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Finnish President Pledges "We"ll Commit To Turkey"s Security" In Biden Meeting

Finnish President Pledges "We'll Commit To Turkey's Security" In Biden Meeting On Thursday Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson met Joe Biden at the White House, where the US President hailed the "momentous" NATO applications of the once-neutral countries. "Today I’m proud to welcome and offer the strong support in the United States for the applications of two great democracies, and two close, highly capable partners to join the strongest, most powerful defensive alliance in the history of the world," Biden said while standing alongside the two leaders in the Rose Garden. Swedish PM Magdalena Andersson and Finish President Sauli Niinisto met with President Biden Thursday. Getty Images "They meet every NATO requirement and then some," Biden emphasized, adding "having two new NATO members in the high north will enhance the security of our alliance." The visit came as Turkey's Erdogan is still pledging to resist their path to membership. "We have told our relevant friends we would say 'no' to Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO, and we will continue on our path like this," Erdogan stressed in fresh Thursday remarks. President Niinisto used the occasion of the Biden meeting as an attempt at calming Turkey's concerns. "Finland has always had proud and good bilateral relations with Turkey. As NATO allies, we will commit to Turkey's security, just as Turkey will commit to our security," Niinisto stressed. "We take terrorism seriously. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and we are actively engaged in combating it. We are open to discussing all the concerns Turkey may have concerning our membership in an open and constructive manner," he added, countering Turkey's assertions. Andersson, for her part, said that the Stockholm government is "right now having a dialogue with all NATO member countries, including Turkey, on different levels to sort out any issues at hand." President Biden had also in the press conference addressed Moscow's anger over Finland, which shares a lengthy border with Russia. "New members joining NATO is not a threat to any nation," Biden said. "It never has been.” Meanwhile NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg chimed in from Copenhagen, saying, "We are addressing the concerns that Turkey has expressed." He added: "Because when an ally, an important ally as Turkey, raises security concerns, raised these issues, then, of course, the only way to do that is to sit down and find ways to find a common ground and an agreement on how to move forward." Thus far Erdogan and top Turkish officials have said that Finnish and Swedish delegations shouldn't even bother coming to Turkey if they remain unwilling to stop 'supporting' the PKK and others that Ankara sees as terrorists. At the same time, we wonder what Putin might be offering the Turkish leader to entice him to maintain his veto over the 30-member alliance, which needs consensus if it hopes to admit the new members. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/19/2022 - 15:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 19th, 2022

The UK Is Prioritizing Energy Security Over Climate Pledges

The UK Is Prioritizing Energy Security Over Climate Pledges Authored by Felicity Bradstock via OilPrice.com, The UK is prioritizing its energy security over its climate pledges with support for ongoing oil and gas operations. Despite previous plans to end coal production by 2024, the UK government appears to be going back on its pledges. In the face of rising consumer energy prices, which have sent many into fuel poverty, Johnson says that North Sea oil will be vital in tackling the cost of living. The U.K. appears to be doing a 180 on its climate promises, as the government shows significant support for ongoing oil and gas operations and several new fossil fuel projects. Despite pumping millions into renewable energy developments, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has continued to back North Sea oil and has even shown interest in extending coal plant operations, having previously vowed to end coal production earlier than anticipated by 2024.  Coming out of the COP26 climate conference last November, president of the summit Alok Sharma said the U.K. would press governments on their decarbonization promises, aimed at limiting global heating to 1.5C. The U.K. took a leading role in the summit, which was held in Glasgow, and will maintain its presidency until COP27 in Egypt later this year.  As well as striving for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the U.K. government introduced a target to cut emissions by 78 percent by 2035 and for all of the UK's electricity to come from clean sources by 2035. The U.K. has already established itself as a world leader in offshore wind production, with renewables already producing around 20 percent of the country’s electricity. The government has also introduced wide-spreading decarbonization aims for housing, transport, flights and shipping, food, and industry. But only time will tell whether the U.K. is capable of meeting these targets as it faces increasing energy shortages and rising prices.  But the government has already been accused multiple times this year of going against its net-zero targets by continuing to back oil and gas projects. In April, the U.K. launched its energy security strategy, which aims for long-term independence from foreign energy sources and the decarbonization of the U.K.’s power supply. The strategy also identifies oil and gas as key to the energy transition, with plans to boost production in the North Sea, stating “net-zero is a smooth transition, not an immediate extinction, for oil and gas”. Johnson argues that North Sea oil and gas is a lower carbon option than imported energy and is necessary to meet domestic needs until the renewable energy sector is more developed. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gave a “now or never” warning in April, suggesting that new fossil fuel exploration would jeopardize the Paris agreement target of limiting global heating to 1.5C. In the face of rising consumer energy prices, which have sent many into fuel poverty, Johnson says that North Sea oil will be vital in tackling the cost of living, encouraging companies to increase their investments in the energy source. The government is patently breaking its COP26 climate pledges by introducing a $6 billion tax raid on oil and gas, offering subsidies for fuel consumption as well as incentivizing drilling activities. In May, Johnson stated, “To tackle inflation in the medium-term, you’ve got to deal with supply-side issues.” Adding, “So we need the energy companies to be putting some more into hydrocarbons, but we also need the whole country to be investing in more low-carbon energy.” This month, it emerged that the U.K. government was talking to Big Oil companies, such as Shell, about increasing oil and gas production in response to shortages due to sanctions introduced on Russian energy. This follows news that regulators approved the Shell Jackdaw natural gas field in the North Sea, having rejected it previously due to environmental concerns.  Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden said that the company will commence the Jackdaw project “as well as other similar ones... in fact, we have an interest in six of the UK’s 12 planned exploration wells,”. This is part of the company’s aim to increase its oil and gas market share from 10 percent to 15 percent over the next eight years. Shell is expected to invest $31 billion in U.K. energy before 2030, 75 percent of which will go to cleaner energy sources. In addition, the government is likely to make a deal with a coal-fired facility in Nottinghamshire to maintain operations for longer than scheduled to ensure the U.K.’s energy security. Negotiations are taking place with French energy company EDF to delay the plant’s closure from October this year to next March.  But the opposition and the public are taking notice of these recent changes in the government’s approach to energy. Environmentalists and the political party the Liberal Democrats criticized the government this month for approving gas drilling in Surrey Hills, in the South of England, despite environmental risks. Campaigners suggested that the government has an “obsession” with finding new fossil fuel developments. Greenpeace UK policy director Doug Parr said “with this decision the government is completely undermining local democracy, the planning laws that are supposed to protect our designated landscapes and the climate crisis in one fell swoop.” Despite the U.K.’s leading role in COP26, its ongoing presidency, and its ambitious climate pledges, in the face of energy shortages and rising prices, the government seems to be quickly turning back to oil, gas and even coal, in a bid to ensure the country’s energy security. Tyler Durden Sat, 06/18/2022 - 09:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 18th, 2022

Live: Jan. 6 committee to hold next hearing on Thursday, Pence advisors to testify

