor White’s problems today. The old proverb says that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The same could be said of the predicament that Mayor White found himself in 1974. It is our opinion at Smead Capital Management that what has transpired via ESG mandates in the economy of the world is very similar. Ideological thinking has run amok in the allocation of capital. This has transpired from government edicts and will, a typical creator of a bubble. It is promoted by the promoters, who are another element of bubbles. Their love child is what we now refer to in the investment business as ESG. Police officers and children being bused across town come with explicitly high costs. ESG is carrying the same problems. Andy Kessler’s article The Many Reasons ESG Is a Loser touches on the typical symptom of the idealogues and the promoters, it comes at a higher cost. Kessler wrote, “These days ESG is big business, with $2.77 trillion in ‘global sustainable fund assets.’ The average expense ratio is 0.41%. And sure enough, apparently some funds aren’t ESG enough.” He goes on to say, “Fees on ESG Aware are 0.15%, or 15 basis points. BlackRock’s plain-vanilla iShares Core S&P 500 ETF index fund charges only 3 basis points. That’s right, BlackRock charges five times as much for juggling a few names and slapping ESG on the name. Capitalists indeed.” As was true in 1974, the intentions of busing were good, the integration of communities from stark to blended forms. However, the timeline and the means to reach that have proven inconclusive. As Nussbaum says in his work, “The legacy of busing is a complicated one and still being discussed in today’s political debates.” He continues: White flight to suburban and parochial school accelerated. In 1972, 60 percent of the student in Boston Schools were white, 33 percent Black, 5 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent Asian. By 1993, 48 percent of Boston’s students were Black, 23 percent were Hispanic, 19 percent White, and 9 percent were Asian. Put another way, Boston schools had gone from 60 percent white to 80 percent minority, ironically making schools more technically “segregated.” What we take away from this is that the goal was never met. The danger to what is going on, not in our schools, but in our political debate and our capital markets, may be an unattainable goal. While we in America are not suffering at the same level as European countries are in the post-Ukrainian invasion, we should feel very blessed from prior policy decisions in our country. The countries that have believed in the ideology of ESG the most and have allowed the promoters to be the most aggressive (even down to regulatory bodies and their rulings across the European continent) have only found misery in electricity prices, gasoline prices and the costs to their economies from higher oil and gas prices for political security. Looking at the results today, you would assume that these policy prescriptions would be quickly corrected. This is foolish to believe. As Nussbaum said in his book, busing is still debated, but the white flight from Boston public schools is not. The agenda of ESG in 20 years may still be debated, but we don’t believe the returns to investors will be. We believe the difference in returns will be black and white. Fear stock market failure, Cole Smead, CFA The information contained in this missive represents Smead Capital Management’s opinions, and should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice and are subject to change. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Cole Smead, CFA, President and Portfolio Manager, wrote this article. It should not be assumed that investing in any securities mentioned above will or will not be profitable. Portfolio composition is subject to change at any time and references to specific securities, industries and sectors in this letter are not recommendations to purchase or sell any particular security. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk. In preparing this document, SCM has relied upon and assumed, without independent verification, the accuracy and completeness of all information available from public sources. A list of all recommendations made by Smead Capital Management within the past twelve-month period is available upon request. ©2022 Smead Capital Management, Inc. All rights reserved. This Missive and others are available at www.smeadcap.com. Updated on Aug 9, 2022, 12:16 pm.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkAug 10th, 2022

US gas prices are sliding toward $4, but hurricane season will have a big say in whether they stay lower