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 on the House January 6 committee.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is holding its next hearing at 1 p.m. ET Thursday. Two people who worked with Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to testify. One is expected to say that America's democracy was "almost stolen," CBS News reported. The next January 6 committee hearing is due on Thursday, with Pence advisors set to testifyFormer Vice President Mike Pence.Meg Kinnard/APThe next hearing by the January 6 committee is due to take place on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.Two advisors to Mike Pence, who was former President Donald Trump's vice president, are due to testify.The aides are Greg Jacob, Pence's former counsel, and J. Michael Luttig, a retired judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit who served as an informal advisor to Pence.Two people familiar with Luttig's testimony told CBS News that he is expected to say tht America's democracy was "almost stolen" and that conservatives should recognize the seriousness of what Trump did on January 6.He will also say that he urged Pence to ignore Trump's pressure on the vice president to block Joe Biden's certification as president, CBS News reported.Trump had piled pressure on Pence not to recognize Biden's victory in the days running up to January 6, 2021, and some of the rioters at the Capitol had chanted "hang Mike Pence." Pence's role in the certification process was largely ceremonial.All the times GOP Rep. Loudermilk shifted his story about the Capitol tour he led a day before Jan. 6 attackVideo released by the January 6 committee shows Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia leading a tour through the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021.Screenshot / January 6 CommitteeThe explanation given by Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk about a tour that he led a day before the January 6 Capitol riot has changed several times.The committee investigating the attack said Wednesday at least one person on the tour later attended Trump's January 6 rally and march toward the Capitol. Other tour members appear to have taken photos of stairwells and a security station in the Capitol complex. There is currently no evidence that suggests any of the tour participants rioted inside the Capitol. There is also no evidence that suggests that Loudermilk knew any of the people on the tour wanted to commit violence or deface the Capitol.The January 6 committee released footage of the tour on Wednesday, saying it included areas that tourists don't typically pay much attention to, like stairwells and hallways.Capitol police said there was nothing "suspicious" about the tour, but Loudermilk's explanation of it has evolved.Read Full StoryGinni Thomas emailed Trump lawyer John Eastman ahead of January 6, report saysGinni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, arrives to watch Judge Amy Coney Barrett take the constitutional oath on the South Lawn of the White House on October 26, 2020.AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyGinni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, exchanged emails with John Eastman, a Trump lawyer who drafted a memo detailing a plan for overturning the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.Sources close to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection told the Post that the correspondence, which was obtained by the committee, showed Ginni Thomas went to greater lengths than previously known to overturn the election.A spokesman for Rep. Bennie Thompson, co-chair of the committee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Other reports have emerged of efforts by Ginni Thomas, a right-wing activist, to overturn the election. The Post previously reported she had emailed 29 GOP lawmakers in Arizona urging them to ignore Biden's win in the state and choose pro-Trump electors.Read Full StoryPolice say tour of Capitol complex given by GOP lawmaker on eve of the January 6 attack was not suspiciousRep. Barry Loudermilk.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Capitol Police chief confirmed in a letter on Monday that GOP Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia had given 15 people a tour of the Capitol complex on the eve of the January 6 attack, adding that it was not suspicious.Chief J. Thomas Manger also said that the group didn't enter the Capitol building in his letter to Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, the ranking Republican member of the House Administration committee."We train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious," Manger wrote.Citing security footage, Manger said that Loudermilk had led a group of 12 people, which later grew to 15, through the Rayburn, Cannon, and Longworth buildings, but the group never appeared at "any tunnels that would have led them to the US Capitol."Read Full StoryHeiress to Publix grocery chain sponsored Kimberly Guilfoyle's $60,000 speech on Jan. 6 that lasted 2 minutes, report saysKimberly Guilfoyle gives an address to the Republican National Convention on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe daughter of the Publix grocery chain's founder sponsored the January 6, 2021, speech given by Kimberly Guilfoyle, which lasted two-and-a-half minutes and cost $60,000, The Washington Post reported.Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host who went on to work for former President Donald Trump and is now Donald Trump Jr.'s fiancée, was given $60,000 for the speech by the conservative nonprofit Turning Point Action, The Post reported, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter.The sponsoring donor for that payment was Julie Fancelli, the daughter of Publix founder George Jenkins, The Post reported.Guilfoyle's speech was at a Trump rally in Washington, DC, which preceded the Capitol riot.Read Full StoryMike Lindell says he offered to publicly testify before the January 6 committee but they didn't want to talk to himMike Lindell, political activist and CEO of MyPillow, attends a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022 in Delaware, Ohio.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says that he tried to get a spot to testify before the January 6 committee and show them his "evidence" to prove former President Donald Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud, but they did not want to talk to him. Lindell made this statement during an appearance on Steve Bannon's podcast, "War Room: Pandemic."Bannon asked Lindell if the committee had reached out to him to go through "all the voluminous material" he has about the 2020 election. "No, they haven't. And it's really — that's sad, too, because I've offered. I'd love to come to your committee as long as you nationally televise it, Ms. Pelosi," Lindell replied, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.Read Full StorySen. Raphael Warnock says that January 6 Capitol attack shows that 'our democracy is in peril'Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia speaks to members of the press after a Senate Democratic Caucus meeting on January 18, 2022 in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesSen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat in Georgia, told NPR that democracy in the US is at risk.Warnock, who is running for reelection against Republican Herchel Walker, serves as Georgia's first Black senator since his election in 2021. He is also a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the church where Martin Luther King Jr. attended."Democracy is hard work. Democracy is not a noun, it's a verb. And over the course of time, our democracy expands. It gets a little closer towards those ideals. There are moments when it contracts, but even contractions open the possibility for new birth and new hope," Warnock said to NPR's Mary Louise Kelly.Warnock said that the January 6 Capitol attack, in which hundreds of rioters breached the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 election, demonstrates the troubled state of democracy.Read Full StoryTrump might have to be prosecuted to save American democracy, an expert on authoritarianism arguesFormer President Donald Trump speaks on May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.Chet Strange/Getty ImagesRuth Ben-Ghiat spends a lot of time thinking about authoritarianism. An historian at New York University, she is an expert on the rise of fascism in Italy and, most recently, author of the the book, "Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present," tracing the erosion of democracy from Russia to the United States of America.She is keenly focused on what happens when those in power lose their grip on it."The authoritarian playbook has no chapter on failure," Ben-Ghiat wrote in a November 2020 piece for The Washington Post. "Nothing prepares the ruler to see his propaganda ignored and his charismatic hold weaken until his own people turn against him."When, two months later, former President Donald Trump urged his supporters to head over to the US Capitol in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election, Ben-Ghiat was not altogether surprised. Indeed, she had told people to expect it, arguing: "the rage that will grow in Trump as reality sinks in may make for a rocky transition to Biden's presidency. Americans would do well to be prepared."What stopped a failed insurrection from being a successful coup, she recently told CNN, was — at least in part — one of the lies Trump said on January 6: "I'll be there with you," he told supporters as they prepared to march on Congress.He never showed.In an interview with Insider, Ben-Ghiat expanded on why she thinks January 6 was an "attempted coup," why it did not succeed, and what the future holds.Read Full StoryConservative lawyer John Eastman was told to 'get a great f-ing criminal defense lawyer': House January 6 testimonyJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APConservative lawyer John Eastman previously wrote a memo to former Vice President Mike Pence urging him to overturn the 2020 election results.White House lawyer Eric Herschmann told Eastman to "get a great f-ing criminal defense lawyer" the day after the Capitol attack."You're going to need it," Herschmann recounted to the January 6 House committee.Read Full StoryTrump releases 12-page statement bashing the Jan. 6 investigation, saying it is merely to stop him from running for president againVideo of former President Donald Trump is played during a hearing by the Select Committee in Washington, DC, on June 13, 2022.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump released a 12-page statement after the committee's second hearing on Monday.He spent nearly nine pages of the statement pushing bogus claims that the 2020 election was rigged against him.He also bashed the panel and claimed it was trying to stop him from running again in 2024. He has repeatedly teased a 2024 run for president.Read Full StoryRudy Giuliani pushes back on testimony that he was drunk on election night 2020, says he was drinking Diet CokeRudy Giuliani.Jacquelyn Martin/APRudy Giuliani responded to claims that he was drunk on election night 2020 in a tweet on Monday night, insisting he "was drinking diet coke all night."The claim about the former New York City mayor's behavior at the White House election night party resurfaced during Monday's January 6 committee hearings.In a taped deposition, former advisor to then-President Donald Trump Jason Miller said: "I think the mayor was definitely intoxicated, but I do not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example."After, Giuliani's media office tweeted about his drinking Diet Coke, attributing the claim to an unnamed "fellow guest."Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee members push back on chair Bennie Thompson's claim that they won't ask the DOJ to indict TrumpRep. Bennie Thompson at the Jan. 6 committee's first public hearing on June 9, 2022.Andrew Harnik/APRep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the January 6 committee, said it was not the group's job to refer Trump or anyone else to the Justice Department for charges."No, that's not our job," Thompson said on Monday, according to CNN. "Our job is to look at the facts and circumstances around January 6, what caused it and make recommendations after that."But some committee members disagreed with that approach, showing rare public cracks within the committee."The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time," tweeted Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican serving as the committee's vice chair.And Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday that he had not seen Thompson's comment but was not aware a decision on referrals had been made yet.Read Full Story Rudy Giuliani continued to make false claims to the January 6 panel that if they gave him 'the paper ballots,' he could overturn Biden's victoryRudy Giuliani continued to make false claims about election fraud during his testimony to the January 6 panel.Jacquelyn Martin/APTrump-allied lawyer Rudy Giuliani continued to make bizarre false claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election during his testimony to the January 6 panel, claiming he had evidence of a "big truck" of fraudulently-cast Biden votes. Giuliani's testimony to the House panel investigating the Capitol riot was aired on Monday, during the second of the committee's six public hearings on January 6. The former New York mayor doubled down on outlandish and unproven election fraud claims. "They saw a big truck bringing in 100,000 ballots in garbage cans, in wastepaper baskets, in cardboard boxes, and in shopping baskets," Giuliani claimed without substantiation.Read Full StoryFormer AG Bill Barr says Trump was fixated on 'crazy' voter fraud allegations and had no interest 'in what the actual facts were'Former Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald TrumpDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer Attorney General William Barr said that former President Donald Trump was more fixated on "crazy" allegations of voter fraud than knowing the "actual facts" on the matter.Barr's testimony to the House panel investigating the January 6 Capitol riot was aired on Monday as part of the second of the committee's six public hearings on their investigation.In a videotaped deposition, Barr recounted a meeting with Trump on December 14, 2020. Barr said Trump "went off on a monologue" during the meeting about what he claimed to be "definitive evidence" of election fraud being carried out via the Dominion voting machines.According to Barr, Trump then "held up the report" and claimed it showed "absolute proof that the Dominion machines were rigged." Barr added that Trump then declared that the report meant that he would have a second term.Read Full StoryTrump campaign lawyer says Trump aide Peter Navarro accused him of being 'an agent of the deep state' for questioning baseless Dominion voter fraud conspiracy theoriesFormer Trump aide Peter NavarroAlex Wong/Getty ImagesAlex Cannon, a former Trump campaign lawyer, testified in front of the House Committee on January 6 and said that Trump aide Peter Navarro accused him of being a "deep state" operative because he expressed doubt over Dominion voting machine conspiracy theories. Cannon's testimony was broadcast on Monday as part of the second of six public hearings on the committee's investigation. During his deposition, Cannon said that he had a conversation with Navarro in mid-November, after the 2020 presidential election, about voter fraud allegations.Cannon said he spoke to Navarro specifically regarding the conspiracy theory that Dominion voting machines were used to flip votes from Trump to Biden. This conspiracy has continually been pushed by Trump-allied lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, as well as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Dominion named all three in a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit.Read Full StoryTrump campaign chief says the Trump team was split into two halves after election night — 'Team Normal' and 'Team Giuliani'Former Trump campaign chief Bill Stepien (left) says he did not mind being called part of "Team Normal," as opposed to "Team Giuliani".Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images; Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty ImagesFormer Trump campaign chief Bill Stepien says the Trump team was split into two camps after the election – "Team Normal" and "Team Giuliani." The House Select Committee to Investigate January 6 played a clip of Stepien's testimony on Monday during the second of the committee's six public hearings. During his deposition, Stepien was asked if he had pulled back from the Trump camp to preserve his professional reputation. "You didn't want to be associated with some of what you were hearing from the Giuliani team and others that — that sort of stepped in in the wake of your departure?" an unidentified questioner asked Stepien. "I didn't mind being categorized. There were two groups of them. We called them kind of my team and Rudy's team. I — I didn't mind being characterized as being part of Team Normal, as — as reporters, you know, kind of started to do around that point in time," Stepien said.Read Full StoryFired Fox News political editor said television news as entertainment has 'really damaged' Americans' capacity to be 'good citizens'Chris Stirewalt, former Fox News political editor, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, June 13, 2022.AP Photo/Susan WalshFormer Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt said he was surprised by the internal firestorm that erupted at his former workplace after Fox became the first major news network to call Arizona for President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.Stirewalt, who was fired from Fox in January 2021, testified before the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot on Monday, telling lawmakers that former President Donald Trump's chance at victory was virtually zero after most networks called the election for Biden on November 7, 2020.Trump was reportedly enraged that Fox News's decision desk called the swing state of Arizona for Biden before most other outlets did the same, but Stirewalt said he was confident in his team's work. Biden ultimately won the state by about 11,000 votes.But what Stirewalt wasn't expecting was the wave of backlash at Fox News that followed the accurate projection. Stirewalt spoke to NPR's David Folkenflik following his Monday testimony, telling the outlet that people close to Trump were hammering Fox executives and anchors to take back their Arizona call. The ordeal left Stirewalt disillusioned about the state of network news in the US, he told the outlet.READ FULL STORYWhite House lawyer asked John Eastman a day after January 6: 'Are you out of your effing mind'Eric D. Herschmann answers a question from a senator during impeachment proceedings against then-President Donald Trump in January 2020.Senate Television via Getty ImagesTrump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann confronted a conservative lawyer who pushed Trump's election lies, the day after the Capitol riot, according to a taped deposition the January 6 committee released on Monday."I said to him, 'Are you out of your effing mind,'" Herschmann told the committee about his conversation with Eastman. "'I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth for now on: orderly transition.'"Eastman was closely involved in then-President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, including a push to get Vice President Mike Pence to either delay or unilaterally overturn a state's results on January 6.Read Full StoryThere's an 'obvious explanation' for Trump's loss in Pennsylvania — and it's not voter fraud, Barr saysFormer Attorney General Bill Barr says then-President Donald Trump did not have a "good idea" about what the roles of the DOJ and the President were.Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Attorney General Bill Barr laid out his frank assessment of former President Donald Trump's election loss in Pennsylvania during Monday's House Select Committee hearing — and it wasn't voter fraud."I think once you actually look at the votes, there's a [sic] obvious explanation," Barr said of Trump's election fraud conspiracy theories. "For example, in Pennsylvania, Trump ran weaker than the Republican ticket generally. He ran weaker than two of the state candidates. He ran weaker than the congressional delegation running for federal Congress."Trump campaign manager says why he quitThen-Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien alongside then-US President Donald Trump on August 28, 2020.Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said he quit his high-profile job because he felt what unfolded after the 2020 presidential election night was not "honest or professional."He described a Trump campaign that was becoming increasingly divided because Trump chose to use baseless allegations to claim he hadn't lost the 2020 election.Read Full StoryBarr said dealing with 'bogus' 2020 voting fraud claims was like 'playing Whac-a-Mole'Former Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald TrumpDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesBill Barr said that dealing with baseless claims of voter fraud from Donald Trump's team was like "playing Whac-a-Mole," in testimony played Monday by the House select committee.Barr described dealing with an "avalanche" of false voter fraud claims from Trump and allies like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who became the campaign's primary peddlers of election fraud claims.Read Full StoryRudy Giuliani was 'apparently inebriated' when advising Trump on election nightRudy Giuliani.Jacquelyn Martin/APTrump rejected his campaign advisors' guidance on election night in 2020 and instead relied on counsel from his former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who was apparently drunk, Rep. Liz Cheney said Monday.Campaign aides were advising Trump that the race was too close to call in key battlegrounds, but Trump took Giuliani's advice and just claimed he'd won in an early morning speech.Read Full StoryRudy Giuliani pushed Trump to prematurely declare victory on election nightFormer New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani looks on as then-President Donald Trump speaks.Joshua Roberts/Getty ImagesFormer New York Rudy Giuliani pushed then-President Donald Trump to prematurely declare victory on election night 2020, a group of former top Trump aides testified.Bill Stepien, Trump's final 2020 campaign manager, testified to the House January 6 committee that he urged Trump to strike a measured tone and not to declare victory while votes were being counted."Ballots were still being counted, ballots were still going to be counted for days, and it was far too early to be making any proclamation like that," Stepien testified in a previous deposition that was partially aired on Monday.But Trump rejected the calls of caution and in the early morning after the election did exactly what some of his aides told him not to do."Frankly, we did win this election," Trump declared at the White House.Read Full StoryFox News' early call for Arizona takes center state at second hearingImages of Fox News personalities appear outside News Corporation headquarters in New York on July 31, 2021.AP Photo/Ted ShaffreyAs the January 6 select committee honed in on Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Monday's hearing started off with pre-taped depositions of former White House officials on their incensed reaction to Fox News calling Arizona for then-candidate Joe Biden.Fox News had just introduced a new methodology to its decision desk, which its director, Arnon Mishkin, explained to Insider ahead of Election Day. The network called Arizona before other major TV outlets, and ultimately proved correct in its decision.Chris Stirewalt, a former Fox News political editor, described the network's decision desk as "the best in the business" in his testimony.The network's new strategy included surveying upwards of 100,000 Americans ahead of Election Day to see where people were voting by mail or in person, and using that large dataset to make sense of the returns on election night. That allowed Fox to have an assessment of how many remaining votes would be by mail and how those who intended to vote by mail indicated they would vote."We already knew Trump's chances were small and getting smaller based on what we'd seen," Stirewalt said.The second public hearing is due to start Monday morning. Here's who to expect.The former Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt being interviewed on CNN in September 2021.CNNThe second public hearing by the committee is due to start around 10:30 a.m. ET on Monday.Witnesses include the former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt and the GOP election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg.Stirewalt's team correctly called Arizona for Joe Biden in the 2020 election before other networks did so, and subsequently became the target of Trump supporters.He was fired as a Fox News political editor on January 19, 2021, and now works for NewsNation. It is not clear what the committee plans to ask Stirewalt.The committee said in a Monday morning update that Bill Stepien, Trump's former campaign manager, was no longer able to appear due to a family emergency. It said Stepien's lawyer would make a statement on the record instead.Rep. Jamie Raskin declines to share evidence that GOP lawmakers asked Trump for pardons after Capitol riot, says details will come 'in due course'Rep. Jamie Raskin on CNN on Sunday night.YouTube/CNNJanuary 6 committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin dodged questions from CNN for evidence that Republican lawmakers asked then-President Donald Trump for pardons after the Capitol riot.He said the details would emerge later.When asked by CNN's Dana Bash if he had evidence, Raskin responded: "It is multiple members of Congress, as the vice-chair said at our opening hearing, and all in due course the details will surface," Raskin said, referring to Cheney.When asked again if he had evidence, he said: "Everything we're doing is documented by evidence ... Everything that we are doing is based on facts and this is a bipartisan investigation which is determined to ferret out all of the facts of what happened."Read Full Story GOP governor says many Republicans are quietly seeking an 'off-ramp' from Trump's bogus election-fraud claimsArkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on June 22, 2021.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesArkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that much of the Republican Party is looking for an "off-ramp" from former President Donald Trump's bogus theory that the 2020 election was stolen. Speaking to Fox News host Bret Baier, Hutchinson said Sunday that Trump is "politically and morally responsible" for much of the January 6 riot at the Capitol. He suggested that many Republicans are looking for alternative leadership as Trump continues to falsely insist on the claim that inspired the riot — that there was widespread election fraud. "For him to continue to push that theory, I agree is the wrong direction for the Republican Party," said Hutchinson. "I think there's many Republicans that are looking for an off-ramp, new opportunities … to find leadership in the future."He did not specify whether he meant ordinary GOP voters, or elected officials, mainly of whom have vocally endorsed Trump's claims.Read Full StoryHouse Jan. 6 committee members says panel has uncovered enough 'credible evidence' to ask the DOJ to indict TrumpLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesThe members of the House panel investigating the Capitol riot on Sunday said that the panel has uncovered enough evidence for the Department of Justice to mull a criminal indictment against former President Donald Trump over his efforts to invalidate President Joe Biden's electoral win, according to The Associated Press.Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who sits on the panel and also leads the House Intelligence Committee, said that he wanted to see the department examine Trump's efforts in seeking to halt the certification of Biden's victory."I would like to see the Justice Department investigate any credible allegation of criminal activity on the part of Donald Trump," he said on ABC News on Sunday. "There are certain actions, parts of these different lines of effort to overturn the election that I don't see evidence the Justice Department is investigating."Read Full StoryHouse Jan. 6 committee to focus on Trump's 'dereliction of duty' during Capitol riot at next public hearing, committee member saysUS President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe upcoming January 6 committee hearing will focus on a deep dive that former President Donald Trump knew he lost the election but still tried to overturn it and his "dereliction of duty," a committee member said. Democratic Rep. Elaine Lurie told NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd that the upcoming hearing will show how Trump tried to pressure local, state and federal officials to overturn the election, after baselessly claiming it was rigged against him. "We've pieced together a very comprehensive tick-tock timeline of what he did," The Virginia lawmaker said.Lurie told Todd that it's more accurate to say that the committee now has a timeline of what Trump was not doing before and during the insurrection than what he was doing. "There is a gap there that we have tried through these witnesses, we've interviewed a thousand witnesses and a lot of people who work directly in the White House for the president, in his immediate vicinity throughout the day," she said."So we've pieced together a very comprehensive tick-tock timeline of what he did."Read Full StoryRepublican Gov. Asa Hutchinson calls out Trump, says the former president is 'politically, morally responsible' for the Capitol riotArkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson labeled former President Donald Trump as "politically" and "morally responsible" for the Capitol attack.His comments come after the kick-off of the Jan. 6 committee hearings last week, where officials started sharing their findings of the events of that day — where pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building in an attempt to halt the certification of President Joe Biden. During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Hutchinson called the hearings "an important review," however, the GOP governor doesn't think Trump is criminally responsible for the insurrection. "Trump is politically, morally responsible for much of what has happened, but in terms of criminal liability, I think the committee has a long way to go to establish that," Hutchinson said.    A lawyer for Pence told him the day before January 6 that not certifying the election would lead to a loss in court: reportDonald 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 ImagesA lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence told him the day before the Capitol Riot that following former President Donald Trump's request to certify the election for him would eventually fail in court, according to a memo obtained by Politico. Congress was in the process of certifying the 2020 presidential election on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters who falsely believed the election had been rigged stormed the US Capitol. Trump had previously asked Pence to certify the election in his favor, but attorney Greg Jacob told Pence in a memo that doing so would break multiple provisions of the Electoral Count Act. According to Politico, in the memo, Jacob said the move could fail in the courts or put America in a political crisis where Pence would find himself "in an isolated standoff against both houses of Congress … with no neutral arbiter available to break the impasse."The attorney will testify publicly in front of the House committee investigating the Capitol riots this week, however, his letter has been known to the committee for months, Politico reported. Read Full StoryGiuliani defends Trump after January 6 committee points to his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential electionRudy Giuliani, attorney for US President Donald Trump, speaks at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 1, 2020Jim Watson/Getty ImagesRudy Giuliani, former advisor and personal lawyer to Donald Trump, claimed in an episode of his podcast that the former president had "nothing to do with" the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The episode, released Saturday, was a response to the House select committee's televised hearings related to the investigation into the events of Jan. 6, 2021. On Thursday, the committee released findings that indicated the events of the day were an attempted coup intended to keep former president Trump in power. READ FULL STORYLaura Ingraham says the Jan 6 hearings 'bombed' despite reeling in nearly 20 million views compared to Fox's 3 millionPresident Donald Trump gives Laura Ingraham a kiss after inviting her on stage during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in West Palm Beach, Fla.Luis M. Alvarez/APFox News host Laura Ingraham claimed the January 6 Committee hearing on Thursday "bombed," despite reeling in nearly 20 million viewers. Fox was the only major news outlet not to carry the hearing live on Thursday evening, which was the House Select Committee on January 6's first major public hearing about the Capitol attack, the efforts to overturn the election, and what then-President Donald Trump knew before and during the attack.Committee members revealed that Trump and his allies staged "an attempted coup" and funded a misinformation campaign that "provoked the violence on January 6." They also said that Ivanka Trump "accepted" the attorney general's opinion that there was no election fraud, and that several Republican congressmen asked for pardons following January 6. Ingraham's claim that the hearings "bombed" came as she responded to criticism from The View's Joy Behar."Fox News did not carry the January 6 Committee's live hearings last night. Shocker isn't it? But they still had plenty to say about it," Behar said. "The usual suspects, Tucker [Carlson] and Ingraham, dusted off their greatest hits, calling it a witch hunt, saying it's political revenge from Pelosi, and downplayed what happened on the 6th."Behar added: "There were no commercial breaks last night on either show. So what does that tell you? That Rupert Murdoch is so desperate to keep his viewers away from the hearing, along with those two, that he is willing to lose millions of dollars." Ingraham swiped back at Behar in a tweet, claiming to have had "two commercial breaks Thursday night." According to PolitiFact, Carlson's and Hannity's shows had no commercial breaks, whereas Ingraham "went to commercial a few times." Read Full StoryWhat is the potential penalty if someone is convicted of 'seditious conspiracy'Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio leaves the D.C. Central Detention Facility on January 14, 2022.Evelyn Hockstein/ReutersEnrique Tarrio and four other members of the Proud Boys were charged this week with seditious conspiracy in what one constitutional expert calls a "textbook case" of sedition, but the charges themselves face an uphill battle in court.Seditious conspiracy, sometimes referred to as "sedition," is law that first originated in 1789 to prosecute speech critical of the government. Read Full StoryThe public hearings resume on Monday, June 13, at 10 a.m. ETLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesThe public hearings for the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection resume on Monday, June 13, at 10 a.m. ET.Catch up on our takeaways of the biggest moments from the first hearing on Thursday, June 9, 2022, and check out the full schedule.Read Full StoryRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Tweets at Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene wanting to know if they asked for pardons after January 6Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.Drew Angerer/Getty ImageIn a Friday tweet storm, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked several of her fellow representatives if they'd asked the White House for a pardon following the January 6 attack.Her remarks came the day after the January 6 House select committee aired its first public hearing — in which GOP co-chair Rep. Liz Cheney alleged that several members of Congress asked for pardons after the insurrection.Read Full StoryMore than 19 million people watched first public hearingFormer US President Donald Trump appears on a screen during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 9, 2022 in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMore than 19 million people watched the first public hearing of the congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, The New York Times reported Friday, citing preliminary figures from ratings company Nielsen.The actual number is higher, The Times noted, as the preliminary tally does not include all networks and streaming services that aired the hearing.The Thursday hearing aired from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on broadcast channels and cable news networks — but not on Fox News, which elected to stick its usual programming.Trump calls William Barr a 'weak and frightened' AG after his January 6 testimonyFormer Attorney General Bill Barr says then-President Donald Trump did not have a "good idea" about what the roles of the DOJ and the President were.Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump on Friday lashed out at William Barr, calling him a "weak and frightened" attorney general and a "coward" after the House January 6 committee aired his testimony debunking Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud.During Thursday's public hearing, the committee played recorded testimony from Barr in a closed-door interview saying that he didn't agree that the election was "stolen" and that he told Trump the idea was "bullshit."Trump attacked Barr, his former attorney general, on his social-media platform, Truth Social, saying he "was always being 'played' and threatened by the Democrats and was scared stiff of being Impeached." Read Full StoryTrump says Ivanka Trump doesn't understand elections after she rejected his stolen 2020 vote claimIvanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump said his daughter Ivanka Trump doesn't understand elections after she testified that there was no fraud in the 2020 election.The committee aired her testimony on Thursday, where she said that she "accepted" former Attorney General Bill Barr finding no evidence that the vote was stolen."Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results," Trump wrote on Truth Social Friday. "She had long since checked out and was, in my opinion, only trying to be respectful to Bill Barr and his position as Attorney General (he sucked!)."Read Full StoryTrump attacks House committee, repeats bogus fraud claims after hearing blamed him for insurrectionFormer President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.Chet Strange/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump responded to the first public hearing by criticizing the House committee and repeating his fake voter fraud claims."So the Unselect Committee of political HACKS refuses to play any of the many positive witnesses and statements, refuses to talk of the Election Fraud and Irregularities that took place on a massive scale," he shared on Truth Social early Friday morning. He added: "Our Country is in such trouble!" Read Full StoryFox News hosts bragged about not airing the hearing live, and called it a 'smear campaign' against TrumpTucker Carlson on his show on June 9, 2022.Fox NewsFox News' prime-time shows refused to carry Thursday's hearing, with host Tucker Carlson bragging about the network's decision."The whole thing is insulting. In fact, it's deranged," Carlson said. "And we're not playing along.""This is the only hour on an American news channel that will not be carrying their propaganda live. They are lying, and we are not going to help them do it," he said, apparently referring to those investigating the riot.Host Sean Hannity on his own show called the hearing a "multi-hour Democratic fundraiser," without offering any evidence, and a "made-for-TV smear campaign against President Trump featuring sliced and diced video that fits their pre-determined political narrative."And host Laura Ingraham painted the hearing as boring, saying: "In the end, this was nearly two hours of an unsuccessful, laborious attempt to connect the dots back to Trump, to Trump to a coup that never happened."Read Full StoryTrump's spokesperson responded to the scathing Jan. 6 hearing by pumping out voter-fraud conspiracy theoriesLiz Harrington, a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump, tweeted out election fraud disinformation during the Thursday's hearing.She tweeted misleading claims that she said suggested voter fraud in some swing states during the 2020 election, and said: "They didn't want to talk about voter fraud then, and they don't want to talk about it now."She did not engage directly with what was said at the hearings.Read Full StorySeveral Republicans including Scott Perry sought pardons from Trump after the Capitol riot, Liz Cheney saysRep. Liz Cheney listens during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on July 27, 2021.AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the House January 6 committee, said at Thursday's hearing that several Republican members of Congress asked for a pardon from then-President Donald Trump after the Capitol riot.She called out Rep. Scott Perry in particular, saying: "Representative Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6 to seek a presidential pardon.""Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election," she added.Read Full StoryRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says watching the January 6 hearings made all the trauma from the Capitol riot come 'rushing back into the body'Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said watching the first televised hearing on the Capitol riot took her back to the traumatic experience of being there on the day. Ocasio-Cortez posted a video of the hearing, where scenes of violence and sights of Trump supporters flooding the Capitol were being played. "Good Lord. The way it all comes rushing back into the body. It's like it's that day all over again," she wrote. Read Full StoryA Proud Boy told the January 6 panel that membership in the organization 'tripled' after Trump told them to 'stand back and stand by'Enrique Tarrio, former leader of the Proud Boys, speaks to Black Lives Matters supporters during a commemoration of the death of George Floyd in Miami on May 25, 2021.Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl//GettyA high-ranking member of the Proud Boys told the January 6 panel that membership in the organization "tripled" after former President Donald Trump told them to "stand back and stand by." Trump made the comments during a debate in September 2020. The former president was asked to disavow white supremacist groups and urge them to "stand down." But instead of doing so, Trump said: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by." A clip of an interview with Proud Boys member Jeremy Bertino aired during the televised January 6 hearings on Thursday night. He said Trump's comments were a watershed moment for the group. Bertino was asked if the number of Proud Boys members increased specifically after Trump's comments. "Exponentially," Bertino said. "I'd say, tripled, probably. With the potential for a lot more eventually." Read Full StoryNew video from the Capitol riot shows dozens of staffers fleeing Rep. Kevin McCarthy's office in a panic as rioters clashed violently with copsHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesThe January 6 panel released a never-before-seen video from inside House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office during the January 6 Capitol riot.In the video, the dozens of frantic staffers are seen pouring into the hallways of Rep. McCarthy's office.The staffers appeared to be fleeing McCarthy's office as a radio transmission signaled that people would be moving through the tunnels of the Capitol building. The House committee played the video during the first of six televised January 6 hearings. It pinpoints 2:28 p.m. — as violent clashes between rioters and police officers take place outside the Capitol, McCarthy staffers can be seen running through the hallway of his chambers. Read Full StoryEx-DC cop beaten by Jan. 6 rioters says it's time for America to 'wake the fuck up' to danger Trump posesFormer DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who suffered a heart attack during the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, said on Friday that people need to "wake the fuck up" to the danger former President Donald Trump poses following the House select committee playing videos of what unfolded on that day.Read Full Story'I was slipping in people's blood,' says Capitol Police officerU.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters storming the Capitol grounds on January 6, testifies during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 09, 2022 in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesCapitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards said it looked to her like an "absolute war zone" on January 6, 2021, when supporters of former President Trump attacked the US Capitol, forcing officers to engage in "hours of hand-to-hand combat" beyond the scope of any law enforcement training.Edwards, who was injured in the attack, told members of the House select committee on Thursday, "I can just remember my breath catching in my throat" while looking at the "carnage" and "chaos" of the riot scene."I couldn't believe my eyes," she told the committee. "There were officers on the ground. You know, they were bleeding, they were throwing up…I mean I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people's blood. You know, I was catching people as they fell."Read Full StoryEx-Proud Boys leader says he'd wished he'd sold 'stand back and standby' t-shirts after Trump's debate commentEnrique Tarrio, former leader of the Proud Boys, speaks to Black Lives Matters supporters during a commemoration of the death of George Floyd in Miami on May 25, 2021.Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl//GettyAt the first of six public hearings planned for this month, the House committee displayed video of an interview with a Proud Boy who attributed Trump's comment to exponential membership growth in the far-right group.In another interview, former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio cracked a wry smile and said he regretted not selling t-shirts brandished with the words "Stand back and stand by." "One of the vendors on my page actually beat me to it, but I wish I would've made a 'stand back stand by' t-shirt," Tarrio said in his interview with the House committee.Read Full StoryJared Kushner testified that he thought the White House counsel's threat to resign was only 'whining'President Donald Trump listens as Jared Kushner speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on September 11, 2020.Andrew Harnik/AP Photo—Bloomberg (@business) June 10, 2022 Former Trump White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner testified in front of the January 6 House Committee that he thought White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's threat to resign was nothing more than "whining.""I know that him and the team were always saying, 'We're gonna resign, we're not gonna be here' if this happens, that happens," Kushner, who is also the former president's son-in-law, said during an on-camera deposition Thursday. "I kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney blasts Republicans for supporting Trump: 'There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain'U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, Vice Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger take part in a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 09, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Thursday evening issued members of her party a stark warning over their continued support of former President Donald Trump."I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: there will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain," Cheney, vice chair of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, said during the panel's first hearing.Read Full StoryWhite House aides tried to limit access to Trump knowing he was 'too dangerous to be left alone' after his election loss, Cheney saysRep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 9, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty Images"The White House staff knew that President Trump was willing to entertain and use conspiracy theories to achieve his ends," Rep. Cheney said during opening remarks at the first public hearing investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol."They knew that the president needed to be cut off from all of those who had encouraged him.  They knew that President Donald Trump was too dangerous to be left alone," she added.Read Full StoryHouse Jan. 6 panel played footage of former AG William Barr calling Trump's election claims 'bullshit'Attorney General William Barr speaks during a news conference, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 at the Justice Department in WashingtonMichael Reynolds/APFollowing the 2020 presidential election, then-Attorney General William Barr told Donald Trump that his claims of widespread election fraud were "bullshit" and entirely unsupported by evidence, it was revealed during the first January 6 committee public hearing.Video of Barr recounting his remarks to Trump in a closed-door interview with the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol was played on June 9, 2022, during the public hearing. Barr said he spoke with Trump on at least three occasions between November and December 2020, and he described Trump's claims of election malfeasance as "crazy stuff" and said the falsehoods were influencing the public, doing a "great, great disservice to the country." Barr credited the timing of his December 2020 resignation, in part, to Trump's baseless election claims. Read Full StoryIvanka Trump 'accepted' DOJ found no fraud that could overturn the 2020 electionIvanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesVideo testimony of part of Ivanka Trump's testimony to the January 6 committee was shown during the first public hearing of the investigation into the riots at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.During the clip, Ivanka Trump was asked about then-Attorney General Bill Barr's statement that former President Donald Trump's claims that there was fraud in the 2020 election were incorrect."It affected my perspective," Ivanka Trump told the committee in recorded testimony, aired for the first time on Thursday. "I respect Attorney General Barr. So I accepted what he was saying."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says Trump oversaw a 'sophisticated 7-part plan' to overturn the election and stay in powerU.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 ImagesRep. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, said that during these public hearings they would reveal more information about a "seven-part plan" to overturn the 2020 presidential election, led by former President Donald Trump.—CSPAN (@cspan) June 10, 2022Read Full StoryRep. Liz Cheney: Trump backed supporters' call to 'hang Mike Pence'US Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice chairwoman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, arrives for a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 09, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesAs a riot unfolded at the US Capitol, former President Donald Trump told aides that his own vice president might deserve to die, Rep. Liz Cheney said Thursday.Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who co-chairs the House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection, made the claim in her opening remarks."Aware of the rioters chants to 'hang Mike Pence,'" Cheney said, "the president responded with this sentiment: 'Maybe our supporters have the right idea.' Mike Pence 'deserves it.'"As The New York Times reported last month, two former White House staffers testified before the January 6 committee that Mark Meadows, Trump's ex-chief of staff, told them that he heard the former president make the comment.Read Full StoryJanuary 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson says hearings will show Trump and his allies mounted 'an attempted coup'—CSPAN (@cspan) June 10, 2022 Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat in his 13th term, recalled his upbringing in the Magnolia State and the nation's history of white supremacist violence, specifically lynching."I'm from a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, and lynching," Thompson said. "I'm reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrections on Jan. 6, 2021."The chairman of the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol described the rioters as "domestic enemies of the Constitution," and promised that the evidence his panel has collected proves former President Donald Trump and his allies attempted a coup d'etat."Donald Trump was at the center of this conspiracy, and ultimately, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march down the Capitol and subvert American democracy," Rep. Bennie Thompson said at the start of Thursday night's prime-time hearings.Read Full StoryHouse Jan. 6 committee chair will say 'democracy remains in danger'From left to right, January 6 Select Committee members Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesRep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House panel investigating the January 6 attack, will say tonight that the American people deserve answers about the insurrection."We can't sweep what happened under the rug," Thompson says in early excerpts of his opening statement. "The American people deserve answers. So I come before you this evening not as a Democrat, but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution."The House Select Committee on January 6 will have its first major public hearing tonight, kicking off a series of public hearings about the attack, efforts to overturn the election, and what then-President Donald Trump was aware of in the lead up to it.Thompson will add that American democracy "remains in danger.""... Our work must do much more than just look backwards," Thompson will say. "Because our democracy remains in danger. The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over. There are those in this country who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes America great: devotion to the Constitution, allegiance to the rule of law, our shared journey to build a more perfect Union."Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, is facing a defining career moment after nearly three decades in Congress. Thompson told Insider's Camila DeChalus that the committee is his "signature work in the United States House of Representatives."Bennie Thompson is poised to take center stage as Jan. 6 hearings start after 29 years in CongressHouse Homeland Security Committee Chair Benny Thompson (D-MS) listens as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) discusses the formation of a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol during a news conference in Washington, U.S., July 1, 2021.Jonathan Ernst/ReutersRep. Bennie Thompson is the chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection. He has been in Congress for 29 years but views this investigation as his "signature work.""There's a lot of other pieces of legislation that basically alter the trajectory of so many people in my district, in this country, as well as other pieces of legislation, but nothing compares to the importance of this committee and why I value its work as my signature work in the United States House of Representatives," he told Insider's Camila DeChalus in a May interview.In the first public hearing of the January 6 committee, Thompson will take center stage.Read Full StorySen. Ted Cruz says watching paint dry would be more productive than tuning into a single second of the January 6 committee's first public hearingSenator Ted Cruz (R-TX) holds up a cellphone during the confirmation for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the third day before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on October 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesRepublican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas offered up three things he'd rather do Thursday night than sit through any part of the January 6 committee's highly anticipated prime-time hearing. "I've got to mow my lawn. Or comb my hair. Or maybe just watch the paint dry on the walls," Cruz said of what he considered better ways to invest one's time than validating the existence of  "a political campaign ad for the Democrats." Cruz bashed the ongoing House investigation as political theater meant to distract a recession-wary populace from all the ways he said President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats have failed them. "From the opening gavel to the close of the hearing, one hundred percent of their endeavor is a political Hail Mary pass," Cruz told Insider in the tunnels beneath the Senate chamber. "The American people are deeply unhappy with the disaster of the left-wing policy agenda we've seen for the last two years." Read Full StoryDOJ lawyers expect transcripts from the 1,000 January 6 committee witnesses to be made public in SeptemberTrump supporters clash with police and security forces as in the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesA Justice Department lawyer revealed Thursday that transcripts of the 1,000 interviews conducted as part of the House January 6 committee's investigation into the Capitol attack will be made public in September. It would be an unprecedented release of documents that could shed new light on the January 6, 2021 insurrection.The revelation came during a pretrial hearing for former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio and four other members of the far-right group who were charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with their alleged role in planning and participating in the Capitol siege."The committee will release the transcripts in early September and a report of the committee's findings will be released around the same time," Assistant US Attorney Jason McCullough told a judge.Read Full StoryThe first public hearing held by House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection starts at 8 p.m. ET. Catch up on what you need to know ahead of the hearing.Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), left, listens as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) speaks during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone is at center.Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via AP, PoolThe House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is holding a much-anticipated public hearing Thursday night.The nine-member panel, chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, has spent months interviewing witnesses and examining phone and email records to try to get to the bottom of former President Donald Trump and his allies' efforts to overturn the 2020 election and prevent President Joe Biden from taking office.The committee, which includes Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, is expected to hold a half-dozen public hearings in June.Here's what you need to know ahead of the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET:How to watch the hearingsThe key witnesses who are likely to testifyWhat to expectSources say the evidence will put Trump "at the center" of the eventsMeet the lawmakers and staff leading the investigationAt least 862 people have now been arrested for their actions on January 6More than 300 people have already pleaded guiltyAn oral history of the insurrection from 34 people who were thereHow the US Capitol riot led to Trump's second impeachmentLiz Cheney's break from GOP leadership on the investigationRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 16th, 2022