"There's going to be a reduction in [gas] prices after Labor Day unless … a bad storm knocks off refining capacity," a AAA spokesperson said. A man pumps gas into his car in Miami, Florida.CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images US average gas prices are headed to $4.00 a gallon, extending a recent run of price declines.  Gas prices have dropped for more than 50 straight days in the face of demand destruction after prices soared above $5 this year.  But a disruptive hurricane could propel prices upward again, said AAA and OPIS.  Drivers across America may soon pay, on average, less than $4 a gallon for gasoline, with prices steadily decreasing over the past month, but energy experts say an active hurricane season holds the potential to kick prices back up. The national price average of regular-grade gas was $4.113 as of Friday, according to tracking by motor club AAA. The price marked the 52nd consecutive decline in what's been a painful few months at pump stations for millions of Americans. Down from a peak of $5.01, the national average stood at $4.80 a month ago but was much higher than $3.19 a year ago."A back-of-the-envelope calculation seems to suggest that the daily cost for consumers by around the middle of this month we'll be about a half a billion dollars per day less than what it was in the first 10 days or so of June," Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at OPIS, told Insider this week. He separately said Friday the country was "a few hours" away from the average price slipping below $4.10 a gallon and that the median price was $3.939. The market saw considerable demand destruction when gas prices hit $5 a gallon and that's contributed to the consecutive drop in pump prices, he said. The downshift was taking place with the summer driving season moving closer to an end as Americans wrap up their road trips. Traditionally marked by Labor Day holiday, the summer driving season will conclude September 5. What will still running on the calendar, however, is hurricane season. August through October will be the peak months in a season set to end on November 30. Above-normal hurricane season"Atmospheric and oceanic conditions still favor an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said this week in updating its 2022 outlook. It now sees a 60% likelihood of an above-normal season, edged down from its previous call of a 65% chance. "A lot of production comes offline because of a bad hurricane season domestically," said Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs at AAA Colorado, told Insider. "Even what we import … comes through the Gulf refineries, it's not just [what's] produced at home," and a disruptive storm "could really send prices upward again." NOAA's outlook, which covers the season's six months starting in June, calls for 14 to 20 named storms marked by winds of at least 39 miles per hour. Six to 10 of the storms could become hurricanes, with winds registering at least 74 miles per hour. Of those, said the agency, three to five could become major hurricanes with winds clocking in at 111 mph or greater."I can promise you there's going to be a reduction in [gas] prices after Labor Day unless … a bad storm knocks off refining capacity," said McKinley."Historically, generally, those costs are regionalized. So it's not necessarily true that folks in Colorado, for example, will be paying more because of bad hurricanes. But folks certainly in the Gulf region will and depending on how bad, it could affect the entire country." The market has been experiencing a "streak of luck" with no major hurricanes or refinery disruptions so far this year, said Kloza. "If we don't get a tropical storm threat in the Gulf of Mexico, we're gonna see retail prices drop below $4 a gallon, probably by about August 15 or 16th," he said. Gas prices would rebound quickly in the event of a storm disruption but perhaps not to as high as $5.0150, he said. Also, Russian President Vladimir Putin could try to inflict more pain on the West by curbing crude, Kloza said, which would send gas prices higher again. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, traded around $95 a barrel on Friday and West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, fetched about $88.80 a barrel. The benchmarks lost ground for the week but were still up by roughly 18% and 22%, respectively, year-to-date. Gas prices started to spike up after Putin launched a war against Ukraine in late February. The average US price was $3.60 on March 1, said McKinley. Gas prices will eventually return to pre-war levels, he said."Will that happen in the near term? Look, if it does, it's bad news. If prices fall back to $2.50 or even $3 very quickly ... it's a sure sign that we've got some significant economic problems that we're either experiencing or that are on the horizon," McKinley said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 6th, 2022

US gas prices are sliding toward $4, but hurricane season will have a say in whether prices stay lower, say energy experts