All the times GOP Rep. Loudermilk shifted his story about the Capitol tour he led a day before Jan. 6 attack

A tour Rep. Barry Loudermilk led a day before the Capitol riot renewed attention after the January 6 committee released footage of it. Video released by the January 6 committee shows Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia leading a tour through the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021.Screenshot / January 6 Committee Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk has shifted the explanations of a tour he led before the Capitol riot. Loudermilk has changed his story about what happened on the day before the January 6 attack. The tour received renewed attention after the January 6 committee released footage of it. Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk has slowly shifted his explanation for a tour that he led a day before the January 6 Capitol riot. On Wednesday, the committee investigating the attack said that at least one person on the tour later attended Trump's January 6 rally and march toward the Capitol. Other tour members appear to have taken photos of stairwells and a security station in the Capitol complex. To be clear, there is no evidence that currently suggests any of the tour participants rioted inside the Capitol. There is also no evidence that suggests that Loudermilk, a Georgia Republican, knew any of the people on the tour wanted to commit violence or deface the Capitol.What is clear is that Loudermilk has consistently shifted his explanation of the tour. His shifting story didn't happen in a vacuum either, it came in wake of a stunning allegation leveled by one of his colleagues and as the January 6 committee continued to probe what happened. Here's the timeline of what has unfolded:January 6, 2021: Loudermilk's first descriptionLoudermilk gave an interview to a local Georgia radio station on the day of the riot. The Georgia Republican was still in an undisclosed secure location as he spoke. His comments would not become widely known until The Daily Dot uncovered them months later.The explanation: "We actually had about a dozen people up here that wanted to come by and visit, we had them in our office, they definitely were peaceful people, people that we met at church. They were supporters of the president, they wanted to be up here as if it was another rally."Loudermilk added that his staff had touched base with the tour participants., "We actually checked on them to make sure they were safe. When they saw what it was turning into, they immediately turned and went back down the mall to get away from the crowd here."January 13, 2021: A Democratic lawmaker makes a jaw-dropping claimRep. Mikie Sherrill, a Navy veteran and New Jersey Democrat, requested an investigation "into the suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol Complex" on January 5, 2021, the day before the riot. Sherrill led 34 House Democrats in writing to the board that oversees the US Capitol Police, alleging that she and other lawmakers who signed the letter "witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex." As the authors point out, the Capitol was largely closed to the public at the time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The letter sets off a flurry of speculation about what, if any, tours occurred and what, if any, members of Congress assisted the tours.Note: A former Democratic staffer confirmed to Insider's Bryan Metzger on Wednesday that "the only way to get groups in was official business visits, which were still strongly discouraged."February 17, 2022: Republicans reportedly say there were no "reconnaissance tours"The Hill reported that Republicans on House Administration Committee, a panel Loudermilk serves on, have concluded there is no evidence of anything like what Sherrill described. "We have reviewed the security footage from the Capitol Complex during the relevant period preceding January 6, 2021, and we know it does not support these repeated Democrat accusations about so-called 'reconnaissance' tours," Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the committee, wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.In a denial that would later take on renewed relevance, an unnamed GOP aide added, "There were no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on," the aide told the Hill. "There's nothing in there remotely fitting the depiction in Mikie Sherrill's letter."May 19, 2022: The Jan. 6 committee makes its initial request:House Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney wrote to Loudermilk asking for information about the tour. They also said of the Republicans' denial, "The Select Committee's review of evidence directly contradicts that denial."A letter from the House January 6 committeeHouse Jan. 6 CommitteeThe same day: "A constituent family"Loudermilk, per Politico, which documented early on the Republican's shifting explanations, told reporters: "A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group… The family never entered the Capitol building…no place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th, and no one in that family has been investigated or charged in connection to January 6th."May 20: "Some were wearing hats"Loudermilk, per a report published by the Valdosta Daily Times, said that some people in the group were wearing hats: "What was so awful about this family that caused the committee to make false accusations about them? Well, some were actually wearing baseball caps." The Georgia Republican added that he did not approve the GOP's broader denial letter before it went out.The same day: The family was joined by "some guests"Loudermilk in a video message said, "Yesterday afternoon, as I was traveling home to Georgia from Washington, my wife and I found out that I was in the crosshairs of the January 6 committee. Why? Because on January the 5th, I took a family with young children and their guests who were visiting Washington to lunch in a cafeteria in one of the House office buildings."June 14: The Capitol Police chief says there was nothing "suspicious" about the tourCapitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told Loudermilk that after reviewing footage of the tour the Capitol Police Board found that they didn't view "any of the activities we observed as suspicious." Manger, in a letter dated June 13, also wrote to Loudermilk that there were roughly 12 people that later grew to 15 on the tour. June 15: The Jan. 6 committee releases footage of the tourThe committee says its investigation found evidence that one of the people on the tour later marched toward the Capitol on January 6. This same person also made threatening remarks about Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat. There is also evidence that someone on the tour appeared to be taking pictures of a stairway. In another instance, a person also appears to be taking pictures near a security station. The committee said the images also clearly show people on the tour wearing MAGA hats, contradicting the unnamed aide's comments to the Hill.Here is the footage they released:—January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 15, 2022 A spokesperson for Loudermilk did not respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 15th, 2022

Beware Of Hidden Messages From War-Games

Beware Of Hidden Messages From War-Games Authored by Guermantes Lailari via The Epoch Times, An NBC Meet the Press special on May 14  presented a war game conducted by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a Washington-based think tank. On the surface, the game appeared to “educate” its audience. However, looking deeper into the messages delivered, “education” was not its purpose. These are the “conclusions” as quoted from the NBC news article about the war game: The “U.S. should prepare for drawn-out conflict if China invades Taiwan.” “An attack would plunge the region into a broad, drawn-out war that could include direct attacks on the U.S.” The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will conduct a decapitation strategy against Taiwan prior to its invasion. The CCP is “not going to let the president of Taiwan survive the first day.” Part of the “swift decapitation of Taiwan’s government” involves the CCP “pre-emptively attacking American bases in Japan and Guam.” This NBC report notes that “it may sound like a purely academic exercise but, in fact, it’s deadly serious.” Even the monthly Air Force Magazine picked up the story and repeated some of the CNAS’s talking points. Luckily, one senior retired U.S. Air Force officer recognized that the scenario was far-fetched. NBC assumed the CNAS game is consistent with what we know about CCP assumptions about what the United States will or will not do to stymie an invasion. The CNAS war game’s most important problematic assumption is that the CCP would order the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to conduct a preemptive strike against U.S. bases in Japan and Guam. First, attacking the U.S. military bases and killing American soldiers, airmen, sailors, Marines, and the U.S. and Japanese civilians will bring a hellfire on the CCP—and the CCP is fully aware of such a response. An attack on the U.S. territory of Guam would remind the U.S. public of the last time an Asian country attacked the United States and what transpired; Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and, after four years of hard fighting, was the recipient of two atomic bombs in August 1945. The CNAS assumption about attacking U.S. Pacific bases is analogous to asserting that Vladimir Putin would preemptively attack NATO bases in Europe as a prelude to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The CNAS’s assumption is fantastical and unrealistic. CNAS Connections Having argued that the CNAS made a strategic blunder, I investigated the background of one of the key participants, Michèle A. Flournoy. Flournoy and Kurt M. Campbell co-founded the CNAS in 2007 as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization. The CNAS touts its research as independent and non-partisan. This article argues that this war game was partisan and supports indirectly or directly the CCP propaganda and media warfare campaigns conducted against Taiwan and the United States. According to the CNAS website, “Michèle Flournoy is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors, and former Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors.” Prior to her selection as the under secretary of defense for policy from February 2009 to February 2012, Flournoy “co-led President Obama’s transition team at the Defense Department.” In other words, she has close ties to the Obama administration and the Biden administration. U.S. Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy arrives for a bilateral meeting with Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, at the Bayi Building in Beijing, China, on Dec. 7, 2011. (Andy Wong/Getty Images) Campbell was the Obama administration’s assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. Currently, Campbell is the Biden administration’s first designated National Security Council coordinator for the Indo-Pacific. WestExec Advisors Secretary of State Antony Blinken was WestExec’s co-founder and managing director; Avril D. Haines, the current director of National Intelligence, was a WestExec principal; Jen Psaki, former Biden White House press secretary, and Eli Ratner, current assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, were WestExec senior advisers. Ben Weingarten’s Newsweek exposé provides more details on the current administration’s connections to the CCP. In early March 2022, a group of former administration officials visited Taiwan to deliver a message endorsing the Biden administration’s “asymmetric warfare strategy” or “little porcupine strategy” to President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, including Flournoy and former National Security Council senior directors for Asia Mike Green and Evan Medeiros. Why did Washington send people who are not part of the current administration to deliver an important message to Taiwan? President Joe Biden could have sent a current assistant secretary of defense or state. Consider how Tsai felt when she had to swallow her pride and pretend she was grateful for this after-thought hodge-podge crew thrown at her because the Biden administration was embarrassed by former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s visit to Taiwan later that same week.  ‘Asymmetric’ Weapons for Taiwan In 2020, Mike Green and Evan Medeiros co-wrote an article in Foreign Affairs arguing that Taiwan should not buy expensive weapon systems. They argued: “These [weapons] do little to deter a combined naval, air, and missile campaign from China—and the PLA will always be bigger and better equipped than Taiwan’s army in a ground battle. Rather, the United States should work with Taiwan to develop asymmetric military capabilities that would actually stand a chance of deterring a Chinese invasion or attacks on critical infrastructure.” The weaknesses of the asymmetric weapons strategy was well documented by this author’s recent two articles in Taiwan News. Absent a guarantee that the U.S. military would intervene in an invasion of Taiwan by the PLA, the U.S. government is asking the Taiwanese to commit national suicide. The asymmetric military capabilities proposed by these “advisers” do not “deter” a Chinese invasion or attacks on critical infrastructure. By allowing Taiwan to only purchase these asymmetric weapons at the exclusion of others needed to address at least four other attack scenarios makes Taiwan more vulnerable. All five attack scenarios are decapitation (missile and air strikes), naval and air blockade/embargo, invasion, border operations (quickly taking Taiwan’s small islands), and all-out regional war. What Is the War Game’s Message to the US Population? The CNAS war game had several subtle messages that corrupt the U.S. popular support for Taiwan, such as the following: The United States should not be involved in a long and bloody war against the CCP/PLA (remember Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam). The United States will not send troops and promotes the idea that the Taiwanese can defend themselves using asymmetric weapons (same as Ukraine). What Is the Message to the Taiwanese Population? The war game’s message to the Taiwanese population is the following: The PLA will destroy Taiwan’s expensive weapons during an invasion. Taiwan should purchase only “asymmetric weapons” (no weapons that can reach China). The United States will sell Taiwan weapons to defend itself against an invasion. These weapons will support a guerrilla operation against the PLA. These asymmetric weapons will not prevent the PLA from other attack scenarios such as an air and naval embargo or air and missile strikes. Taiwan is not a state, and Taiwan does not deserve weapons that other countries have, such as Israel. Taiwan “only” deserves weapons that non-state actors have (guerrillas or terrorists). If the people of Taiwan are brave enough to fight against annexation by a genocidal and totalitarian regime, they will lose. The PLA has more people and more weapons. The United States is not serious about helping Taiwan defend itself and will refuse to commit to assisting in a war. So just give up now. What Is the Message to the CCP and the PLA? The war game’s scenario hid the following messages: Diminish American popular support to fight against the PLA. “Asymmetric warfare” policy would not threaten the Chinese landmass. Deterrence is not only defensive (attacking forces invading the island); deterrence is also offensive (striking targets inside China). Conceding the option of putting marauding invaders at risk on their home soil before they set foot on the soil of a democracy is a prescription for failure, as demonstrated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Taiwan should surrender rather than fight because the PLA is destined to win. The CCP’s Goal Regarding Taiwan A CCP “core interest” (核心利益), the equivalent of U.S. vital interest, is to absorb Taiwan into China. The CCP views Taiwan’s political independence as an issue of “state sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and national reunification,” which is more important to the CCP than economic stability. Helping Xi Jinping accomplish this goal would make any person or country a friend. The CNAS war game conducts psychological warfare in support of the CCP and against Americans and Taiwanese by positing that American military support for Taiwan is destined to fail. Psychological warfare “seeks to influence and/or disrupt an opponent’s decision-making capability, to create doubts, foment anti-leadership sentiments, to deceive opponents and to attempt to diminish the will to fight among opponents,” according to a report by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Media warfare is “a constant, ongoing activity aimed at long-term influence of perceptions and attitudes,” according to The Heritage Foundation. Taiwan represents a new democracy that opposes the despotic rule of the CCP and demonstrates that Chinese people can successfully (economically and politically) have a self-ruled democratic society with Chinese characteristics. Worst Case Scenario: If the CCP Takes Taiwan If the PLA took Taiwan, the CCP would threaten U.S. alliance partners Japan and South Korea militarily, politically, and economically. A declassified CIA report addresses the economic threat; the Senkaku Islands are near a large oil reservoir discovered in 1968. Japan’s Senkaku Islands, claimed by the CCP (since 1970), are easily within reach (about 100 hundred miles north of Taiwan—see map here). A P-3C maritime patrol aircraft of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force flying over the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Oct. 13, 2011. (Japan Pool/AFP/Getty Images) The PLA would conduct a military buildup throughout Taiwan to project force from the first island chain to the second and beyond. For example, the east side of Taiwan, with its very deep-water access, is the perfect location for the PLA to build nuclear submarine bases for its nuclear attack and its nuclear-armed submarines. These submarine ports would make it difficult for the United States and its allies to track the location of these submarines, providing China with a greater deterrence capability against the United States. In other words, the CCP conquest of Taiwan would place China in a dominating position in the Pacific Ocean and embolden the CCP to consider other expansionist actions to “rectify” other claims it has in the Pacific, such as the “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea, Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, and Okinawa. The loss of Taiwan would be a worse situation for the United States and its allies than the embarrassing withdrawal from Afghanistan. Taiwan’s loss to the CCP would be another example of America’s retreat from seeking to support and maintain global norms and rules. The CCP would force these Asian countries into making dangerous compromises that could place them behind a new “bamboo curtain” with Chinese communist characteristics. US Responsibility The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) states: “That any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, is considered a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States. “That the United States shall provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character and shall maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan.” The TRA asserts a U.S. responsibility to defend Taiwan from PLA attacks. The Biden administration should stand up to the CCP and re-assert the U.S. support for Taiwan’s defense, and conduct a massive arming of Taiwan along with training that enables the full power of joint and combined military operations (air, ground, sea, subsurface, space, cyber, and special operations)—with the assurance that the United States will fight to ensure democracy for the people of Taiwan. The training should not focus solely on tactical training of ground forces using “asymmetric weapons” as the United States did in Ukraine. Instead, the United States should train the Taiwan military so that it can participate in the type of combined and joint operations used to free Kuwait from Iraqi forces in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Flournoy and the CNAS are furthering the CCP’s political warfare against Taiwan by sending messages through the war game while also reinforcing the Biden administration’s desire to weaken Taiwan through its “asymmetric weapons” strategy. These manipulations of the American and Taiwanese populations must stop. If the U.S. government protected a non-democratic nation (Kuwait) against Saddam Hussein’s authoritarian regime (Iraq) in 1991, then why wouldn’t the United States protect a democratic nation (Taiwan) against another authoritarian regime (the CCP)? If the United States pretends to intervene but fails to stop the PLA, the result would be disastrous for Asia and the entire world. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/07/2022 - 23:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 7th, 2022