"There's going to be a reduction in [gas] prices after Labor Day unless … a bad storm knocks off refining capacity," a AAA spokesperson said. A man pumps gas into his car in Miami, Florida.CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images US average gas prices are headed closes to $4.00 a gallon, extending a recent run of price declines.  Gas prices have dropped for more than 50 straight days in the face of demand destruction after prices soared above $5 this year.  But a disruptive hurricane could propel prices upward again, said AAA and OPIS.  Drivers across America may soon pay, on average, less than $4 a gallon for gasoline, with prices steadily decreasing over the past month, but energy experts say an active hurricane season holds the potential to kick prices back up. The national price average of regular-grade gas was $4.113 as of Friday, according to tracking by motor club AAA. The price marked the 52nd consecutive decline in what's been a painful few months at pump stations for millions of Americans. Down from a peak of $5.01, the national average stood at $4.80 a month ago but was much higher than $3.19 a year ago."A back-of-the-envelope calculation seems to suggest that the daily cost for consumers by around the middle of this month we'll be about a half a billion dollars per day less than what it was in the first 10 days or so of June," Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at OPIS, told Insider this week. He separately said Friday the country was "a few hours" away from the average price slipping below $4.10 a gallon and that the median price was $3.939. The market saw considerable demand destruction when gas prices hit $5 a gallon and that's contributed to the consecutive drop in pump prices, he said. The downshift was taking place with the summer driving season moving closer to an end as Americans wrap up their road trips. Traditionally marked by Labor Day holiday, the summer driving season will conclude September 5. What will still running on the calendar, however, is hurricane season. August through October will be the peak months in a season set to end on November 30. Above-normal hurricane season"Atmospheric and oceanic conditions still favor an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said this week in updating its 2022 outlook. It now sees a 60% likelihood of an above-normal season, edged down from its previous call of a 65% chance. "A lot of production comes offline because of a bad hurricane season domestically," Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs at AAA Colorado, told Insider. "Even what we import … comes through the Gulf refineries, it's not just [what's] produced at home," and a disruptive storm "could really send prices upward again." NOAA's outlook, which covers the season's six months starting in June, calls for 14 to 20 named storms marked by winds of at least 39 miles per hour. Six to 10 of the storms could become hurricanes, with winds registering at least 74 miles per hour. Of those, said the agency, three to five could become major hurricanes with winds clocking in at 111 mph or greater."I can promise you there's going to be a reduction in [gas] prices after Labor Day unless … a bad storm knocks off refining capacity," said McKinley."Historically, generally, those costs are regionalized. So it's not necessarily true that folks in Colorado, for example, will be paying more because of bad hurricanes. But folks certainly in the Gulf region will and depending on how bad, it could affect the entire country." The market has been experiencing a "streak of luck" with no major hurricanes or refinery disruptions so far this year, said Kloza. "If we don't get a tropical storm threat in the Gulf of Mexico, we're gonna see retail prices drop below $4 a gallon, probably by about August 15 or 16th," he said. Gas prices would rebound quickly in the event of a storm disruption but perhaps not to as high as $5.0150, he said. Also, Russian President Vladimir Putin could try to inflict more pain on the West by curbing crude, Kloza said, which would send gas prices higher again. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, traded around $95 a barrel on Friday and West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, fetched about $88.80 a barrel. The benchmarks lost ground for the week but were still up by roughly 18% and 22%, respectively, year-to-date. Gas prices started to spike up after Putin launched a war against Ukraine in late February. The average US price was $3.60 on March 1, said McKinley. Gas prices will eventually return to pre-war levels, he said."Will that happen in the near term? Look, if it does, it's bad news. If prices fall back to $2.50 or even $3 very quickly ... it's a sure sign that we've got some significant economic problems that we're either experiencing or that are on the horizon," McKinley said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 6th, 2022

US gas prices are sliding toward $4 but hurricane season will have a say in whether prices stay lower, say energy experts

"There's going to be a reduction in [gas] prices after Labor Day unless … a bad storm knocks off refining capacity," a AAA spokesperson said. A man pumps gas into his car in Miami, Florida.CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images US average gas prices are headed closes to $4.00 a gallon, extending a recent run of price declines.  Gas prices have dropped for more than 50 straight days in the face of demand destruction after prices soared above $5 this year.  But a disruptive hurricane could propel prices upward again, said AAA and OPIS.  Drivers across America may soon pay, on average, less than $4 a gallon for gasoline, with prices steadily decreasing over the past month, but energy experts say an active hurricane season holds the potential to kick prices back up. The national price average of regular-grade gas was $4.113 as of Friday, according to tracking by motor club AAA. The price marked the 52nd consecutive decline in what's been a painful few months at pump stations for millions of Americans. Down from a peak of $5.01, the national average stood at $4.80 a month ago but was much higher than $3.19 a year ago."A back-of-the-envelope calculation seems to suggest that the daily cost for consumers by around the middle of this month we'll be about a half a billion dollars per day less than what it was in the first 10 days or so of June," Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at OPIS, told Insider this week. He separately said Friday the country was "a few hours" away from the average price slipping below $4.10 a gallon and that the median price was $3.939. The market saw considerable demand destruction when gas prices hit $5 a gallon and that's contributed to the consecutive drop in pump prices, he said. The downshift was taking place with the summer driving season moving closer to an end as Americans wrap up their road trips. Traditionally marked by Labor Day holiday, the summer driving season will conclude September 5. What will still running on the calendar, however, is hurricane season. August through October will be the peak months in a season set to end on November 30. Above-normal hurricane season"Atmospheric and oceanic conditions still favor an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said this week in updating its 2022 outlook. It now sees a 60% likelihood of an above-normal season, edged down from its previous call of a 65% chance. "A lot of production comes offline because of a bad hurricane season domestically," Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs at AAA Colorado, told Insider. "Even what we import … comes through the Gulf refineries, it's not just [what's] produced at home," and a disruptive storm "could really send prices upward again." NOAA's outlook, which covers the season's six months starting in June, calls for 14 to 20 named storms marked by winds of at least 39 miles per hour. Six to 10 of the storms could become hurricanes, with winds registering at least 74 miles per hour. Of those, said the agency, three to five could become major hurricanes with winds clocking in at 111 mph or greater."I can promise you there's going to be a reduction in [gas] prices after Labor Day unless … a bad storm knocks off refining capacity," said McKinley."Historically, generally, those costs are regionalized. So it's not necessarily true that folks in Colorado, for example, will be paying more because of bad hurricanes. But folks certainly in the Gulf region will and depending on how bad, it could affect the entire country." The market has been experiencing a "streak of luck" with no major hurricanes or refinery disruptions so far this year, said Kloza. "If we don't get a tropical storm threat in the Gulf of Mexico, we're gonna see retail prices drop below $4 a gallon, probably by about August 15 or 16th," he said. Gas prices would rebound quickly in the event of a storm disruption but perhaps not to as high as $5.0150, he said. Also, Russian President Vladimir Putin could try to inflict more pain on the West by curbing crude, Kloza said, which would send gas prices higher again. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, traded around $95 a barrel on Friday and West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, fetched about $88.80 a barrel. The benchmarks lost ground for the week but were still up by roughly 18% and 22%, respectively, year-to-date. Gas prices started to spike up after Putin launched a war against Ukraine in late February. The average US price was $3.60 on March 1, said McKinley. Gas prices will eventually return to pre-war levels, he said."Will that happen in the near term? Look, if it does, it's bad news. If prices fall back to $2.50 or even $3 very quickly ... it's a sure sign that we've got some significant economic problems that we're either experiencing or that are on the horizon," McKinley said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 6th, 2022

China’s Military Exercises Around Taiwan Are Forcing Shippers to Change Routes

Shippers are rerouting vessels as China begins military drills around Taiwan, creating logistical headaches for global supply chains. Shippers rerouted vessels as China began its most provocative military drills in decades around Taiwan, creating logistical headaches for global supply chains. The maneuvers, announced by Beijing in the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, are taking place in six different areas around the island from noon local time Thursday until Sunday. China has advised ships and aircraft not to get near regions where exercises are taking place. Some ships continued to travel through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, with a few still in the drill zones, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. As of noon, there were approximately 15 vessels in the exercise regions, compared to 45 at the same time Wednesday. There were no ships in the zone closest to the China mainland in the Taiwan Strait. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Vessels are also being rerouted around the eastern side of the island, which will create delays of about three days, shipbrokers estimate. Delays of that duration aren’t uncommon, and the long-term impact may be minimal if tensions ease next week. However, the risks for ships traveling through Chinese waters may be compounded by bad weather, threatening further delays. Shenzhen city, which hosts the Yantian container port and lies directly west of Taiwan’s southern tip, issued a tropical cyclone warning, citing a low-pressure system about 117 kilometers (73 miles) away as of Thursday morning. The Taiwan Strait is a key route, with almost half of the global container fleet passing through the waterway this year. The disruption is just the latest inconvenience for supply chains, which have been reeling since the start of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Read More: There Are No Benefits to a Pelosi Visit to Taiwan At least one liquefied natural gas tanker south of Taiwan changed course to avoid military drills, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. Several other ships are reducing speed to avoid the maneuvers, which will result in small delivery delays to Taiwan and other nearby countries, traders said. Some agricultural container cargoes from Southeast Asia to China have been postponed to load next week to avoid the risks, while some couldn’t be rescheduled and are still waiting for shipping companies’ notices, according to a Shanghai-based commodity trader. Taiwan’s Maritime Port Bureau issued a notice warning ships to avoid the area where drills will take place as there is no fixed route for sea transportation, according to Taiwan’s transportation minister Wang Kwo-tsai. Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp. said Thursday morning there are currently no delays or postponements of cargoes heading to or leaving Mailiao port. CPC Corp., which has a refinery in Kaohsiung, located close to one of the drill zones, said its port operations remain unaffected. “We’re very careful and asking port and ship agents to be cautious, and to not go into the drill zones,” said FPCC spokesman Lin Keh-Yen. —With assistance from Sharon Cho, Elizabeth Low and Winnie Zhu.....»»