Family Of Latest Clinton-Linked Suicide Blocks Release Of Shotgun Death Details

Family Of Latest Clinton-Linked Suicide Blocks Release Of Shotgun Death Details The family of yet another dead Clinton pal has petitioned a judge to prevent pictures of Mark Middleton from being released under a Freedom of Information Act. And while there's been no response from the court, a local Arkansas sheriff is interpreting the request itself as a full-stop on information requests, according to the Daily Mail. All we know thus far is that the 59-year-old Middleton - who admitted Jeffrey Epstein to the White House seven out of at least 17 times - was discovered on May 7 hanging from a tree at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville by an electrical cord, with a shotgun blast to his chest. The ranch, located 30 miles from Middleton's home, is owned by an anti-poverty nonprofit called Heifer International. The seemingly redundant 'suicide' methods used by the married father of two, or whoever killed him, will remain a mystery, for now. "The investigation is still open. I can't say anything more," Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery told the Mail, adding that the family said he was "depressed." "'I don't know the man, and I don't [know] why he picked our county or picked that location to commit suicide. To our knowledge, he had never been there before, and we have no record of him being there before, Montgomery told Radar Online before he clammed up. "He died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the chest. He found a tree and he pulled a table over there, and he got on that table, and he took an extension cord and put it around a limb, put it around his neck and he shot himself in the chest with a shotgun ... It was very evident that the shotgun worked because there was not a lot of blood or anything on the scene. You can tell the shotgun blast was on his chest, you can tell that because there is a hole in the chest and pellets came out the back of his back. It was definitely self-inflicted in our opinion." As the Mail notes, Middleton's mysterious death adds to the list of Clinton associates who have died unexpectedly - many in small plane crashes. Middleton's family did not disclose the cause of death at the time but authorities later confirmed the former White House official took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot at an urban farm in Perryville, Arkansas. In a lawsuit filed on May 23, the family admits Middleton committed suicide, and says they have 'a privacy interest' in preventing any 'photographs, videos, sketches (or) other illustrative content' from the death scene being released. They claim it would lead to 'outlandish, hurtful, unsupported and offensive articles' being published online. They argued that keeping the footage and files sealed would halt a proliferation of 'unsubstantiated conspiracy theories'. A judge is due to hear the case on June 14. -Daily Mail Middleton was an associate of the late Jeffrey Epstein - who made at least 17 trips to the White House between 1993 and 1995. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, was one of dozens of passengers to fly on Epstein's "Lolita Express" - where witnesses have placed the former president on Epstein's private island. According to the Heifer International spokesman Chris Cox Heifer, Middleton's car was found in the parking lot by ranch employees who then notified the sheriff. His body was found shortly thereafter. "He wasn't invited to the property and staff became aware that he was there without authorization," said Heifer, adding "We have not found any connection to Heifer." "The ranch is well known in the area and it's possible that he could have attended something here but we couldn't' find any major links," he continued. "The ranch hosts school groups for things like lambing so he could have attended one of those. It's a very unfortunate incident." According to the Mail, Middleton left the White House in February 1995 - and allegedly held himself out as an international dealmaker, something Epstein might have been attracted to. In 1996, an investigation found that Middleton had abused his access to the White House to impress business clients, and was barred from the executive mansion without senior approval - claims he's denied. Meanwhile, the Mail has provided a list of the 'Clinton body count.' Judi Gibbs, 32, January 3, 1986: The one-time Penthouse Pet died alongside her lover Bill Puterburgh, 57, in an unexplained house fire in Fordyce, Arkansas. She was a high-class prostitute who used hotels and racetracks to pick up rich and powerful men and was known to have had an affair with then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton who would fly her from her home town to Little Rock. Rumors of a compromising picture of the two of them were rife, but if it ever existed, it was probably destroyed in the fire. The families of both Gibbs and Puterburgh told DailyMail.com in 2016 they believe the fire was set deliberately. Kevin Ives, 17, and Don Henry, 16, August 23, 1987: The two teens were crushed by a train, in Alexander, Arkansas. Their deaths were ruled accidental, with the medical examiner saying they had fallen asleep on a railroad line after smoking marijuana, but a grand jury found they had been murdered before being placed on the tracks. They had allegedly stumbled on a plot to smuggle drugs and guns from an airport in Mena, Arkansas, that Gov. Bill Clinton was said to be involved in. Victor Raiser, 53, July 30, 1992: The second finance co-chair of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign was killed along with his son in a plane crash during a fishing vacation in Alaska. Conspiracy theorists believe the crash was deliberately caused. Campaign press secretary Dee Dee Myers called Raiser a major player in the organization. Paul Tully, 48, September 25, 1992: The Democratic strategist died of an apparent heart attack. A chain-smoking, heavy-drinking political consultant who weighed in at more than 320 lb. Tully died seven weeks before Clinton's first presidential election win. He had been political director of the DNC during Clinton's rise. Tully was on the left of the Democratic Party and usually worked for those who shared his views, however he agreed to work for Clinton because he was impressed with his oratory and thought he was the only Democrat who could beat President George Bush. Paula Gober, 36, December 7, 1992: Clinton's interpreter for the deaf for several years died in a single car accident. Gober had traveled with him while he was governor of Arkansas. Her vehicle overturned on a bend, throwing her 30 feet. There were no witnesses. Vince Foster, 48, July 20, 1993: The Arkansas lawyer committed suicide. President Clinton appointed Foster to deputy White House counsel when he became president in 1993. It didn't take long for Foster, 48, to realize he had made a terrible mistake by accepting the post. He hated the work and fell into a deep depression. Just six months into the job, his body was found in his car in Fort Marcy Park, Virginia, a gun in his hand and a suicide note torn into 27 pieces in the trunk. Conspiracy theorists believe he was murdered by the Clintons for knowing too much. Stanley Heard, 47, September 10, 1993: The Arkansas chiropractor died in a small plane crash. According to 1998 book 'A Profession of One's Own,' the doctor treated the Clinton family. Heard was asked by Bill Clinton to represent the practice as plans for 'Hillarycare' were being finalized. His attorney Steve Dickson, was flying him home from a healthcare meeting in Washington DC just eight months into the Clinton presidency. On the way to the capital from his home in Kansas, Dickson's small plane developed problems so he landed in St. Louis and rented another plane. That rented plane was the one that crashed in rural Virginia, killing both men. Jerry Parks, 47, September 23, 1993: The head of security for Bill Clinton's headquarters in Arkansas, was shot to death. As he drove home in West Little Rock, two men in a white Chevrolet pulled alongside his car and sprayed it with semi-automatic gunfire. As Parks's car stopped a man stepped out of the Chevy and shot him twice with a 9mm pistol and sped off. Despite there being several witnesses, no-one was ever arrested. The killing came two months after Parks had watched news of Vince Foster's death and allegedly told his son Gary 'I'm a dead man.' His wife Lois remarried and her second husband, Dr. David Millstein was stabbed to death in 2006. Edward Willey Jr, 60, November 29, 1993: The Clinton fundraiser was found dead in the Virginia woods. He was having serious money problems and his wife, a volunteer aide in the White House, agreed to ask Bill Clinton for a paid job. Their meeting ended when Clinton allegedly forced himself on her in the Oval Office, kissing her, fondling her breast and pushing her hand on to his genitals. Four years later Kathleen Willey wrote a book in which she put forward a theory that the Clintons may have had her husband murdered. She said after his death, a friend had told her that Ed had confided that he took briefcases full of cash to the Clintons' base in Little Rock, Arkansas during Bill's first presidential campaign. Herschel Friday, 70, March 1, 1994: The Arkansas lawyer died in a small plane crash when he lost control as he came in to land at his Arkansas ranch. President Richard Nixon had once considered Friday for the Supreme Court. He was known as a benefactor of Bill Clinton, serving on his campaign finance committee after his law firm had persuaded the then-governor to support a tax package that helped the state's horse racing industry. Kathy Ferguson, 37, May 11, 1994: The ex-wife of Arkansas State Trooper Danny Ferguson, who was named in a sexual harassment suit brought by Paula Jones against Bill Clinton. Ferguson died by gun suicide. She left a note blaming problems with her fiancé, Bill Shelton. A month later Shelton, upset about the suicide verdict, killed himself. Ron Brown, 54, April 3, 1996: The chair of the Democratic National Committee died in a plane crash in Croatia. He became head of the DNC during Bill Clinton's rise to the presidential nomination and was rewarded with the cabinet position. He was under a corruption investigation when his plane slammed into a mountainside. Doctors who examined his body found a circular wound on the top of his head which led to suspicions that he had died before the plane crashed, but that theory was later discounted. The crash was attributed to pilot error. Charles Meissner, 56, April 3, 1996: The assistant secretary for international trade died in the same plane crash as Brown. Meissner had been criticized for allegedly giving special security clearance to John Huang, who later pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for violating campaign finance laws, in a case that enmeshed the Clinton administration. Seth Rich, 27, July 10, 2016: The Operations Director for Voter Expansion for the DNC, was found murdered on in Washington, DC. He was shot in the back a block from his apartment at 4:20am. His killers have not been identified. Conspiracy theorists believe Rich may have been involved in the DNC email leak in 2016. His death initially appeared like a robbery gone wrong but his mother Mary Rich claims that nothing was taken from her son, who was found with two shots in his back. The mystery surrounding his death sparked a flurry of theories, including claims that he was on his way to speak to the FBI when he was shot. To see the rest of the list, click here. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/07/2022 - 20:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 7th, 2022

The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the former Theranos CEO found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy, who"s now asking a judge to toss out her conviction

Holmes was once lauded as "the next Steve Jobs" for founding Theranos. Now, she wants a judge to toss her conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges. Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court in San Jose, California, on July 17, 2019.Reuters/Stephen Lam Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to start Theranos and grew its value to $9 billion. Later, technology flaws were exposed, resulting in a months-long trial where Holmes was found guilty on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. Now, she's asking a judge to throw out her conviction, citing "insufficient" evidence on which "no rational juror" could convict beyond a reasonable doubt. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In 2014, blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, were on top of the world.Back then, Theranos was a revolutionary idea thought up by a woman hailed as a genius who styled herself as a female Steve Jobs. Holmes was the world's youngest female self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley's unicorn startups, valued at an estimated $9 billion. But then it all came crashing down.The shortcomings and inaccuracies of Theranos's technology were exposed, along with the role Holmes played in covering it all up. Holmes was ousted as CEO and charged with "massive fraud," and the company was forced to close its labs and testing centers, ultimately shuttering operations altogether.As she awaited trial, Holmes reportedly found the time to get engaged — and married — to a hotel heir named Billy Evans.Holmes has since been convicted of fraud in federal court. In January, jurors found Holmes guilty on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining three counts against her.Since her conviction, Holmes has become the subject of a Hulu limited series, "The Dropout," based on the ABC News podcast of the same name. The show stars Amanda Seyfried as Holmes as it chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of Theranos and Holmes herself.Now, Holmes is asking the presiding judge in her case to overturn her conviction. In a filing on May 27, Holmes' attorneys argued evidence was "insufficient to sustain the convictions.""Because no rational juror could have found the elements of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt on this record, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes' motion for judgment of acquittal," they wrote. The judge has set a date to consider Holmes' appeal in July.Here's how Holmes went from precocious child, to ambitious Stanford dropout, to an embattled startup founder convicted of fraud: Elizabeth Holmes was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington, D.C. Her mom, Noel, was a Congressional committee staffer, and her dad, Christian Holmes, worked for Enron before moving to government agencies like USAID.@eholmes2003/TwitterSource: Elizabeth Holmes/Twitter, CNN, Vanity FairHolmes' family moved when she was young, from Washington, D.C. to Houston.Washington, D.C.Getty ImagesSource: FortuneWhen she was 7, Holmes tried to invent her own time machine, filling up an entire notebook with detailed engineering drawings. At the age of 9, Holmes told relatives she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. Her relatives described her as saying it with the "utmost seriousness and determination."Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriSource: CBS News, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes had an "intense competitive streak" from a young age. She often played Monopoly with her younger brother and cousin, and she would insist on playing until the end, collecting the houses and hotels until she won. If Holmes was losing, she would often storm off. More than once, she ran directly through a screen on the door.Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, attends a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York, September 29, 2015.REUTERS/Brendan McDermidSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIt was during high school that Holmes developed her work ethic, often staying up late to study. She quickly became a straight-A student, and even started her own business: she sold C++ compilers, a type of software that translates computer code, to Chinese schools.Tyrone Siu/ReutersSource: Fortune, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes started taking Mandarin lessons, and part-way through high school, talked her way into being accepted by Stanford University’s summer program, which culminated in a trip to Beijing.Yepoka Yeebo / Business InsiderSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupInspired by her great-great-grandfather Christian Holmes, a surgeon, Holmes decided she wanted to go into medicine. But she discovered early on that she was terrified of needles. Later, she said this influenced her to start Theranos.Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderSource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes went to Stanford to study chemical engineering. When she was a freshman, she became a "president's scholar," an honor which came with a $3,000 stipend to go toward a research project.STANFORD, CA - MAY 22: People ride bikes past Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus on May 22, 2014 in Stanford, California. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Stanford University ranked second behind Harvard University as the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley ranked third. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Justin Sullivan/GettySource: FortuneHolmes spent the summer after her freshman year interning at the Genome Institute in Singapore. She got the job partly because she spoke Mandarin.An office worker walks along the Singapore River front during the lunch hour.Wong Maye-E/APSource: FortuneAs a sophomore, Holmes went to one of her professors, Channing Robertson, and said: "Let's start a company." With his blessing, she founded Real-Time Cures, later changing the company's name to Theranos. Thanks to a typo, early employees’ paychecks actually said "Real-Time Curses."Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes soon filed a patent application for a "medical device for analyte monitoring and drug delivery," a wearable device that would administer medication, monitor patients' blood, and adjust the dosage as needed.Reuters/Brian SnyderSource: Fortune, US Patent OfficeBy the next semester, Holmes had dropped out of Stanford altogether, and was working on Theranos in the basement of a college house.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Wall Street JournalTheranos's business model was based around the idea that it could run blood tests, using proprietary technology that required only a finger pinprick and a small amount of blood. Holmes said the tests would be able to detect medical conditions like cancer and high cholesterol.Theranos Chairman, CEO and Founder Elizabeth Holmes (L) and TechCrunch Writer and Moderator Jonathan Shieber speak onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, CaliforniaSteve Jennings/Getty ImagesSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes started raising money for Theranos from prominent investors like Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, the father of a childhood friend and the founder of prominent VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Theranos raised more than $700 million, and Draper has continued to defend Holmes.Investor Tim Draper (right).CNBCSource: SEC, CrunchbaseHolmes took investors' money on the condition that she wouldn't have to reveal how Theranos' technology worked. Plus, she would have final say over everything having to do with the company.JP Yim/GettySource: Vanity FairThat obsession with secrecy extended to every aspect of Theranos. For the first decade Holmes spent building her company, Theranos operated in stealth mode. She even took three former Theranos employees to court, claiming they had misused Theranos trade secrets.Kimberly White/GettySource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes' attitude toward secrecy and running a company was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Holmes started dressing in black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations.Steve Jobs.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairEven Holmes's uncharacteristically deep voice may have been part of a carefully crafted image intended to help her fit in in the male-dominated business world. In ABC's podcast on Holmes called "The Dropout," former Theranos employees said the CEO sometimes "fell out of character," particularly after drinking, and would speak in a higher voice.Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York.Lucas Jackson/ReutersSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, The CutHolmes was a demanding boss, and wanted her employees to work as hard as she did. She had her assistants track when employees arrived and left each day. To encourage people to work longer hours, she started having dinner catered to the office around 8 p.m. each night.TheranosSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupMore behind-the-scenes footage of what life was like at Theranos was revealed in leaked videos obtained by the team behind the HBO documentary "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley." The more than 100 hours of footage showed Holmes walking around the office, scenes from company parties, speeches from Holmes and Balwani, and Holmes dancing to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at the company's headquarters.Courtesy HBOSource: Business InsiderShortly after Holmes dropped out of Stanford at age 19, she began dating Theranos president and COO Sunny Balwani, who was 20 years her senior. The two met during Holmes' third year in Stanford’s summer Mandarin program, the summer before she went to college. She was bullied by some of the other students, and Balwani had come to her aid.Footage of Sunny Balwani presenting."60 Minutes"Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupBalwani became Holmes' No. 2 at Theranos despite having little experience. He was said to be a bully, and often tracked his employees' whereabouts. Holmes and Balwani eventually broke up in spring 2016 when Holmes pushed him out of the company.Sunny Balwani pictured in January 2019.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIn 2008, the Theranos board decided to remove Holmes as CEO in favor of someone more experienced. But over the course of a two-hour meeting, Holmes convinced them to let her stay in charge of her company.Jamie McCarthy / GettySource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAs Theranos started to rake in millions of funding, Holmes became the subject of media attention and acclaim in the tech world. She graced the covers of Fortune and Forbes, gave a TED Talk, and spoke on panels with Bill Clinton and Alibaba's Jack Ma.Elizabeth Holmes with former President Bill Clinton, left, and Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma.Andrew Burton/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairTheranos quickly began securing outside partnerships. Capital Blue Cross and Cleveland Clinic signed on to offer Theranos tests to their patients, and Walgreens made a deal to open Theranos testing centers in their stores. Theranos also formed a secret partnership with Safeway worth $350 million.A Theranos testing center inside a Walgreens.Melia Robinson/Business InsiderSource: Wired, Business InsiderIn 2011, Holmes hired her younger brother, Christian, to work at Theranos, although he didn’t have a medical or science background. Christian Holmes spent his early days at Theranos reading about sports online and recruiting his Duke University fraternity brothers to join the company. People dubbed Holmes and his crew the "Frat Pack" and "Therabros."Elizabeth Holmes and her brother, Christian.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAt one point, Holmes was the world's youngest self-made female billionaire with a net worth of around $4.5 billion.Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough PrizeSource: ForbesHolmes was obsessed with security at Theranos. She asked anyone who visited the company’s headquarters to sign non-disclosure agreements before being allowed in the building, and had security guards escort visitors everywhere — even to the bathroom.Michael Dalder/Reuters Holmes hired bodyguards to drive her around in a black Audi sedan. Her nickname was "Eagle One." The windows in her office had bulletproof glass.Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAround the same time, questions were being raised about Theranos' technology. Ian Gibbons — chief scientist at Theranos and one of the company's first hires — warned Holmes that the tests weren't ready for the public to take, and that there were inaccuracies in the technology. Outside scientists began voicing their concerns about Theranos, too.Melia Robinson/Tech InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, Business InsiderBy August 2015, the FDA began investigating Theranos, and regulators from the government body that oversees laboratories found "major inaccuracies" in the testing Theranos was doing on patients.Mike Segar/ReutersSource: Vanity FairBy October 2015, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou published his investigation into Theranos's struggles with its technology. Carreyrou's reporting sparked the beginning of the company's downward spiral.Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou.CBS "60 Minutes"Source: Wall Street JournalCarreyrou found that Theranos' blood-testing machine, named Edison, couldn't give accurate results, so Theranos was running its samples through the same machines used by traditional blood-testing companies.Carlos Osorio/APSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" shortly after the WSJ published its story to defend herself and Theranos. "This is what happens when you work to change things, and first they think you're crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world," Holmes said.CNBC/YouTubeSource: CNBCBy 2016, the FDA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and SEC were all looking into Theranos.GettySource: Wall Street Journal, WiredIn July 2016, Holmes was banned from the lab-testing industry for two years. By October, Theranos had shut down its lab operations and wellness centers.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani were charged with "massive fraud" by the SEC. Holmes agreed to give up financial and voting control of the company, pay a $500,000 fine, and return 18.9 million shares of Theranos stock. She also isn't allowed to be the director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Business InsiderDespite the charges, Holmes was allowed to stay on as CEO of Theranos, since it's a private company. The company had been hanging on by a thread, and Holmes wrote to investors asking for more money to save Theranos. "In light of where we are, this is no easy ask," Holmes wrote.Kimberly White/Getty Images for FortuneSource: Business InsiderIn Theranos' final days, Holmes reportedly got a Siberian husky puppy named Balto that she brought into the office. However, the dog wasn't potty trained, and would go to the bathroom inside the company's office and during meetings.A Siberian husky (not Holmes' dog).Kateryna Orlova/ShutterstockSource: Vanity FairIn June 2018, Theranos announced that Holmes was stepping down as CEO. On the same day, the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had charged Holmes, along with Balwani, with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live (WSJDLive) conference at the Montage hotel in Laguna Beach, California, October 21, 2015.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business Insider, CNBCTheranos sent an email to shareholders in September 2018 announcing that the company was shutting down. Theranos reportedly said it planned to spend the next few months repaying creditors with its remaining resources.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Wall Street JournalAround the time Theranos' time was coming to an end, Holmes made her first public appearance alongside William "Billy" Evans, a 27-year-old heir to a hospitality property management company in California. The two reportedly first met in 2017, and were seen together in 2018 at Burning Man, the art festival in the Nevada desert.Jim Rankin/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesSource: Daily MailHolmes is said to wear Evans' MIT "signet ring" on a chain around her neck, and the couple reportedly posts photos "professing their love for each other" on a private Instagram account. Evans' parents are reportedly "flabbergasted" at their son's decision to marry Holmes.—Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) February 21, 2019Source: Vanity Fair, New York PostIt's unclear where Holmes and Evans currently reside, but they were previously living in a $5,000-a-month apartment in San Francisco until April 2019. The apartment was located just a few blocks from one of the city's top tourist attractions, the famously crooked block of Lombard Street.Lombard Place Apartments, where Holmes used to live.Rent SF NowSource: Business InsiderIt was later reported that Holmes and Evans got engaged in early 2019, then married in June in a secretive wedding ceremony. Former Theranos employees were reportedly not invited to the wedding, according to Vanity Fair.Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, New York PostHolmes' and Balwani's cases have since been separated.Justin Silva/Getty, Stephen Lam/Reuters, Business InsiderSource: Department of Justice, Business InsiderBesides the criminal case, Holmes was also involved in a number of civil lawsuits, including one in Arizona brought by former Theranos patients over inaccurate blood tests. The lawyers representing her in the Arizona case said in late 2019 they hadn't been paid over a year and asked to be removed from Holmes' legal team.Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court.Reuters/Stephen LamSource: Business InsiderHolmes' lawyers in the federal case had tried to get the government's entire case thrown out. In February 2020, Holmes caught a break after some of the charges against her were dropped when a judge ruled that some patients didn't suffer financial loss.Brendan McDermid/ReutersSource: Business InsiderAmid the coronavirus outbreak, Holmes' lawyers asked the judge in April 2020 to deem the case "essential" so the defense team could defy lockdown orders and continue to travel and meet face-to-face. The judge said he was "taken aback" by the defense's pleas to violate lockdown.Reuters/Robert GalbraithSource: Business Insider It soon become clear that the pandemic — and the health risks associated with assembling a trial in one — would make the July trial date unrealistic. Through hearings held on Zoom, the presiding judge initially pushed the trial back to October 2020 and later postponed it further to March 2021.Passengers wear masks as they walk through LAX airport.Reuters/Lucy NicholsonSource: Business Insider In March 2021, Holmes requested another delay to the trial because she was pregnant. She asked to push back the trial to August 31, and her request was granted. Holmes reportedly gave birth to the child in July.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider, CNBCHeading into the trial, Holmes felt "wronged, like Salem-witch-trial wronged," says a person who used to work with her closely.Holmes, right, leaving the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California with her defense team on May 4, 2021.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe trial kicked off in September. In opening statements, prosecutors argued that, "Out of time and out of money, Elizabeth Holmes decided to lie." Meanwhile, the defense argued that although Theranos ultimately crumbled, "Failure is not a crime. Trying your hardest and coming up short is not a crime."Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building with her defense team on August 31, 2021 in San Jose, California.Ethan Swope/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider The list of possible witnesses for the trial named roughly 200 people, including the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, James Mattis, and Holmes herself.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse with her mother, Noel Holmes, during her trial.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn the end, the trial featured testimony from just over 30 witnesses.Vicki Behringer/ReutersSource: Business InsiderOver the course of 11 weeks, prosecutors called 29 witnesses to testify — including former Theranos employees, investors, patients, and doctors — before resting their case in November.Vicki BehringerSource: Business Insider The defense then began making its case, calling just three witnesses, including Holmes herself.Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderOn the stand, Holmes said Balwani emotionally and sexually abused her during their relationship.Former Theranos COO Ramesh "Sunny' Balwani leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on June 28, 2019 in San Jose, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also admitted that she added some pharmaceutical companies' logos to Theranos' reports without authorization. Investors previously said they took some reassurance in those reports because, based on the logos, they thought major pharmaceutical companies had validated Theranos' technology. Holmes said she added the logos to convey that work was done in partnership with those companies, but in hindsight she wishes she had "done it differently."Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also acknowledged on the stand that she hid Theranos' use of modified commercial devices from investors. She said she did this because company counsel told her that alterations the company made to the machines were trade secrets and needed to be protected as such.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHolmes spent seven days on the stand before the defense rested its case in early December.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives to attend her fraud trial at federal court in San Jose, California, U.S., December 16, 2021.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Holmes "chose fraud over business failure" while the defense argued she was "building a business, not a criminal enterprise."Elizabeth Holmes walks into federal court in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.Nic Coury/Associated PressSource: Business InsiderAfter 15 weeks of trial, Holmes' case headed to a jury of eight men and four women on December 17.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of blood testing and life sciences company Theranos, leaves the courthouse with her husband Billy Evans after the first day of her fraud trial in San Jose, California on September 8, 2021.Nick Otto/AFP/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderJurors deliberated for a total of seven days over the next few weeks before telling the court on January 3 that they were deadlocked on three of the 11 charges against Holmes. The judge read off some jury instructions to the group in court before instructing them to go back and deliberate further.Kate Munsch/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHours later, the jury returned a mixed verdict for Holmes, finding her guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud. They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a verdict on the remaining three counts.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe counts Holmes was found guilty of were all related to investments; she wasn't convicted on any of the charges involving patients who received inaccurate test results.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes now faces the possibility of decades in prison. Each count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, a $250,000 fine, and a requirement to pay victims restitution.AP Photo/Nic Coury, FileSource: Business Insider Legal experts told Insider it's unlikely Holmes will get 20 years at sentencing, but she probably won't get off without serving any time either.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes was not taken into custody following the verdict and will remain free until her September sentencing on a $500,000 bond secured by property.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderSince the conviction, Holmes and Theranos have been the focus of a Hulu limited series, "The Dropout," based on the ABC News podcast of the same name.Amanda Seyfried in "The Dropout" (left); Elizabeth Holmes (right)Beth Dubber/Hulu; Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunchSource: Business InsiderHolmes is played by Amanda Seyfried in the dramatized series, which asks the question, "How did the world's youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye?"Amanda Seyfried in "The Dropout."HuluSource: HuluThe show premiered March 3 and also stars Naveen Andrews as Balwani, Holmes' right-hand man at Theranos. Balwani's fraud trial began in March.Beth Dubber/Hulu; Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider Now, Holmes is pleading with a judge to toss her conviction.APSource: Business Insider In a 24-page filing on May 27, Holmes' attorneys argued for her acquittal, saying the evidence was "insufficient to sustain the convictions."Nick Otto/AFP via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThey wrote, "Because no rational juror could have found the elements of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt on this record, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes' motion for judgment of acquittal."David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider"Even if Ms. Holmes committed wire fraud against an investor (she did not) and even if Mr. Balwani committed wire fraud against an investor, that does not prove a conspiratorial agreement between them, nor does it prove that Ms. Holmes willfully joined any agreement," the attorneys continued in the filing.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderSuch appeals are common in cases like these, and legal experts expected Holmes would try to get her conviction overturned.Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe judge in Holmes' case set a hearing for July to weigh her request.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderPaige Leskin and Maya Kosoff contributed to earlier versions of this story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 29th, 2022

Erdogan Tells Finnish & Swedish Leaders To Get "Serious" About Terrorism In Tense Call

Erdogan Tells Finnish & Swedish Leaders To Get "Serious" About Terrorism In Tense Call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised objections directly with the leaders of Finland and Sweden over their twin bids to join the NATO alliance in separate phone calls on Saturday. Both leaders had met with President Joe Biden at the White House two days prior where they attempted to give assurances that they would "commit to Turkey's security" if admitted to NATO. In the calls with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Erdogan stressed that they must get serious about dealing the "terrorist" Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK. In prior days both the Turkish president and his foreign minister have issued a firm 'no' on the possibility of the Scandinavian countries joining the alliance. The Turkish presidency's office said Erdogan conveyed to Sweden that Stockholm must take "concrete and serious steps" against the PKK and other linked Kurdish groups. Ankara has long seen them as 'terrorists' despite much of the West allying with the Syrian YPG in Syria, which Turkey sees as but an extension of the PKK. Via Reuters And additionally he told Finland's Niinisto “that an understanding that ignores terrorist organizations that pose a threat to an ally within NATO is incompatible with the spirit of friendship and alliance," according to a statement. Both countries were also asked to lift EU arms restrictions to Turkey imposed in 2019. Turkey's Daily Sabah summarized the demands laid out in what were clearly tense phone calls as follows: Ankara expects Stockholm to take serious steps to address its concerns with regards to the terrorist groups, he said, adding that the claim that PKK/YPG terrorists were fighting the Daesh terrorist group, did not reflect reality. Sweden's arms restrictions on Turkey was another subject brought up during the conversation. Erdoğan said Turkey's cross-border military campaigns in northern Syria were a result of a necessity caused by a terrorist threat in the region, and Ankara expects Stockholm to lift the restrictions. Erdogan had also reportedly called NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to convey Turkey's position, to which the NATO chief said the alliance would take the security concerns seriously. In response to Turkey's latest days of official protests and amid the diplomatic maneuvering seeking to smooth its concerns, the US Statement Department described that the dispute is not being approached as a "bilateral issue".  As Reuters reported, "Turkey's approach to the NATO accession process of Sweden and Finland is not a bilateral issue between Washington and Ankara, the U.S. State Department said on Friday, but added that Washington was speaking with Ankara and it remained confident that the dispute would be overcome." Last week Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu conveyed to a meeting of NATO diplomats that majority of Turkish citizens - which is the country that also happens to possess the alliance's second largest military - are adamantly opposed to Sweden and Finland's membership. Thus Erdogan's AK Party government in its attempt to block their paths to NATO is also playing heavily to its domestic base. Tyler Durden Sat, 05/21/2022 - 18:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 21st, 2022

Biden says meeting with Kim Jong Un is dependent on whether the North Korean leader is "sincere" and "serious"

The Biden administration has aimed to have talks with North Korea without preconditions, but Pyongyang has been resistant to the proposition. President Joe Biden, left, speaks as South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol listens during a news conference at the People's House on May 21, 2022.AP Photo/Evan Vucci President Biden said a meeting with Kim Jong Un would depend on the North Korean leader's seriousness. His remarks came after bilateral talks in South Korea during his first presidential trip to Asia. The administration is prepared for a potential ballistic missile or nuclear test from North Korea. President Joe Biden on Saturday suggested that he would be open to meeting with Kim Jong Un, but only if the North Korean leader was "sincere" and "serious" in talks regarding the country's nuclear arsenal.Biden made the comments during a press conference that followed a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol after he was asked about the circumstances that could lead to a conversation."With regard to whether I would meet with the leader of North Korea, that would depend on whether he was sincere and whether he was serious," the president said.Biden's remarks came during his first presidential trip to Asia at a time when an increasingly large part of his young presidency has been focused on foreign affairs. International matters have played a significant role in his administration particularly following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, with the G7 continuing to commit billions of dollars in aid to the Ukrainian government.While US presidents generally have not engaged with North Korean leaders in-person, former President Donald Trump met with Kim and sought to leverage the relationship to create a pathway to North Korea's denuclearization to no avail.However, in September 2017, Trump called Kim "rocket man," which set off a stream of insults between the two men. The then-president reportedly said that his nickname for the North Korean leader was made in jest and was not meant to be demeaning.The Biden administration has aimed to have talks with North Korea without preconditions, but Pyongyang has been resistant to the proposition.North Korea's nuclear program continues to present huge geopolitical issues; the United Nations Security Council since 2006 has issued several major sanctions on the country for its missile activities.The Biden administration is prepared for a potential ballistic missile or nuclear test from North Korea while the president is in the region, which national security advisor Jake Sullivan announced at the White House on Wednesday."Our intelligence does reflect the genuine possibility that there will be either a further missile test, including a long-range missile test, or a nuclear test, or frankly both, in the days leading into, on, or after the president's trip to the region," he said during a briefing.North Korea last conducted a nuclear test in 2017, but the country this year test-fired a tactical guided weapon system. The president also seeks to strengthen its ties South Korea. In a statement, the two countries said they would begin talks "to expand the scope and scale of combined military exercises and training on and around the Korean Peninsula.""President Yoon and President Biden reiterate their common goal of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agree to further strengthen the airtight coordination to this end," the joint statement read. "The two Presidents share the view that the DPRK's [Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] nuclear program presents a grave threat not only to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula but also the rest of Asia and the world."Biden will also visit Japan during his visit to the region.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022

Futures Slide As Amazon, Apple Slump; Nasdaq Set For Worst Month Since Nov 2008

Futures Slide As Amazon, Apple Slump; Nasdaq Set For Worst Month Since Nov 2008 It has been an illiquid, rollercoaster session on the last day of the week and month, which first saw US index futures modestly rise alongside European stocks propped up by surging Chinese and Asian markets following Beijing's latest vow to use new tools and policies to spur growth, however the initial move higher quickly faded as markets remembered that not only did Amazon report dismal earnings (with Apple also sliding on weak guidance) but the Fed is set to hike 50bps (or maybe 75bps) next week, and put a lit on any upside follow through. As a result, S&P500 futures dropped 0.9%, while Nasdaq futures retreated 1.1% on the last trading day of April, adding to their 9.3% decline so far this month and on pace for the worst monthly performance since November 2008 as fears of rising rates hurt bubbly growth shares and fuel risks for future profits. The yen snapped a slide while staying near 20-year lows. The yuan, euro, pound and commodity-linked currencies made gains while the dollar dipped. 10Y TSY yields rose, rising by about 4bps to 2.87% while gold moved back above $1900. Bitcoin tumbled as usual, and last traded back under $39,000. In premarket trading, Amazon.com plunged 9%, after projecting dismal second-quarter sales growth, while the world's largest company Apple dropped 2.8% after warning on supply constraints. Meanwhile, Tesla shares gained 3.1% premarket after CEO Elon Musk said he doesn’t plan on selling any more stock after a $4 billion stake sale. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Intel (INTC US) shares slide 3.1% premarket as analysts flag “light” guidance for the chipmaker’s second quarter, stoking worries over the impact of waning demand for PCs. Intel’s second-quarter forecast missed the average estimate. Robinhood (HOOD US) shares are set to open at a record low Friday as a lockdown-driven boom in retail trading continues to fade and a stock market selloff squeezes out some clients. Tesla (TSLA US) shares rise as much as 4.2% premarket, after CEO Elon Musk said he doesn’t plan on offloading any more Tesla stock after selling ~$4b of shares in the electric vehicle maker following his deal to buy Twitter. Accolade (ACCD US) plummets 36% premarket after the company’s 2023 revenue forecast fell short of estimates, with Morgan Stanley downgrading the healthcare software provider to equal-weight after the loss of a key customer. Finch Therapeutics (FNCH US) shares soar as much as 54% premarket after the biotech announced that the FDA removed the clinical hold on Finch’s investigational new drug application for CP101. Piper Sandler cut its recommendation on Mastercard (MA US) to underweight, becoming the first broker to downgrade the company with a sell-equivalent rating since August. Shares down 1.1% premarket. U.S.-listed Chinese stocks rally across the board in premarket trading after China’s top leaders pledged more support to spur economic growth and vowed to contain Covid outbreaks. Alibaba (BABA US) +13%, JD.com (JD US) +16%. Zymeworks (ZYME US) climbs 30% premarket; All Blue Capital made a non-binding offer at $10.50 per share in cash for the biotech company, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Outside of the flagship tech giant earnings misses, the results season has been reassuring so far. S&P 500 earnings growth is tracking 4.3% year-on-year, with 86% of companies beating estimates, according to Barclays strategists. “With continued solid U.S. growth prospects, robust earnings, and relatively strong household balance sheets, a recession in the next 12 months is not in our base case,” said UBS Wealth Management CIO Mark Haefele.  Meanwhile, as reported earlier, China’s top leaders promised to boost economic stimulus to spur growth.  While China’s announcement brought some relief for markets, many risks remain. They span China’s ongoing Covid challenges, the impact of the Fed on the U.S. economy and Russia’s war in Ukraine. “The Fed’s record on soft landings is not that strong,” Carol Schleif, deputy chief investment officer at BMO Family Office LLC, said on Bloomberg Television. “Markets are watching very, very carefully to see if we can thread that needle.” The latest U.S. data showed that the world’s largest economy unexpectedly shrank for the first time since 2020. That reflected an import surge tied to solid consumer demand, suggesting growth will return imminently.  The figures underscore the debate about how much scope the U.S. central bank has to tighten policy before the economy cracks. Markets continue to project a half-point Fed rate hike next week. “A year from now, 10-year yields are most likely going to be lower than where we are today,” Jimmy Chang, chief investment officer at Rockefeller Financial LLC, said on Bloomberg Television, referring to Treasuries. “I do believe at some point the economy starts to weaken, the Fed will be less hawkish, perhaps even go into a pause mode by, say, early next year.” Meanwhile, China's latest vow to prop up markets helped support European stocks (in addition to Asian and Chinese stocks of course), also spurred by a robust earnings season. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.8%, trimming a monthly decline. The Euro Stoxx 50 gains as much as 1.5% with most cash equity indexes gaining over 1% before stalling. Tech, consumer products and financial services are the strongest performing sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Novo Nordisk shares gain as much as 7.3% after the Danish pharmaceutical giant reported its latest earnings, which included a large beat on its blockbuster obesity drug Wegovy. The company also hiked its outlook. BBVA rises as much as 5.6% after better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, as the Spanish lender’s performance in Turkey showed signs of vindicating Chief Executive Officer Onur Genc’s bet on the country. Johnson Matthey jumps as much as 36%, the steepest gain since at least 1989 when Bloomberg’s records started, after Standard Industries Inc. bought a stake in the company. Remy Cointreau climbs as much as 3.8% after the French distiller reported 4Q sales that were in line with consensus. Analysts noted the strong start to the current fiscal year and a limited impact so far from a Covid-19 resurgence in the key Chinese market. Spie shares climb as much as 5.1% after the French company reported 1Q figures that Bryan Garnier said were “substantially” above expectations, with planned European investments for energy independence also viewed as a potential headwind. AstraZeneca shares decline as much as 1.3% after the company’s first-quarter earnings included a beat on core EPS and overall revenue, but also a slight miss on Alexion rare disease medication and key growth drugs such as Imfinzi. Neste falls as much as 8.7% even as the Finnish maker of renewable diesel reported first-quarter results that beat estimates. Jefferies (hold) said the lack of longer-term (full-year 2022) margin guidance could disappoint. Henkel tumbles as much as 10% after what RBC says was a “substantial profit warning” for 2022. NatWest falls as much as 6% after its 1Q results got a mixed response from analysts. Some were impressed with the performance of the bank’s Go-Forward business, while others highlighted the very low mortgage spread and miss in the CET1 capital ratio. Orsted drop as much as 3.2% despite reporting a 1Q profit beat, with analysts focusing on the project delays due to supply chain shortages as well as the impact of high input costs. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks climbed for a second day led by a jump in Chinese technology shares, amid a series of new policy promises from the country’s top leaders to bolster the economy and markets.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 1.7%, with Tencent and Alibaba among the biggest gainers. The Hang Seng Tech Index soared more than 10%, rebounding from earlier losses, as the country vowed to support healthy growth of platform companies. As reported earlier, China’s Politburo, led by President Xi Jinping, vowed to meet economic targets in a sign that it may step up stimulus to support growth. Shortly before the measures were unveiled, Chinese tech stocks reversed earlier losses as traders speculated about a possible relaxation of the yearlong regulatory clampdown. Chipmakers in Taiwan and South Korea also climbed, helping the region’s tech sector. A Bloomberg index of Asian semiconductor stocks rallied as much as 2.4%, its biggest gain in more than two weeks. A key technical indicator suggested that the sector is still oversold after Intel’s disappointing profit forecast. “After recent selloffs in the semiconductor sector, the price levels have become attractive for dip buyers,” said Seo Jung-Hun, a strategist at Samsung Securities, adding that the rebound may be limited ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week.   Stocks in South Korea, Taiwan and Australia advanced while those in Japan were closed for a holiday. Asia’s equity benchmark was still poised for its steepest monthly drop since March 2020 and its fourth monthly decline. Australian stocks also advanced, paring the week's decline. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.1% to 7,435.00, paring the week’s loss. Technology and communications sectors gained the most Friday. Pointsbet gained the most in almost a month, snapping a five day losing streak after reporting turnover for the third quarter. Domino’s Pizza fell for a fourth day, dropping the most in a month. New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed at 11,884.30. India’s benchmark equities index completed a third monthly slide this year as higher oil prices weighed on sentiment.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.8% to 57,060.87 in Mumbai on Friday, taking its loss in April to 2.6%. Axis Bank Ltd. dropped 6.6% after reporting earnings and was the biggest drag on the Sensex, which saw 23 of 30 member-stocks fall. The NSE Nifty 50 Index also slipped 0.8% to 17,102.55. All 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. slipped, led by a gauge of oil and gas companies.  “We’ve been seeing the index oscillating in a broader range for the last two weeks and there’s no clarity over the next directional move yet,” Ajit Mishra, vice president for research at Religare Broking Ltd., wrote in a note.  The brokerage maintains a cautious view, with focus on earnings, auto sales data and the initial share sale of Life Insurance Corporation next week.  Of the 15 Nifty 50 firms that have announced earnings results so far, 10 either met or exceeded analysts’ expectations, while five missed.  In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell after touching an almost two-year high yesterday as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasuries underperformed European bonds, with 3-year yields rising by 7bps. Scandinavian currencies were the top performers as they were supported by month-end flows. The Australian dollar extended intra-day gains after China’s top leaders promised to boost economic stimulus to spur growth and vowed to contain the country’s worst Covid outbreak since 2020, which is threatening official targets for this year. The euro snapped six days of losses against the dollar but was still set for its worst monthly performance in almost four years. Bunds extended losses and yields rose by up to 5 bps after data showed euro-area consumer prices rose by 7.5% from a year earlier in April, in line with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A gauge excluding volatile items such as food and energy jumped to 3.5%. The pound advanced against the dollar, trimming a weekly decline of 2.2%. The cost of hedging against swings in the pound over a one-week period rose to the highest since December 2020. Gilts outperformed bunds and Treasuries, as money markets pared BOE tightening wagers. The yen rose on demand over the currency fix in Tokyo but it remains on track for its worst monthly performance since 2016 In rates, Treasuries hold losses into the U.S. session leaving yields down by as much as 6bps across front-end as the curve flattens. 10-year TSY yields were around 2.86%, cheaper by 4bp vs. Thursday close while 2s10s, 5s30s spreads flatten 2bp and 2.5bp amid front-end and belly-led weakness. German short-end cheapens roughly 5 bps to 0.24% as euro-area core inflation accelerated higher than expected. In Europe, peripherals underperform and lead bond losses while Estoxx50 climbs following better sentiment across Asia stocks after China’s pledge to ramp up stimulus.  Dollar issuance slate empty so far; two names priced $4.5b Thursday, taking weekly volumes through $8b vs. $20b forecast. Expectations are for $20b to $25b next week and a total of $125b to $150b for the month of May In commodities, WTI rose 1.2% higher to trade near $107. Saudi Aramco is expected to lower its official selling prices for June-loading crudes, market sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights; following tepid Asian demand fundamentals, with the OSP differentials retreating from the record highs. North Sea Crude oil grades underpinning dated Brent Benchmark to average 540k BPD in June (prev. 755k BPD), according to programmes. Indian firms are reportedly seeking oil import deals with Russia, according to sources cited by Reuters; three refiners looking to buy up to 16mln bbl per month of oil from Russia. Spot gold rises roughly $20 to trade around $1,915/oz. Most base metals trade in the green. Bitcoin prices are softer as usual and briefly retreated beneath the 39,000 level. Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases include the flash CPI estimate for the Euro Area in April, as well as the first look at Q1 GDP for the Euro Area, Germany, France and Italy. Otherwise from the US, we’ll get March’s data on personal spending and personal income, the Q1 employment cost index, the NI Chicago PMI for April, and the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for April. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s de Cos, and the Central Bank of Russia will be making its latest policy decision. Finally, earnings releases include ExxonMobil, Chevron, AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Honeywell International, Charter Communications, Aon and NatWest. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.9% to 4,242.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 451.55 MXAP up 2.0% to 169.00 MXAPJ up 2.6% to 561.33 Nikkei up 1.7% to 26,847.90 Topix up 2.1% to 1,899.62 Hang Seng Index up 4.0% to 21,089.39 Shanghai Composite up 2.4% to 3,047.06 Sensex up 0.5% to 57,796.94 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.1% to 7,435.01 Kospi up 1.0% to 2,695.05 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.88% Euro up 0.7% to $1.0574 Brent Futures up 0.9% to $108.51/bbl Brent Futures up 0.9% to $108.51/bbl Gold spot up 1.1% to $1,915.10 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.66% to 102.94 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg More than six years after China’s shock 2015 devaluation roiled global markets and spurred an estimated $1 trillion in capital flight, the yuan is weakening at a similar pace. Onshore it’s lost nearly 4% in eight days, while the offshore rate is heading for its worst month relative to the greenback in history. Selling momentum is the strongest since the height of Donald Trump’s trade war in 2018 Geopolitical turmoil is reviving the dollar’s status as a haven, extending gains seen earlier this year as traders shifted to the U.S. to seize on rising interest rates from the Federal Reserve. On Thursday, one gauge of the greenback pushed through to the strongest level since 2002, swept up by a wave of demand for the world’s reserve currency Russia’s war with Ukraine may persuade the Swiss National Bank to adjust its monetary policy if inflation accelerates, SNB President Thomas Jordan said Economic expansion in the euro zone began 2022 on a weak footing -- underscoring the damage from soaring energy costs and worsening supply snarls following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Output increased 0.2% from the previous quarter in the three months through March -- matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey U.K. house prices rose for a ninth consecutive month in April as the housing market continued to defy an escalating cost of living crisis. The 0.3% gain marked the longest winning streak since 2016 Oil is poised for a fifth monthly gain after another tumultuous period of trading that saw prices whipsawed by the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine and the resurgence of Covid-19 in China A More detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks gained after the firm lead from the US where stocks looked past the surprise contraction in US GDP, but with advances in the region capped heading into month-end and next week's mass closures. ASX 200 was firmer as tech mirrored the outperformance of the Nasdaq stateside and with gold miners following closely behind after the precious metal reclaimed the psychological USD 1900/oz level. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were initially indecisive ahead of next week’s holiday closures including in the mainland where markets will remain closed through to Wednesday, while participants also digested the surprise contraction in Hong Kong’s exports and imports data. However, a surge in Hong Kong tech stocks and policy pledges by China's Politburo helped shake off the indecision. Top Asian News Bets of Easing Crackdown Spur Dizzying Jump in China Tech Stocks Grab Gets Malaysia Digital Bank License as Five Bids Win CATL Posts Sharp Drop in Earnings in Abrupt Reversal of Fortune China Plans Symposium With Big Tech Firms After Labor Day: SCMP European equities remained on the front foot on the last trading day of the month.   In terms of sectors, tech currently stands as the clear outperformer amid the sectoral gains on Wall Street yesterday alongside the surge in Chinese Tech. Overall, sectors have a slight anti-defensive bias. State-side futures were dented overnight amid after-hours losses in Amazon (-9% pre-market) and Apple (-2.4% pre-market) following disappointing guidance and inflationary headwinds. Thus, the NQ (-0.8%) currently lags. Top European News Russia Offers Dual-Payment Plan for Oil, Other Trade With India Germany Says Won’t Block Embargo on Russian Oil to Punish Putin UBS Wealth Says Too Early to Bet on Recession, Fed’s Failure U.K. House Prices Deliver Longest Winning Streak Since 2016 FX Dollar bulls book profits into month end and DXY pulls back further from near 104.000 peak in the process. High betas, cyclical and activity currencies grab the chance to recoup losses vs Buck. Euro rebounds amidst more hot Eurozone inflation data, but could be hampered by big option expiries. Yuan regroups as Chinese Government promises stimulus measures and aid for sectors of the economy suffering worst covid contagion Central Bank of Russia (CBR) cuts key rate by 300bps to 14.00% (exp. 15.00%); sees key rate in 12.5-14.00% range this year (prev. 9.0-11.0%). Russia's Kremlin, when asked about the idea of pegging the RUB to gold prices, says it is under discussion, according to Reuters. Fixed Income Bonds suffer another inflation setback after early EU rebound. Bunds some 100 ticks down from 154.69 peak, Gilts flattish between 119.34-118.73 parameters and 10 year T-note nearer 119-04+ low than 19-24 high. BTPs weak after so-so reception at end of month Italian auctions - US PCE data also adds to caution as Fed's preferred measure of inflation. Commodities WTI and Brent front-month futures have been gaining during the European morning. Saudi Aramco is expected to lower its official selling prices for June-loading crudes, market sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights; following tepid Asian demand fundamentals, with the OSP differentials retreating from the record highs. (S&PGlobal) North Sea Crude oil grades underpinning dated Brent Benchmark to average 540k BPD in June (prev. 755k BPD), according to programmes. Indian firms are reportedly seeking oil import deals with Russia, according to sources cited by Reuters; three refiners looking to buy up to 16mln bbl per month of oil from Russia. Spot gold has been rising in tandem with a pullback in the Buck but ahead of the US March PCE metric. Overnight, base metals saw gains in Shanghai, with some also citing a demand front-load ahead of the Chinese Labour Day. US Event Calendar 08:30: 1Q Employment Cost Index, est. 1.1%, prior 1.0% 08:30: March Personal Income, est. 0.4%, prior 0.5% March Personal Spending, est. 0.6%, prior 0.2% March Real Personal Spending, est. -0.1%, prior -0.4% March PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.9%, prior 0.6% March PCE Deflator YoY, est. 6.7%, prior 6.4% March PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.4% March PCE Core Deflator YoY, est. 5.3%, prior 5.4% 09:45: April MNI Chicago PMI, est. 62.0, prior 62.9 10:00: April U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 65.7, prior 65.7 U. of Mich. Expectations, est. 64.1, prior 64.1 U. of Mich. Current Conditions, est. 68.0, prior 68.1 U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 5.5%, prior 5.4%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 3.0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap By the time you're reading this I'll be lying down with straps around my ankles and wrists and making strange noises while I get manipulated by someone very strict. No I'm not remaking "50 Shades" but instead starting "Reformer Pilates" for the first time at a very early physio appointment. The miracle worker of a back consultant that has for now cured my debilitating sciatica with one simple injection has recommended it as a way of preventing a relapse. At this point, I will do absolutely anything he says so I’m prepared to humiliate myself on a regular basis going forward. So feel free to picture this as you read this. Some of the bearish chains have been loosened in risk markets over the last 24 hours but volatility remains elevated. We’ve seen another major European bond selloff, the highest German inflation since 1950, a further surge in the dollar, an unexpected US economic contraction in Q1, poor Amazon earnings, as well as growing geopolitical tensions as speculation continues about a Russian oil embargo in Europe. In spite of all that however, major equity indices have continued to advance from their Tuesday lows, with the S&P 500 (+2.47%) staging a huge comeback as investors focused on the more positive stories from recent corporate earnings releases. This was before Amazon missed sales expectations after the bell and revised down sales expectations for the second-quarter, fueling fears that consumer spending may slow despite evidence of robust activity in yesterday's GDP data. Amazon shares were -9.15% lower after hours. However, Apple reported earnings that beat estimates on strong iPhone sales, despite supply chain issues coinciding with China’s lockdowns. Shares were -2.19% lower after hours. Overall sentiment still remains fragile with NASDAQ 100 futures (-1.04%) and S&P 500 futures (-0.43%) moving lower in the overnight trade. This followed the best day for the S&P 500 (+2.47%) since the bounceback after the initial invasion in early March, with every sector more than +1.00% higher. Megacap tech stocks led the way as the FANG+ index rose +4.78%, its best day since mid-March. Europe also saw decent gains, although missing most of the rally that took place in the New York afternoon, with the STOXX 600 (+0.62%), the DAX (+1.35%) and the FTSE 100 (+1.13%) all higher. Given the big run-up in the New York afternoon, the S&P 500 was 'only' around +0.8% higher as Europe closed. Bond markets were again lively with most of the action in Europe, with a significant selloff after the German CPI print for April surprised on the upside yet again. Looking at the details, the year-on-year measure rose to +7.8% using the EU-harmonised method (vs. +7.6% expected), which is certainly the fastest pace of inflation since German reunification, and at the same level briefly seen in West Germany after the first oil shock in 1973. Indeed if you’re looking for German inflation faster than that, you’ve got to go all the way back to the 1950s, since West Germany had much more success than the US or UK for example in keeping inflation in the single-digits even during the 1970s. We’ll have to see what the flash CPI reading for the entire Euro Area brings today, but as I mentioned in my Chart of the Day yesterday (link here), this brings home just how far the ECB is behind the curve, since the last time inflation was around these levels in the 70s, the Bundesbank certainly didn’t have a negative deposit rate. With the inflation reading coming in above expectations, that catalysed a fresh bond selloff that took the 10yr bund yield up by +9.8bps to 0.89%. This echoes some of the other big moves higher in yields we’ve seen over the last couple of months, but it still leaves them beneath the peak of 0.97% at the end of last week. What was also noticeable was the fresh widening in spreads that speaks to the building minor stresses in European markets right now, with the gap between Italian and German 10yr yields up a further +4.2bps to 181bps, a level not seen since June 2020. As in the previous session, those moves were seen in the credit space too, with the iTraxx Crossover widening +3.7bps to 418bps, leaving it just shy of its recent peak at 421bps in early March. Another cause for concern in European markets have been the ongoing tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine, with the Euro falling by a further -0.55% yesterday to $1.0499, the first close below $1.05 since early 2017, although this morning it has moved back up to $1.0514. Conversely the dollar index (+0.65%) continued its upward march, strengthening for the 19th time in the last 21 sessions, and closing at its strongest level since 2002. That comes as the latest reports indicate that a Russian oil embargo is moving closer, with Brent crude ending the day up +2.16% at $107.59/bbl after Dow Jones reported that Germany had dropped its opposition to an embargo, and this morning, Brent has risen further to $108.00/bbl. We also heard from President Biden, who requested $33bn from Congress for further assistance to Ukraine, including $20.4bn on security and military assistance, $8.5bn on economic assistance, and $3bn on humanitarian assistance. Overnight in Asia, equity markets are mostly trading higher following the strong performance on Wall Street, with tech stocks leading the way. The Hang Seng (+2.04%) has seen one of the strongest performances, far outpacing mainland Chinese indices including the Shanghai Composite (+0.37%) and the CSI 300 (-0.06%). That comes amidst persistent concerns over the country’s lockdowns, with Shanghai seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases for the first time in 6 days, and overnight we also heard from China’s Politburo, with CCTV reporting that they’re urging efforts to meet the economic growth targets. Elsewhere, the Kospi (+0.78%) is trading up while markets in Japan are closed for a holiday today. Back on the data front, another notable release yesterday came from the US GDP reading for Q1. On one level it’s a fairly backward-looking reading, but the print saw an unexpected contraction, with the economy shrinking at an annualised rate of -1.4%, marking the first quarterly contraction since the lockdowns of Q2 2020. That said, there are no indications this is going to derail the Fed from their path of rate hikes, with a 50bps move next week still fully priced in. In fact, there was a massive drag coming from the surprisingly large trade deficit, while underlying consumption was actually very robust, suggesting rates need to get even higher to slow demand, as we’ve been arguing. In turn, the amount of Fed hikes priced for the rest of the year moved up +2.2bps to 239bps, and this morning they’re up to 242bps, just shy of their closing high last Friday at 244bps. That led to a renewed flattening in the yield curve, and 2yr yields gained +2.6bps while 10yr yields fell -0.9bps. Despite the tepid headline nominal move, there was a big divergence in 10yr inflation breakevens and real yields. Breakevens gained +7.3bps to 2.98%, a few bps shy of their highest levels on record from last week. By contrast, real yields fell -8.2bps to -0.16%, taking them a further from positive territory ahead of next week’s FOMC where its also widely-anticipated they will announce the beginning of their QT program. To the day ahead now, and data releases include the flash CPI estimate for the Euro Area in April, as well as the first look at Q1 GDP for the Euro Area, Germany, France and Italy. Otherwise from the US, we’ll get March’s data on personal spending and personal income, the Q1 employment cost index, the MNI Chicago PMI for April, and the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for April. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s de Cos, and the Central Bank of Russia will be making its latest policy decision. Finally, earnings releases include ExxonMobil, Chevron, AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Honeywell International, Charter Communications, Aon and NatWest. Tyler Durden Fri, 04/29/2022 - 07:33.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 29th, 2022