Category: topSource: timeAug 4th, 2022

US Marines just ate all the eggs in one of southeastern Europe"s most strategically important port cities

The US military is expanding its cooperation with Greece, and US sailors and Marines have been really enjoying their time there. Sailors and Marines from USS Arlington and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit train with the Greek military on May 17, 2022.US Navy photo US sailors and Marines aboard USS Arlington visited the Greek port of Alexandroupoli in late May. They appeared to enjoy their stay — local media reported that they overwhelmed many restaurants. The visit reflects the US military's increasing interest in Greece amid growing tension in the region. At the end of May, US Navy amphibious transport dock USS Arlington arrived in the Greek city of Alexandroupoli for a port call.The 1,500 officers and enlisted Marines aboard the ship spent three days in the northeastern Greek city, and during their stay they reportedly ate all of Alexandroupoli's eggs.Giorgos Alavantas, a restaurant owner, said 6,000 to 7,000 eggs were eaten during one day of the US visit. "In other words, we don't have eggs," Alavantas said, according to local media."I serve 16 different types of meat at my restaurant, and they tried them all," Georgios Davis, a former president of the Alexandroupoli hospitality association, told Greek newspaper Kathimerini.The visit by sailors and Marines comes amid expanding cooperation between the US and Greek militaries, and it highlights the increasing importance of Europe's southeastern corner to the US and to the NATO alliance.A security node in the AegeanA US Army M1A2 tank is unloaded in Alexandroupoli, July 20, 2021.US Army/Andre CameronAlexandroupoli is close to Greece's border with Bulgaria and Turkey and about 60 miles from the Dardanelles, the maritime entryway to the Black Sea.The city's location and its expanding road and railroad network provide a land route around the Bosporus and allow quick access to the Black Sea, the Balkans, and other destinations around NATO's southeastern flank.The significance of Alexandroupoli was cemented in the updated Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement signed between Greece and the US in October. Under the agreement, the US received priority access to the port, which has been especially valuable amid the war in Ukraine."That access allows us to continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine and to counter malign actors and exercise and operate in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea region," Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said during a recent visit by the Greek defense minister to Washington DC.Sailors from USS Arlington present a plaque to John Bogdis, general secretary for the municipality of Alexandroupoli, during a community-relations project, May 23, 2022.US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Cameron RossThe increased US presence is meant to support NATO allies in the region and to counter Russia's influence in a part of Europe where Moscow has traditionally held sway because of ethnic and economic ties."Greece is a key hub for supporting and ... projecting allied presence in a region facing various forms of revisionism," Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said while in Washington.Since October 2021, the US has disembarked equipment and troops in Alexandroupoli numerous times, including what were its two largest disembarkation operations in Greece ever.The port was has also been used for exercises and has supported the regular rotation of US troops and equipment in Europe through Operation Atlantic Resolve.On August 3, Alexandroupoli's port authority chairman announced that the Italian army will use the port to move equipment to Europe. Britain is also planning to do the same.Shutting off Russian gasAlexandroupoli in July 2016.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesAlexandroupoli also has a role in European energy security, with plans to build a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) for liquefied natural gas in the sea a few miles south of the city.The regional FSRU project will begin operations by the end 2023 and be a convergence point for regional gas pipeline networks running from Italy and Bulgaria to Turkey and Georgia.The city's FSRU facility will be part of the EU's Southern Energy Corridor, an initiative to bring Azeri gas through Turkey to Europe and help the continent decouple itself from Russian natural gas."As Europe is now moving rapidly to reduce its vulnerability to Russian energy blackmail and get away from Russian gas, the Alexandroupoli FSRU becomes more and more important," Geoffrey Pyatt, then the US ambassador to Greece, said in May.Not everyone is happy with Alexandroupoli's growing geostrategic importance.A pressure pointTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg in August 2016.REUTERS/Sergei KarpukhinRussia and Turkey have both expressed dissatisfaction at the enhanced US presence in Alexandroupoli.In December, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told Greek media that "the problem is very simple. More and more NATO and US troops are gathering in your territory. Hundreds, thousands of units of military equipment are transported through Alexandroupoli.""This worries us, you have to understand us," he added.Greece had maintained a working relationship with Russia, but Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and Athens's support for Kyiv have led their relationship to deteriorate. Each has expelled some of the other's diplomats, and Russia recently declared Greece an unfriendly state.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also expressed his opposition to the US presence. "Establishing a base there bothers us and our people," Erdogan reportedly told President Joe Biden in October, shortly before the US and Greece signed the updated defense-cooperation agreement.Greece and Turkey are both NATO allies but have disputes over a number of issues. Their relationship has deteriorated further in recent months, following Turkey's challenge of the sovereignty of a number of Greek islands.In June, Erdogan reiterated his opposition to US bases in Greece. "Against whom were they established? The answer they give is 'against Russia.' We don't buy it," Erdogan said.The US military currently uses a Greek army base near Alexandroupoli and has not yet established its own base in the city. However, as Alexandroupoli's infrastructure expands and tensions in the region deepen, its importance will keep increasing.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 3rd, 2022