Perception Vs. Reality

Perception Vs. Reality Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, If you only get your news from the mainstream media, you would be tempted to believe that global conditions are relatively stable right now.  Yes, there is a war between Russia and Ukraine, but the mainstream media is assuring us that Ukraine is winning that war.  Other than that, the mainstream media seems to think that everything is just fine. Of course the truth is that our planet is facing a whole host of extremely challenging problems at the moment.  The UN has warned that we are entering the worst global food crisis since World War II, inflation has started to spiral out of control all over the world, the war in Ukraine is making our supply chain nightmares even worse and an absolutely horrifying bird flu plague is killing millions upon millions of chickens and turkeys. But if you flip on one of the corporate news channels tonight, they will be focusing on other things. And you probably won’t even hear them talk about the food riots that have suddenly begun erupting around the world at all. For example, a “curfew” has just been imposed on the capital of Peru after a series of extremely passionate protests that were sparked by rapidly rising fuel and food prices… Peruvian President Pedro Castillo announced a curfew for Tuesday in the capital Lima and neighboring port city Callao, after demonstrations across the country over fuel prices caused roadblocks and “acts of violence”. Protests had erupted across Peru in recent days due to a hike in fuel prices and tolls, during a time of rising food prices. Is this the first time that you have heard about this? For many of you it will be, and that is because the mainstream media in the U.S. is largely ignoring this. In Sri Lanka, severe shortages of “food, medicine and fuel” have caused a full-blown economic collapse and tremendous chaos in the streets… In Sri Lanka, where an economic crisis is growing, more than 40 lawmakers walked out of the ruling coalition today. That leaves the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the minority in Parliament. There have been new calls today for both the president and prime minister to step down after the entire Cabinet resigned on Sunday. Shortages of food, medicine and fuel have sparked countrywide protests, and security forces have fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters marching on the president’s home. Most of you have probably not heard about that either, and that is because our largest news outlets are being really quiet about it. But USA Today wants to make sure that you know about a new promotion that McDonald’s is running: “McDonald’s brings back Spicy Chicken McNuggets to select restaurants for a limited time”. More than ever before, our perception of the world around us is shaped by the corporate elite.  Americans get more than 90 percent of the “television news” that they consume from just five giant media corporations, and so that gives those corporations an incredible amount of influence over how our society views reality. For example, far more Americans are talking about “the slap” at the Academy Awards than about the fact that North Korea just threatened South Korea with nuclear war… North Korea opposes war but would use nuclear weapons if South Korea attacked, Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong Un, said on Tuesday, in a warning that analysts said is probably aimed at the South’s incoming conservative president. Kim Yo Jong, a senior official in the government and ruling party, said it was a “very big mistake” for South Korea’s minister of defence to make recent remarks discussing attacks on the North, state news agency KCNA reported. The war in Ukraine is not going to be the last war that erupts.  I believe that China is very strongly considering an invasion of Taiwan in the not too distant future, and a major war between Israel and Iran could literally start at any time. But instead of alarming the American people about such things, CNN wants you to know that Coke has a brand new flavor: “Coke’s latest flavor is here. And it’s a weird one”. I suppose that we should be thankful to CNN, because I probably never would have heard about that new flavor unless they ran that story. Meanwhile, the number of poultry flocks in Minnesota that have been hit by the new bird flu pandemic just doubled… The Minnesota Board of Animal Health on Tuesday reported the latest outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the state is now affecting a total of 15 poultry flocks — up from seven last Friday. Minnesota is the number one state for turkey production, and so this is a really big deal. Overall, the national death toll just continues to climb.  The first case at a commercial facility in the United States was confirmed less than two months ago, and now the death toll has risen to nearly 28 million… The new cases mean that across the nation, farmers have had to kill about 22 million egg-laying chickens, 1.8 million broiler chickens, 1.9 million pullet and other commercial chickens, and 1.9 million turkeys. Will MSNBC lead with this story tonight? Of course not. But I did find the following story on MSNBC’s homepage earlier today: “Garlic cloves up your nose? What to know about the health trends taking TikTok by storm”. What a bunch of nonsense. I am so grateful for the alternative media, because they often cover stories that the mainstream media never talks about. For example, our friends at Zero Hedge have informed us that the price of jet fuel in New York has risen “more than 162% since mid-March”… Wholesale jet fuel prices in New York have risen more than 162% since mid-March, as buyers at some of the world’s busiest airports, located on the US East Coast, anticipate dwindling supplies as Western sanctions shun Russian energy exports. On Monday, jet fuel prices jumped 93 cents to $7.61 a gallon, a new record high, according to Bloomberg data going back to 1988. That is crazy. We are seeing so much inflation all throughout the system right now.  A few hours ago, I came across a post by a supermarket employee on a very popular Internet forum that really got my attention.  According to this employee, workers at this particular store were given 52 pages of price changes just this week… Tyson Chicken strip jumped up $3 Eggs went up to $3.50 they were 2.25 32 pack of water went to $5.50 originally 3.75 There was 35 pages of price changes on the dry side and 17 pages in freezer and cooler they are planning to have that many pages or more next week also A trip to the grocery store is going to become very, very painful in the months ahead. But just be thankful that you don’t live in one of the poorest countries on the planet. At this point, even Vladimir Putin is telling us that the food shortages that we are now witnessing are going to get even worse… Putin said higher energy prices and fertilizer shortages would mean Western nations would have to print more money to buy supplies, which would cause food shortages in poorer countries. “They will inevitably exacerbate food shortages in the poorest regions of the world, spur new waves of migration, and, in general, drive food prices even higher,” Putin said in a meeting on developing food production, Reuters reported. A full-blown global meltdown has now begun, and it is going to go to an entirely new level in the months ahead. But the mainstream media will try to distract you with stories about Will Smith, Kourtney Kardashian and other celebrities for as long as they can. Personally, I don’t really care that Kourtney Kardashian just married Travis Barker in Las Vegas.  What I do care about is the fact that our society is coming apart at the seams all around us. The news that you get from the corporate media has been carefully designed to promote certain narratives, and these days much of it is wildly inaccurate. But most of the population will continue to blindly believe whatever they are told to believe by our “professional journalists”, and that is extremely unfortunate. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Thu, 04/07/2022 - 16:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytApr 7th, 2022

Zelenskyy showed the UN a graphic video of the bodies of Ukrainian children killed in Russia"s invasion

The Ukrainian president described scenes of summary executions, rape, and torture in his speech to the Security Council. A young child gives an offering of food at his mother's grave as his younger brother and a neighbor stand nearby in the town of Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv.Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Ukraine's Zelenskyy showed a graphic video of dead Ukrainians to the UN Security Council. The video followed a speech he gave describing the horrors of mass civilian killings in Bucha. He railed against the Security Council for its ineffectiveness, and urged it to punish Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday showed a graphic video of dead Ukrainians after demanding the United Nations Security Council punish Russia for its ongoing war.The video showed a montage of videos and photographs of Ukrainian civilians who have been killed by Russian forces across the country since the February 24 war began. Some images of the bodies showed signs of torture; some of the corpses had their hands bound behind their backs. Other images showed burnt bodies and mass graves.The video also included images of dead children.   After the video ended — with a black screen that read "#StopRussianAggression" — there was a long pause before Barbara Woodward, the UK's permanent UN representative, resumed speaking. Tuesday's Security Council's meeting came after the discovery of hundreds of civilian deaths in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha after Russian forces retreated from the region.Satellite images revealed partially excavated mass graves, and Ukrainian officials and journalists reported that corpses were seen lying in the streets. While speaking to the Security Council about the mass killings in Bucha, Zelenskyy described scenes of executions, women being raped and killed in front of children, and graphic depictions of torture.  "Russia wants to turn Ukraine into silent slaves," Zelenskyy said, and has looted everything from food to "earrings covered in blood."He added that the Bucha massacre is just one example of what Russian forces have done in Ukraine, echoing claims made a day earlier by Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.  "There is not a single crime that they would not commit," Zelenskyy said, speaking about Russian forces.Zelenskyy during his speech also railed against the Security Council's ineffectiveness to stop Russia's ongoing aggression in Ukraine — urging the council to either punish Russia or dissolve itself entirely.He also used his address as an opportunity to call for a reform of the world's security system.Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, has exercised its veto to block UN action to condemn President Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 5th, 2022

"They"re all coming at you at once": How Biden confidants say the president prepared for this moment of war

"Look, he has an extremely – this is the understatement of the century – extremely challenging responsibilities at this time in world history," Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat and Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, told Insider in an exclusive interview. A composite image showing US President Joe Biden (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R.)Dmytro Smolyenko via Getty/Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images The Ukrainian president has called on Biden to be a "leader of the world." Republicans say Biden isn't measuring up to the moment. Biden allies say he has unified the world against Russian aggression. Before his March 1 State of the Union address, President Joe Biden was talking to his friend "Tommy" – Sen. Tom Carper – about the difference between being a senator and president."He says, 'Tommy, the issues are the same,'" Carper, a Democrat who represents Biden's home state of Delaware, told Insider. "He said, 'The difference is, when you're president, they're all coming at you at once.'"A protracted pandemic and economic problems at home would be enough to challenge and shape any presidency. But Russia's attack on Ukraine that began in February represents another monumental test for the former vice president and senator of 36 years, now as a world leader attempting to halt a battle that some fear could lead to another world war"Look, he has an extremely – this is the understatement of the century – extremely challenging responsibilities at this time in world history," Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat and Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, told Insider.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy challenged Biden to "be the leader of the world" during an emotional appeal to Congress Wednesday. Republicans in Congress say Biden is not measuring up to the moment. "Our own president needs to step up his game," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican of Kentucky, told reporters after Zelenskyy's speech. "We're not doing nearly enough, quickly enough, to help the Ukrainians."Some Senate Republicans say Biden should do more, giving Ukraine access to the fighter jets it wants, despite concerns that it would draw the US further into the conflict. Biden's allies, however, say the president has already taken decisive action with sanctions against Russia and supplying weapons to Ukraine. On Wednesday, Biden announced the rollout of more weapons systems and financial assistance to Ukraine, a package amounting to about $800 million in security assistance."Most importantly, President Biden's been able to do something that's been extremely difficult in recent decades and that is to unify the world – not only our traditional partners – but the global community against the aggression of Mr. Putin and Russia," Cardin said. "But for President Biden, Ukraine would be in a much more difficult position today than they're already in."Biden served as chairman or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee between 1997 and 2009, when he left to become Barack Obama's vice president. He has long prided himself on his personal connections and interactions with leaders around the globe. "He believes that all politics is personal, he believes that all diplomacy is personal," Carper said. "You can see that in the way he deals whether it's Putin or whether it's Zelinskyy or Mitch McConnell."The approach is far different from that of former President Donald Trump, who fought with NATO and even called the European Union, along with Russia and China, a "foe" of the US. His first impeachment in 2019 was tied to his temporary withholding of aid to Ukraine for political purposes as the country battled Russian-backed aggression.Sen. Chris Coons, another Delaware Democrat and key Biden ally, has previously told reporters that when Biden became president, he invested months in visiting Europe, connecting with NATO allies, British and Canadian partners, and meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in person in Geneva to convey the message that Biden knows Putin's intentions. Biden has also pledged to "defend every inch of NATO territory." "Biden has been able to help unify NATO countries in a way that was unthinkable a few years ago, during the last administration," said Josh Schwerin, a Democratic strategist who worked for the pro-Biden group Priorities USA during the 2020 election. "I don't think he would describe himself as the leader of the world. But he is playing a key role in uniting the world behind Ukraine."Biden is facing pressure to do more, especially after Zelenskky's impassioned plea to Congress that emboldened Republicans to demand what they describe as a tougher response from the White House to the crisis.Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters on Wednesday that he expects Congress to keep pressuring Biden, but that he hopes members will recognize that the effectiveness of sanctions imposed by the West lies in their coordination. The outcome of actions taken so far has been stronger because the administration brought in European partners and allies first, he said.Zelenskyy makes "an incredibly compelling case" by asking why the world should wait until Putin invades other countries, Coons said."It really is just a fundamental question of how much risk are we willing to take, that a cornered authoritarian with one of the world's largest nuclear arsenals, will use it?" Coons said. "It's a relatively simple but very grave conversation. I said to the president yesterday that, in some ways, I think this is the most tense and fraught moment – the riskiest moment – we've had in US-Russian relations since the Cuban Missile Crisis."Zelenskyy has asked for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but Biden's allies say they believe Zelenskyy understands the US can't commit to one because it would lead to a broader conflict."I think he plays that to get leverage on as many issues as he possibly can," Cardin said.Carper said he would ask for the "sun, the moon, and the stars," if he were the president of Ukraine because it puts the US in a position to find another solution. The aid package Biden announced on Wednesday may be more effective "and by the same token, not create a World War III," Carper said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 17th, 2022

The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos founder who went from being a Silicon Valley star to being found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy

Elizabeth Holmes was once lauded as "the next Steve Jobs" for founding blood-testing startup Theranos. Now she could face decades in prison for fraud. Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court in San Jose, California, on July 17, 2019.Reuters/Stephen Lam Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to start Theranos and grew its value to $9 billion. Later, technology flaws were exposed, and Theranos and Holmes were charged with "massive fraud." On Monday, Holmes was found guilty on 4 of 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy, which could send her to prison for decades. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In 2014, blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, were on top of the world.Back then, Theranos was a revolutionary idea thought up by a woman hailed as a genius who styled herself as a female Steve Jobs. Holmes was the world's youngest female self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley's unicorn startups, valued at an estimated $9 billion. But then it all came crashing down.The shortcomings and inaccuracies of Theranos's technology were exposed, along with the role Holmes played in covering it all up. Holmes was ousted as CEO and charged with "massive fraud," and the company was forced to close its labs and testing centers, ultimately shuttering operations altogether.As she awaited trial, Holmes reportedly found the time to get engaged — and married — to a hotel heir named Billy Evans.Now, Holmes has been convicted of fraud in federal court. On Monday, jurors found Holmes guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They found her not guilty of four other counts and failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining three counts against her.This is how Holmes went from precocious child, to ambitious Stanford dropout, to an embattled startup founder convicted of fraud: Elizabeth Holmes was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington, D.C. Her mom, Noel, was a Congressional committee staffer, and her dad, Christian Holmes, worked for Enron before moving to government agencies like USAID.@eholmes2003/TwitterSource: Elizabeth Holmes/Twitter, CNN, Vanity FairHolmes' family moved when she was young, from Washington, D.C. to Houston.Washington, D.C.Getty ImagesSource: FortuneWhen she was 7, Holmes tried to invent her own time machine, filling up an entire notebook with detailed engineering drawings. At the age of 9, Holmes told relatives she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. Her relatives described her as saying it with the "utmost seriousness and determination."Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriSource: CBS News, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes had an "intense competitive streak" from a young age. She often played Monopoly with her younger brother and cousin, and she would insist on playing until the end, collecting the houses and hotels until she won. If Holmes was losing, she would often storm off. More than once, she ran directly through a screen on the door.Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, attends a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York, September 29, 2015.REUTERS/Brendan McDermidSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIt was during high school that Holmes developed her work ethic, often staying up late to study. She quickly became a straight-A student, and even started her own business: she sold C++ compilers, a type of software that translates computer code, to Chinese schools.Tyrone Siu/ReutersSource: Fortune, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes started taking Mandarin lessons, and part-way through high school, talked her way into being accepted by Stanford University’s summer program, which culminated in a trip to Beijing.Yepoka Yeebo / Business InsiderSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupInspired by her great-great-grandfather Christian Holmes, a surgeon, Holmes decided she wanted to go into medicine. But she discovered early on that she was terrified of needles. Later, she said this influenced her to start Theranos.Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderSource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes went to Stanford to study chemical engineering. When she was a freshman, she became a "president's scholar," an honor which came with a $3,000 stipend to go toward a research project.STANFORD, CA - MAY 22: People ride bikes past Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus on May 22, 2014 in Stanford, California. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Stanford University ranked second behind Harvard University as the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley ranked third. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Justin Sullivan/GettySource: FortuneHolmes spent the summer after her freshman year interning at the Genome Institute in Singapore. She got the job partly because she spoke Mandarin.An office worker walks along the Singapore River front during the lunch hour.Wong Maye-E/APSource: FortuneAs a sophomore, Holmes went to one of her professors, Channing Robertson, and said: "Let's start a company." With his blessing, she founded Real-Time Cures, later changing the company's name to Theranos. Thanks to a typo, early employees’ paychecks actually said "Real-Time Curses."Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes soon filed a patent application for a "medical device for analyte monitoring and drug delivery," a wearable device that would administer medication, monitor patients' blood, and adjust the dosage as needed.Reuters/Brian SnyderSource: Fortune, US Patent OfficeBy the next semester, Holmes had dropped out of Stanford altogether, and was working on Theranos in the basement of a college house.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Wall Street JournalTheranos's business model was based around the idea that it could run blood tests, using proprietary technology that required only a finger pinprick and a small amount of blood. Holmes said the tests would be able to detect medical conditions like cancer and high cholesterol.Theranos Chairman, CEO and Founder Elizabeth Holmes (L) and TechCrunch Writer and Moderator Jonathan Shieber speak onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, CaliforniaSteve Jennings/Getty ImagesSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes started raising money for Theranos from prominent investors like Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, the father of a childhood friend and the founder of prominent VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Theranos raised more than $700 million, and Draper has continued to defend Holmes.Investor Tim Draper (right).CNBCSource: SEC, CrunchbaseHolmes took investors' money on the condition that she wouldn't have to reveal how Theranos' technology worked. Plus, she would have final say over everything having to do with the company.JP Yim/GettySource: Vanity FairThat obsession with secrecy extended to every aspect of Theranos. For the first decade Holmes spent building her company, Theranos operated in stealth mode. She even took three former Theranos employees to court, claiming they had misused Theranos trade secrets.Kimberly White/GettySource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes' attitude toward secrecy and running a company was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Holmes started dressing in black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations.Steve Jobs.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairEven Holmes's uncharacteristically deep voice may have been part of a carefully crafted image intended to help her fit in in the male-dominated business world. In ABC's podcast on Holmes called "The Dropout," former Theranos employees said the CEO sometimes "fell out of character," particularly after drinking, and would speak in a higher voice.Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York.Lucas Jackson/ReutersSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, The CutHolmes was a demanding boss, and wanted her employees to work as hard as she did. She had her assistants track when employees arrived and left each day. To encourage people to work longer hours, she started having dinner catered to the office around 8 p.m. each night.TheranosSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupMore behind-the-scenes footage of what life was like at Theranos was revealed in leaked videos obtained by the team behind the HBO documentary "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley." The more than 100 hours of footage showed Holmes walking around the office, scenes from company parties, speeches from Holmes and Balwani, and Holmes dancing to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at the company's headquarters.Courtesy HBOSource: Business InsiderShortly after Holmes dropped out of Stanford at age 19, she began dating Theranos president and COO Sunny Balwani, who was 20 years her senior. The two met during Holmes' third year in Stanford’s summer Mandarin program, the summer before she went to college. She was bullied by some of the other students, and Balwani had come to her aid.Footage of Sunny Balwani presenting."60 Minutes"Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupBalwani became Holmes' No. 2 at Theranos despite having little experience. He was said to be a bully, and often tracked his employees' whereabouts. Holmes and Balwani eventually broke up in spring 2016 when Holmes pushed him out of the company.Sunny Balwani pictured in January 2019.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIn 2008, the Theranos board decided to remove Holmes as CEO in favor of someone more experienced. But over the course of a two-hour meeting, Holmes convinced them to let her stay in charge of her company.Jamie McCarthy / GettySource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAs Theranos started to rake in millions of funding, Holmes became the subject of media attention and acclaim in the tech world. She graced the covers of Fortune and Forbes, gave a TED Talk, and spoke on panels with Bill Clinton and Alibaba's Jack Ma.Elizabeth Holmes with former President Bill Clinton, left, and Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma.Andrew Burton/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairTheranos quickly began securing outside partnerships. Capital Blue Cross and Cleveland Clinic signed on to offer Theranos tests to their patients, and Walgreens made a deal to open Theranos testing centers in their stores. Theranos also formed a secret partnership with Safeway worth $350 million.A Theranos testing center inside a Walgreens.Melia Robinson/Business InsiderSource: Wired, Business InsiderIn 2011, Holmes hired her younger brother, Christian, to work at Theranos, although he didn’t have a medical or science background. Christian Holmes spent his early days at Theranos reading about sports online and recruiting his Duke University fraternity brothers to join the company. People dubbed Holmes and his crew the "Frat Pack" and "Therabros."Elizabeth Holmes and her brother, Christian.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAt one point, Holmes was the world's youngest self-made female billionaire with a net worth of around $4.5 billion.Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough PrizeSource: ForbesHolmes was obsessed with security at Theranos. She asked anyone who visited the company’s headquarters to sign non-disclosure agreements before being allowed in the building, and had security guards escort visitors everywhere — even to the bathroom.Michael Dalder/Reuters Holmes hired bodyguards to drive her around in a black Audi sedan. Her nickname was "Eagle One." The windows in her office had bulletproof glass.Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAround the same time, questions were being raised about Theranos' technology. Ian Gibbons — chief scientist at Theranos and one of the company's first hires — warned Holmes that the tests weren't ready for the public to take, and that there were inaccuracies in the technology. Outside scientists began voicing their concerns about Theranos, too.Melia Robinson/Tech InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, Business InsiderBy August 2015, the FDA began investigating Theranos, and regulators from the government body that oversees laboratories found "major inaccuracies" in the testing Theranos was doing on patients.Mike Segar/ReutersSource: Vanity FairBy October 2015, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou published his investigation into Theranos's struggles with its technology. Carreyrou's reporting sparked the beginning of the company's downward spiral.Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou.CBS "60 Minutes"Source: Wall Street JournalCarreyrou found that Theranos' blood-testing machine, named Edison, couldn't give accurate results, so Theranos was running its samples through the same machines used by traditional blood-testing companies.Carlos Osorio/APSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" shortly after the WSJ published its story to defend herself and Theranos. "This is what happens when you work to change things, and first they think you're crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world," Holmes said.CNBC/YouTubeSource: CNBCBy 2016, the FDA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and SEC were all looking into Theranos.GettySource: Wall Street Journal, WiredIn July 2016, Holmes was banned from the lab-testing industry for two years. By October, Theranos had shut down its lab operations and wellness centers.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani were charged with "massive fraud" by the SEC. Holmes agreed to give up financial and voting control of the company, pay a $500,000 fine, and return 18.9 million shares of Theranos stock. She also isn't allowed to be the director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Business InsiderDespite the charges, Holmes was allowed to stay on as CEO of Theranos, since it's a private company. The company had been hanging on by a thread, and Holmes wrote to investors asking for more money to save Theranos. "In light of where we are, this is no easy ask," Holmes wrote.Kimberly White/Getty Images for FortuneSource: Business InsiderIn Theranos' final days, Holmes reportedly got a Siberian husky puppy named Balto that she brought into the office. However, the dog wasn't potty trained, and would go to the bathroom inside the company's office and during meetings.A Siberian husky (not Holmes' dog).Kateryna Orlova/ShutterstockSource: Vanity FairIn June 2018, Theranos announced that Holmes was stepping down as CEO. On the same day, the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had charged Holmes, along with Balwani, with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live (WSJDLive) conference at the Montage hotel in Laguna Beach, California, October 21, 2015.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business Insider, CNBCTheranos sent an email to shareholders in September 2018 announcing that the company was shutting down. Theranos reportedly said it planned to spend the next few months repaying creditors with its remaining resources.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Wall Street JournalAround the time Theranos' time was coming to an end, Holmes made her first public appearance alongside William "Billy" Evans, a 27-year-old heir to a hospitality property management company in California. The two reportedly first met in 2017, and were seen together in 2018 at Burning Man, the art festival in the Nevada desert.Jim Rankin/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesSource: Daily MailHolmes is said to wear Evans' MIT "signet ring" on a chain around her neck, and the couple reportedly posts photos "professing their love for each other" on a private Instagram account. Evans' parents are reportedly "flabbergasted" at their son's decision to marry Holmes.—Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) February 21, 2019Source: Vanity Fair, New York PostIt's unclear where Holmes and Evans currently reside, but they were previously living in a $5,000-a-month apartment in San Francisco until April 2019. The apartment was located just a few blocks from one of the city's top tourist attractions, the famously crooked block of Lombard Street.Lombard Place Apartments, where Holmes used to live.Rent SF NowSource: Business InsiderIt was later reported that Holmes and Evans got engaged in early 2019, then married in June in a secretive wedding ceremony. Former Theranos employees were reportedly not invited to the wedding, according to Vanity Fair.Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, New York PostHolmes' and Balwani's cases have since been separated.Justin Silva/Getty, Stephen Lam/Reuters, Business InsiderSource: Department of Justice, Business InsiderBesides the criminal case, Holmes was also involved in a number of civil lawsuits, including one in Arizona brought by former Theranos patients over inaccurate blood tests. The lawyers representing her in the Arizona case said in late 2019 they hadn't been paid over a year and asked to be removed from Holmes' legal team.Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court.Reuters/Stephen LamSource: Business InsiderHolmes' lawyers in the federal case had tried to get the government's entire case thrown out. In February 2020, Holmes caught a break after some of the charges against her were dropped when a judge ruled that some patients didn't suffer financial loss.Brendan McDermid/ReutersSource: Business InsiderAmid the coronavirus outbreak, Holmes' lawyers asked the judge in April 2020 to deem the case "essential" so the defense team could defy lockdown orders and continue to travel and meet face-to-face. The judge said he was "taken aback" by the defense's pleas to violate lockdown.The federal courthouse in San Jose, California.Reuters/Robert GalbraithSource: Business Insider It soon become clear that the pandemic — and the health risks associated with assembling a trial — would make the July trial date unrealistic. Through hearings held on Zoom, the presiding judge initially pushed the trial back to October 2020 and later postponed it further to March 2021.Passengers wear masks as they walk through LAX airport.Reuters/Lucy NicholsonSource: Business Insider In March 2021, Holmes requested another delay to the trial because she was pregnant. She asked to push back the trial to August 31, and her request was granted. Holmes reportedly gave birth to the child in July.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider, CNBCHeading into the trial, Holmes felt "wronged, like Salem-witch-trial wronged," says a person who used to work with her closely.Holmes, right, leaving the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California with her defense team on May 4, 2021.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe trial kicked off in September. In opening statements, prosecutors argued that, "Out of time and out of money, Elizabeth Holmes decided to lie." Meanwhile, the defense argued that although Theranos ultimately crumbled, "Failure is not a crime. Trying your hardest and coming up short is not a crime."Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building with her defense team on August 31, 2021 in San Jose, California.Ethan Swope/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider The list of possible witnesses for the trial named roughly 200 people, including the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, James Mattis, and Holmes herself.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse with her mother, Noel Holmes, during her trial.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn the end, the trial featured testimony from just over 30 witnesses.Vicki Behringer/ReutersSource: Business InsiderOver the course of 11 weeks, prosecutors called 29 witnesses to testify — including former Theranos employees, investors, patients, and doctors — before resting its case in November.Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO of Theranos, in a San Jose courtroom in September.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider The defense then began making its case, calling just three witnesses, including Holmes herself.Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderOn the stand, Holmes said Balwani emotionally and sexually abused her during their relationship.Former Theranos COO Ramesh "Sunny' Balwani leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on June 28, 2019 in San Jose, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also admitted that she added some pharmaceutical companies' logos to Theranos' reports without authorization. Investors previously said they took some reassurance in those reports because, based on the logos, they thought major pharmaceutical companies had validated Theranos' technology. Holmes said she added the logos to convey that work was done in partnership with those companies, but in hindsight she wishes she had "done it differently."Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also acknowledged on the stand that she hid Theranos' use of modified commercial devices from investors. She said she did this because company counsel told her that alterations the company made to the machines were trade secrets and needed to be protected as such.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHolmes spent seven days on the stand before the defense rested its case in early December.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives to attend her fraud trial at federal court in San Jose, California, U.S., December 16, 2021.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Holmes "chose fraud over business failure" while the defense argued she was "building a business, not a criminal enterprise."Elizabeth Holmes walks into federal court in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.Nic Coury/Associated PressSource: Business InsiderAfter 15 weeks of trial, Holmes' case headed to a jury of eight men and four women on December 17.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of blood testing and life sciences company Theranos, leaves the courthouse with her husband Billy Evans after the first day of her fraud trial in San Jose, California on September 8, 2021.Nick Otto/AFP/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderJurors deliberated for a total of seven days over the next few weeks before telling the court on Monday that they were deadlocked on three of the 11 charges against Holmes. The judge read off some jury instructions to the group in court before instructing them to go back and deliberate further.Kate Munsch/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHours later, the jury returned a mixed verdict for Holmes, finding her guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud. They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a verdict on the remaining three counts. The counts Holmes was found guilty of were all related to investments; she wasn't convicted on any of the charges involving patients who received inaccurate test results.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes now faces the possibility of decades in prison. Each count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, a $250,000 fine, and a requirement to pay victims restitution. Holmes was not taken into custody following the verdict; prosecutors say they want a secure bond for her. A date for a sentencing hearing has not yet been set.AP Photo/Nic Coury, FileSource: Business Insider, Yahoo FinanceMaya Kosoff contributed to an earlier version of this story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

COP26: Trudeau"s Heightened Climate Demands On Oil & Gas Sparks Criticism Back Home

COP26: Trudeau's Heightened Climate Demands On Oil & Gas Sparks Criticism Back Home Authored by Rahul Vaidyanath via The Epoch Times, In the lead-up to COP26, the G20 was not as downbeat on oil and gas as it could have been, but Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood apart by ramping up talk on fighting emissions. Back home, however, his words caused some consternation for the industry that is already working toward net-zero 2050. The leader’s pledges also appear to have had no effect on some of the world’s biggest polluters. The G20, which met in Rome on Oct. 30–31, did not commit to achieving net zero by 2050. The time frame proposed was “by or around mid-century.” Carbon-intensive countries like China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia have indicated they would aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. China and Russia were not in attendance at COP26. The G20 did not take further action to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.  Amid an energy crisis and surge in inflation, the current demand for oil and natural gas is unmistakable. U.S. President Joe Biden had previously urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase production. In the push toward net-zero 2050, the International Energy Agency forecasted OPEC’s share of a much smaller global supply of oil to expand. But Trudeau increased the pressure on Canada’s energy sector with talk of a hard cap.  “Today, Canada moves to cap oil and gas sector emissions and ensure they decline at a pace and scale needed to achieve net-zero by 2050,” Trudeau tweeted on Nov. 1 at COP26, which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland. The United Nations COP (Conference of the Parties) is the world’s highest-profile climate conference, since the Paris Agreement—a legally binding international treaty on climate change—was reached at COP21 in 2015.  Alberta’s environment and parks minister Jason Nixon told BNN Bloomberg that the feds haven’t invested nearly enough to achieve their emission reduction goals. “The prime minister seems to go on a regular basis and set targets but doesn’t really invest to make sure those targets will come forward,” he said. “Their investment does not meet their ambition.” China is the world’s top carbon emitter, producing 28 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with 60 percent of its electricity coming from coal. But it is not making additional efforts to cut back on emissions. Meanwhile, Canada is responsible for less than 2 percent of GHG globally. G20 leaders “took only baby steps” on environmental issues, said John Kirton, director of the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto, in his Oct. 31 analysis of the Rome summit. He noted that the G20 did “very little else” other than giving serious attention to natural carbon sinks and detailing emission sources. Big Questions Remain The feds issued a statement on Nov. 1 saying that “Canada is the first major oil-producing country moving to capping and reducing pollution from the oil and gas sector to net zero by 2050.” The Canadian government will set five-year national emission reduction targets—as mandated by Bill C-12, passed in June—and also “ensure that the sector makes a meaningful contribution to meeting Canada’s 2030 climate goals.” The feds will seek the advice of the Net-Zero Advisory Body on how to best move forward on this approach. Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, shadow minister for jobs and industry, tweeted, “Will Trudeau’s cap on oil & gas apply to the dirty dictatorships from which we import or just to Made-in-Canada energy? Asking for several hundred thousand workers.” To transition to a lower-carbon economy, many questions remain unanswered in Canada and globally relating to investment, carbon pricing, and employment. The expectation—and for some, hope—is that COP26 will tackle the fine print as environmental groups argue not enough is being done quickly while society’s energy demands grow and the livelihoods of thousands hang in the balance.  “It will be incredibly important for the federal government and the natural gas and oil industry to work collaboratively to ensure we meet our environmental and social outcomes. To achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement the world will need increased access to lower emission natural gas and oil,” said Tim McMillan, president & CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), in a statement.  “Canada, under the right policy environment, can position ourselves as a preferred global supplier, creating jobs and prosperity for Canadians and helping to lower global greenhouse gas emissions,” McMillan said. Alberta on Nov. 1 announced an investment of $176 million to reduce GHG emissions through 16 clean-energy projects. The initiatives are expected to cut about 7 million tonnes of emissions annually by 2030. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/03/2021 - 19:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 3rd, 2021

G-20 Leaders Make Little Progress Toward Sweeping Climate Deal

G-20 Leaders Make Little Progress Toward Sweeping Climate Deal At this point, one can't say the G-20 meeting in Rome was entirely unproductive, although the unofficial run-up to the upcoming COP climate conference in Glasgow next week didn't seem to accomplish much. After the US and EU trade negotiators struck a deal late yesterday to resolve a trade spat dating back years, the G-20 nations - an agglomeration of the most economically powerful nations on the planet - have agreed early Sunday on a new climate framework that they will bring to the climate accords in Glasgow next week (although Russia and China, two prominent G-20 members, skipped the international circle-jerk, and with good reason). Both leaders participated in the Rome meetings via video conference, and aren't expected to join in person in Glasgow. Anyway, on Sunday, negotiators from all sides reached agreement on the climate section of the G-20 summit’s final conclusions, giving the world's biggest and most developed countries something to take with them to the COP26 summit in Glasgow this week. Of course, as we have explained, developing nations will need some seriously convincving, since projections show them having the most to lose over the coming decades as they catch up to their developed peers. According to Bloomberg, the G-20 deal - as expected - calls for a reduction in offshore coal plants, while recommitting the global community to the aims first adopted 6 years during the Paris Accords (which haven't hardly come close to being realized). Negotiators reached agreement on the climate section of the Group of 20 summit’s final conclusions, giving leaders something to take onto the COP26 summit in Glasgow this week. The language largely mirrors prior pledges made in the 2015 Paris climate accord, however. Leaders said they “remain committed to the Paris Agreement goal to hold the global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. As expected, the communique agrees to phasing out investment in new offshore coal power plants, something China already said it would do. “We will put an end to the provision of international public finance for new unabated coal power generation abroad by the end of 2021.” While members committed to cut their reliance on coal, the deal didn't offer too many details about how exactly that would happen (China, the world's second largest economy is still heavily reliant on the stuff). In terms of domestic coal, the statement only contains a general pledge to supporting those countries that commit to “phasing out investment in new unabated coal power generation capacity to do so as soon as possible.” The communique offered little in the way of concrete action. The G-20 committed to “significantly reduce” greenhouse gas emissions “taking into account national circumstances.” Speaking at the start of the meeting, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi proclaimed that going it alone simply isn't an option for the world's most developed nations. Instead, Draghi insisted that "multilateralism" is the key, per the FT. Multilateralism is the best answer to the problems we face today. In many ways it is the only possible answer,” Draghi, Italy’s prime minister and host of the G20 this year, said in his opening comments on Saturday. “From the pandemic, to climate change, to fair and equitable taxation, going it all alone is simply not an option. We must do all we can to overcome our differences”. Ahead of Saturday's talks French President Emmanuel Macron told the FT that he hoped the G-20 would agree to "accelerate the exit from coal power" and for rich countries to commit more financially to help developing countries meet their climate goals. Of course, the last time the West was confronted with a bill for these so-called "commitments", John Kerry nearly had a heart attack. For the sake of global cooperation allowing the emerging world to continue on its path toward development without taking too much away from the West, the world leaders attending better be ready to make more sacrifices than they did this weekend in Rome. One final takeaway from the G-20 gabfest, as Andrea Widburg notes, is that if the ritual photograph of world leaders is anything to go by, Joe Biden has lost some of the respect that used to be accorded America. Some? Who am I kidding? He’s lost all of the respect. Think of this as a Where’s Waldo game and try to find Biden in the staged photo-op of massed world leaders above. If you can’t find him, let us help. Don’t look to the center. In the center, you can see India’s Modi in the white leggings, with Germany’s Merkel on his left and, two over from Merkel’s left, there’s Canada’s Trudeau. Cast your eyes in the other direction, to Modi’s right, and you’ll see the blonde shock of hair that is England’s England’s Boris Johnson, a couple of people away from Modi. Turkey’s Erdogan standing in front of Johnson. But where is Biden? Oh, right! There he is, on the far left of the photo, practically falling off the stage. Is that really where the American president belongs? Tyler Durden Sun, 10/31/2021 - 09:56.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 31st, 2021

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations Authored by David Hay via Everegreen Gavekal blog, “You see what is happening in Europe. There is hysteria and some confusion in the markets. Why?…Some people are speculating on climate change issues, some people are underestimating some things, some are starting to cut back on investments in the extractive industries. There needs to be a smooth transition.” - Vladimir Putin (someone with whom this author rarely agrees) “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of its citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes (an interesting observation for all the modern day Keynesians to consider given their support of current inflationary US policies, including energy-related) Introduction This week’s EVA provides another sneak preview into David Hay’s book-in-process, “Bubble 3.0” discussing what he thinks is the crucial topic of “greenflation.”  This is a term he coined referring to the rising price for metals and minerals that are essential for solar and wind power, electric cars, and other renewable technologies. It also centers on the reality that as global policymakers have turned against the fossil fuel industry, energy producers are for the first time in history not responding to dramatically higher prices by increasing production.  Consequently, there is a difficult tradeoff that arises as the world pushes harder to combat climate change, driving up energy costs to painful levels, especially for lower income individuals.  What we are currently seeing in Europe is a vivid example of this dilemma.  While it may be the case that governments welcome higher oil and natural gas prices to discourage their use, energy consumers are likely to have a much different reaction. Summary BlackRock’s CEO recently admitted that, despite what many are opining, the green energy transition is nearly certain to be inflationary. Even though it’s early in the year, energy prices are already experiencing unprecedented spikes in Europe and Asia, but most Americans are unaware of the severity. To that point, many British residents being faced with the fact that they may need to ration heat and could be faced with the chilling reality that lives could be lost if this winter is as cold as forecasters are predicting. Because of the huge increase in energy prices, inflation in the eurozone recently hit a 13-year high, heavily driven by natural gas prices on the Continent that are the equivalent of $200 oil. It used to be that the cure for extreme prices was extreme prices, but these days I’m not so sure.  Oil and gas producers are very wary of making long-term investments to develop new resources given the hostility to their industry and shareholder pressure to minimize outlays. I expect global supply to peak sometime next year and a major supply deficit looks inevitable as global demand returns to normal. In Norway, almost 2/3 of all new vehicle sales are of the electric variety (EVs) – a huge increase in just over a decade. Meanwhile, in the US, it’s only about 2%. Still, given Norway’s penchant for the plug-in auto, the demand for oil has not declined. China, despite being the largest market by far for electric vehicles, is still projected to consume an enormous and rising amount of oil in the future. About 70% of China’s electricity is generated by coal, which has major environmental ramifications in regards to electric vehicles. Because of enormous energy demand in China this year, coal prices have experienced a massive boom. Its usage was up 15% in the first half of this year, and the Chinese government has instructed power providers to obtain all baseload energy sources, regardless of cost.  The massive migration to electric vehicles – and the fact that they use six times the amount of critical minerals as their gasoline-powered counterparts –means demand for these precious resources is expected to skyrocket. This extreme need for rare minerals, combined with rapid demand growth, is a recipe for a major spike in prices. Massively expanding the US electrical grid has several daunting challenges– chief among them the fact that the American public is extremely reluctant to have new transmission lines installed in their area. The state of California continues to blaze the trail for green energy in terms of both scope and speed. How the rest of the country responds to their aggressive take on renewables remains to be seen. It appears we are entering a very odd reality: governments are expending resources they do not have on weakly concentrated energy. And the result may be very detrimental for today’s modern economy. If the trend in energy continues, what looks nearly certain to be the Third Energy crisis of the last half-century may linger for years.  Green energy: A bubble in unrealistic expectations? As I have written in past EVAs, it amazes me how little of the intense inflation debate in 2021 centered on the inflationary implications of the Green Energy transition.  Perhaps it is because there is a built-in assumption that using more renewables should lower energy costs since the sun and the wind provide “free power”.  However, we will soon see that’s not the case, at least not anytime soon; in fact, it’s my contention that it will likely be the opposite for years to come and I’ve got some powerful company.  Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, a very pro-ESG* organization, is one of the few members of Wall Street’s elite who admitted this in the summer of 2021.  The story, however, received minimal press coverage and was quickly forgotten (though, obviously, not be me!).  This EVA will outline myriad reasons why I think Mr. Fink was telling it like it is…despite the political heat that could bring down upon him.  First, though, I will avoid any discussion of whether humanity is the leading cause of global warming.  For purposes of this analysis, let’s make the high-odds assumption that for now a high-speed green energy transition will continue to occur.  (For those who would like a well-researched and clearly articulated overview of the climate debate, I highly recommend the book “Unsettled”; it’s by a former top energy expert and scientist from the Obama administration, Dr. Steven Koonin.) The reason I italicized “for now” is that in my view it’s extremely probable that voters in many Western countries are going to become highly retaliatory toward energy policies that are already creating extreme hardship.  Even though it’s only early autumn as I write these words, energy prices are experiencing unprecedented increases in Europe.  Because it’s “over there”, most Americans are only vaguely aware of the severity of the situation.  But the facts are shocking…  Presently, natural gas is going for $29 per million British Thermal Units (BTUs) in Europe, a quadruple compared to the same time in 2020, versus “just” $5 in the US, which is a mere doubling.  As a consequence, wholesale energy cost in Great Britain rose an unheard of 60% even before summer ended.  Reportedly, nine UK energy companies are on the brink of failure at this time due to their inability to fully pass on the enormous cost increases.  As a result, the British government is reportedly on the verge of nationalizing some of these entities—supposedly, temporarily—to prevent them from collapsing.  (CNBC reported on Wednesday that UK natural gas prices are now up 800% this year; in the US, nat gas rose 20% on Tuesday alone, before giving back a bit more than half of that the next day.) Serious food shortages are expected after exorbitant natural gas costs forced most of England’s commercial production of CO2 to shut down.  (CO2 is used both for stunning animals prior to slaughter and also in food packaging.)  Additionally, ballistic natural gas prices have forced the closure of two big US fertilizer plants due to a potential shortfall of ammonium nitrate of which “nat gas” is a key feedstock.  *ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance; in 2021, Blackrock’s assets under management approximated $9 ½ trillion, about one-third of the total US federal debt. With the winter of 2021 approaching, British households are being told they may need to ration heat.  There are even growing concerns about the widespread loss of life if this winter turns out to be a cold one, as 2020 was in Europe.  Weather forecasters are indicating that’s a distinct possibility.   In Spain, consumers are paying 40% more for electricity compared to the prior year.  The Spanish government has begun resorting to price controls to soften the impact of these rapidly escalating costs. (The history of price controls is that they often exacerbate shortages.) Naturally, spiking power prices hit the poorest hardest, which is typical of inflation whether it is of the energy variety or of generalized price increases.  Due to these massive energy price increases, eurozone inflation recently hit a 13-year high, heavily driven by natural gas prices that are the equivalent of $200 per barrel oil.  This is consistent with what I warned about in several EVAs earlier this year and I think there is much more of this looming in the years to come. In Asia, which also had a brutally cold winter in 2020 – 2021, there are severe energy shortages being disclosed, as well.  China has instructed its power providers to secure all the coal they can in preparation for a repeat of frigid conditions and acute deficits even before winter arrives.  The government has also instructed its energy distributors to acquire all the liquified natural gas (LNG) they can, regardless of cost.  LNG recently hit $35 per million British Thermal Units in Asia, up sevenfold in the past year.  China is also rationing power to its heavy industries, further exacerbating the worldwide shortages of almost everything, with notable inflationary implications. In India, where burning coal provides about 70% of electricity generation (as it does in China), utilities are being urged to import coal even though that country has the world’s fourth largest coal reserves.  Several Indian power plants are close to exhausting their coal supplies as power usage rips higher. Normally, I’d say that the cure for such extreme prices, was extreme prices—to slightly paraphrase the old axiom.  But these days, I’m not so sure; in fact, I’m downright dubious.  After all, the enormously influential International Energy Agency has recommended no new fossil fuel development after 2021—“no new”, as in zero.  It’s because of pressure such as this that, even though US natural gas prices have done a Virgin Galactic to $5 this year, the natural gas drilling rig count has stayed flat.  The last time prices were this high there were three times as many working rigs.  It is the same story with oil production.  Most Americans don’t seem to realize it but the US has provided 90% of the planet’s petroleum output growth over the past decade.  In other words, without America’s extraordinary shale oil production boom—which raised total oil output from around 5 million barrels per day in 2008 to 13 million barrels per day in 2019—the world long ago would have had an acute shortage.  (Excluding the Covid-wracked year of 2020, oil demand grows every year—strictly as a function of the developing world, including China, by the way.) Unquestionably, US oil companies could substantially increase output, particularly in the Permian Basin, arguably (but not much) the most prolific oil-producing region in the world.  However, with the Fed being pressured by Congress to punish banks that lend to any fossil fuel operator, and the overall extreme hostility toward domestic energy producers, why would they?  There is also tremendous pressure from Wall Street on these companies to be ESG compliant.  This means reducing their carbon footprint.  That’s tough to do while expanding their volume of oil and gas.  Further, investors, whether on Wall Street or on London’s equivalent, Lombard Street, or in pretty much any Western financial center, are against US energy companies increasing production.  They would much rather see them buy back stock and pay out lush dividends.  The companies are embracing that message.  One leading oil and gas company CEO publicly mused to the effect that buying back his own shares at the prevailing extremely depressed valuations was a much better use of capital than drilling for oil—even at $75 a barrel. As reported by Morgan Stanley, in the summer of 2021, an US institutional broker conceded that of his 400 clients, only one would consider investing in an energy company!  Consequently, the fact that the industry is so detested means that its shares are stunningly undervalued.  How stunningly?  A myriad of US oil and gas producers are trading at free cash flow* yields of 10% to 15% and, in some cases, as high as 25%. In Europe, where the same pressures apply, one of its biggest energy companies is generating a 16% free cash flow yield.  Moreover, that is based up an estimate of $60 per barrel oil, not the prevailing price of $80 on the Continent. *Free cash flow is the excess of gross cash flow over and above the capital spending needed to sustain a business.  Many market professionals consider it more meaningful than earnings.  Therefore, due to the intense antipathy toward Western energy producers they aren’t very inclined to explore for new resources.  Another much overlooked fact about the ultra-critical US shale industry that, as noted, has been nearly the only source of worldwide output growth for the past 13 years, is its rapid decline nature.  Most oil wells see their production taper off at just 4% or 5% per year.  But with shale, that decline rate is 80% after only two years.  (Because of the collapse in exploration activities in 2020 due to Covid, there are far fewer new wells coming on-line; thus, the production base is made up of older wells with slower decline rates but it is still a much steeper cliff than with traditional wells.)  As a result, the US, the world’s most important swing producer, has to come up with about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of new output just to stay even.  (This was formerly about a 3 million bpd number due to both the factor mentioned above and the 2 million bpd drop in total US oil production, from 13 million bpd to around 11 million bpd since 2019).  Please recall that total US oil production in 2008 was only around 5 million bpd.  Thus, 1.5 million barrels per day is a lot of oil and requires considerable drilling and exploration activities.  Again, this is merely to stay steady-state, much less grow.  The foregoing is why I wrote on multiple occasions in EVAs during 2020, when the futures price for oil went below zero*, that crude would have a spectacular price recovery later that year and, especially, in 2021.  In my view, to go out on my familiar creaky limb, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!  With supply extremely challenged for the above reasons and demand marching back, I believe 2022 could see $100 crude, possibly even higher.  *Physical oil, or real vs paper traded, bottomed in the upper teens when the futures contract for delivery in April, 2020, went deeply negative.  Mike Rothman of Cornerstone Analytics has one of the best oil price forecasting records on Wall Street.  Like me, he was vehemently bullish on oil after the Covid crash in the spring of 2020 (admittedly, his well-reasoned optimism was a key factor in my up-beat outlook).  Here’s what he wrote late this summer:  “Our forecast for ’22 looks to see global oil production capacity exhausted late in the year and our balance suggests OPEC (and OPEC + participants) will face pressures to completely remove any quotas.”  My expectation is that global supply will likely max out sometime next year, barring a powerful negative growth shock (like a Covid variant even more vaccine resistant than Delta).  A significant supply deficit looks inevitable as global demand recovers and exceeds its pre-Covid level.  This is a view also shared by Goldman Sachs and Raymond James, among others; hence, my forecast of triple-digit prices next year.  Raymond James pointed out that in June the oil market was undersupplied by 2.5 mill bpd.  Meanwhile, global petroleum demand was rapidly rising with expectations of nearly pre-Covid consumption by year-end.  Mike Rothman ran this chart in a webcast on 9/10/2021 revealing how far below the seven-year average oil inventories had fallen.  This supply deficit is very likely to become more acute as the calendar flips to 2022. In fact, despite oil prices pushing toward $80, total US crude output now projected to actually decline this year.  This is an unprecedented development.  However, as the very pro-renewables Financial Times (the UK’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal) explained in an August 11th, 2021, article:  “Energy companies are in a bind.  The old solution would be to invest more in raising gas production.  But with most developed countries adopting plans to be ‘net zero’ on carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier, the appetite for throwing billions at long-term gas projects is diminished.” The author, David Sheppard, went on to opine: “In the oil industry there are those who think a period of plus $100-a-barrel oil is on the horizon, as companies scale back investments in future supplies, while demand is expected to keep rising for most of this decade at a minimum.”  (Emphasis mine)  To which I say, precisely!  Thus, if he’s right about rising demand, as I believe he is, there is quite a collision looming between that reality and the high probability of long-term constrained supplies.  One of the most relevant and fascinating Wall Street research reports I read as I was researching the topic of what I have been referring to as “Greenflation” is from Morgan Stanley.  Its title asked the provocative question:  “With 64% of New Cars Now Electric, Why is Norway Still Using so Much Oil?”  While almost two-thirds of Norway’s new vehicle sales are EVs, a remarkable market share gain in just over a decade, the number in the US is an ultra-modest 2%.   Yet, per the Morgan Stanley piece, despite this extraordinary push into EVs, oil consumption in Norway has been stubbornly stable.  Coincidentally, that’s been the experience of the overall developed world over the past 10 years, as well; petroleum consumption has largely flatlined.  Where demand hasn’t gone horizontal is in the developing world which includes China.  As you can see from the following Cornerstone Analytics chart, China’s oil demand has vaulted by about 6 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2010 while its domestic crude output has, if anything, slightly contracted. Another coincidence is that this 6 million bpd surge in China’s appetite for oil, almost exactly matched the increase in US oil production.  Once again, think where oil prices would be today without America’s shale oil boom. This is unlikely to change over the next decade.  By 2031, there are an estimated one billion Asian consumers moving up into the middle class.  History is clear that more income means more energy consumption.  Unquestionably, renewables will provide much of that power but oil and natural gas are just as unquestionably going to play a critical role.  Underscoring that point, despite the exponential growth of renewables over the last 10 years, every fossil fuel category has seen increased usage.  Thus, even if China gets up to Norway’s 64% EV market share of new car sales over the next decade, its oil usage is likely to continue to swell.  Please be aware that China has become the world’s largest market for EVs—by far.  Despite that, the above chart vividly displays an immense increase in oil demand.  Here’s a similar factoid that I ran in our December 4th EVA, “Totally Toxic”, in which I made a strong bullish case for energy stocks (the main energy ETF is up 35% from then, by the way):  “(There was) a study by the UN and the US government based on the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gasses Induced Climate Change (MAGICC).  The model predicted that ‘the complete elimination of all fossil fuels in the US immediately would only restrict any increase in world temperature by less than one tenth of one degree Celsius by 2050, and by less than one fifth of one degree Celsius by 2100.’  Say again?  If the world’s biggest carbon emitter on a per capita basis causes minimal improvement by going cold turkey on fossil fuels, are we making the right moves by allocating tens of trillions of dollars that we don’t have toward the currently in-vogue green energy solutions?” China's voracious power appetite increase has been true with all of its energy sources.  On the environmentally-friendly front, that includes renewables; on the environmentally-unfriendly side, it also includes coal.  In 2020, China added three times more coal-based power generation than all other countries combined.  This was the equivalent of an additional coal planet each week.  Globally, there was a reduction last year of 17 gigawatts in coal-fired power output; in China, the increase was 29.8 gigawatts, far more than offsetting the rest of the world’s progress in reducing the dirtiest energy source.  (A gigawatt can power a city with a population of roughly 700,000.) Overall, 70% of China’s electricity is coal-generated. This has significant environmental implications as far as electric vehicles (EVs) are concerned.  Because EVs are charged off a grid that is primarily coal- powered, carbon emissions actually rise as the number of such vehicles proliferate. As you can see in the following charts from Reuters’ energy expert John Kemp, Asia’s coal-fired generation has risen drastically in the last 20 years, even as it has receded in the rest of the world.  (The flattening recently is almost certainly due to Covid, with a sharp upward resumption nearly a given.) The worst part is that burning coal not only emits CO2—which is not a pollutant and is essential for life—it also releases vast quantities of nitrous oxide (N20), especially on the scale of coal usage seen in Asia today. N20 is unquestionably a pollutant and a greenhouse gas that is hundreds of times more potent than CO2.  (An interesting footnote is that over the last 550 million years, there have been very few times when the CO2 level has been as low, or lower, than it is today.)  Some scientists believe that one reason for the shrinkage of Arctic sea ice in recent decades is due to the prevailing winds blowing black carbon soot over from Asia.  This is a separate issue from N20 which is a colorless gas.  As the black soot covers the snow and ice fields in Northern Canada, they become more absorbent of the sun’s radiation, thus causing increased melting.  (Source:  “Weathering Climate Change” by Hugh Ross) Due to exploding energy needs in China this year, coal prices have experienced an unprecedented surge.  Despite this stunning rise, Chinese authorities have instructed its power providers to obtain coal, and other baseload energy sources, such as liquified natural gas (LNG), regardless of cost.  Notwithstanding how pricey coal has become, its usage in China was up 15% in the first half of this year vs the first half of 2019 (which was obviously not Covid impacted). Despite the polluting impact of heavy coal utilization, China is unlikely to turn away from it due to its high energy density (unlike renewables), its low cost (usually) and its abundance within its own borders (though its demand is so great that it still needs to import vast amounts).  Regarding oil, as we saw in last week’s final image, it is currently importing roughly 11 million barrels per day (bpd) to satisfy its 15 million bpd consumption (about 15% of total global demand).  In other words, crude imports amount to almost three-quarter of its needs.  At $80 oil, this totals $880 million per day or approximately $320 billion per year.  Imagine what China’s trade surplus would look like without its oil import bill! Ironically, given the current hostility between the world’s superpowers, China has an affinity for US oil because of its light and easy-to-refine nature.  China’s refineries tend to be low-grade and unable to efficiently process heavier grades of crude, unlike the US refining complex which is highly sophisticated and prefers heavy oil such as from Canada and Venezuela—back when the latter actually produced oil. Thus, China favors EVs because they can be de facto coal-powered, lessening its dangerous reliance on imported oil.  It also likes them due to the fact it controls 80% of the lithium ion battery supply and 60% of the planet’s rare earth minerals, both of which are essential to power EVs.     However, even for China, mining enough lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, aluminum and the other essential minerals/metals to meet the ambitious goals of largely electrifying new vehicle volumes is going to be extremely daunting.  This is in addition to mass construction of wind farms and enormously expanded solar panel manufacturing. As one of the planet’s leading energy authorities Daniel Yergin writes: “With the move to electric cars, demand for critical minerals will skyrocket (lithium up 4300%, cobalt and nickel up 2500%), with an electric vehicle using 6 times more minerals than a conventional car and a wind turbine using 9 times more minerals than a gas-fueled power plant.  The resources needed for the ‘mineral-intensive energy system’ of the future are also highly concentrated in relatively few countries. Whereas the top 3 oil producers in the world are responsible for about 30 percent of total liquids production, the top 3 lithium producers control more than 80% of supply. China controls 60% of rare earths output needed for wind towers; the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 70% of the cobalt required for EV batteries.” As many have noted, the environmental impact of immensely ramping up the mining of these materials is undoubtedly going to be severe.  Michael Shellenberger, a life-long environmental activist, has been particularly vociferous in his condemnation of the dominant view that only renewables can solve the global energy needs.  He’s especially critical of how his fellow environmentalists resorted to repetitive deception, in his view, to undercut nuclear power in past decades.  By leaving nuke energy out of the solution set, he foresees a disastrous impact on the planet due to the massive scale (he’d opine, impossibly massive) of resource mining that needs to occur.  (His book, “Apocalypse Never”, is also one I highly recommend; like Dr. Koonin, he hails from the left end of the political spectrum.) Putting aside the environmental ravages of developing rare earth minerals, when you have such high and rapidly rising demand colliding with limited supply, prices are likely to go vertical.  This will be another inflationary “forcing”, a favorite term of climate scientists, caused by the Great Green Energy Transition. Moreover, EVs are very semiconductor intensive.  With semis already in seriously short supply, this is going to make a gnarly situation even gnarlier.  It’s logical to expect that there will be recurring shortages of chips over the next decade for this reason alone (not to mention the acute need for semis as the “internet of things” moves into primetime).  In several of the newsletters I’ve written in recent years, I’ve pointed out the present vulnerability of the US electric grid.  Yet, it will be essential not just to keep it from breaking down under its current load; it must be drastically enhanced, a Herculean task. For one thing, it is excruciatingly hard to install new power lines. As J.P. Morgan’s Michael Cembalest has written: “Grid expansion can be a hornet’s nest of cost, complexity and NIMBYism*, particularly in the US.”  The grid’s frailty, even under today’s demands (i.e., much less than what lies ahead as millions of EVs plug into it) is particularly obvious in California.  However, severe winter weather in 2021 exposed the grid weakness even in energy-rich Texas, which also has a generally welcoming attitude toward infrastructure upgrading and expansion. Yet it’s the Golden State, home to 40 million Americans and the fifth largest economy in the world, if it was its own country (which it occasionally acts like it wants to be), that is leading the charge to EVs and seeking to eliminate internal combustion engines (ICEs) as quickly as possible.  Even now, blackouts and brownouts are becoming increasingly common.  Seemingly convinced it must be a role model for the planet, it’s trying desperately to reduce its emissions, which are less than 1%, of the global total, at the expense of rendering its energy system more similar to a developing country.  In addition to very high electricity costs per kilowatt hour (its mild climate helps offset those), it also has gasoline prices that are 77% above the national average.  *NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard. While California has been a magnet for millions seeking a better life for 150 years, the cost of living is turning the tide the other way.  Unreliable and increasingly expensive energy is likely to intensify that trend.  Combined with home prices that are more than double the US median–$800,000!–California is no longer the land of milk and honey, unless, to slightly paraphrase Woody Guthrie about LA, even back in the 1940s, you’ve got a whole lot of scratch.  More and more people, seem to be scratching California off their list of livable venues.  Voters in the reliably blue state of California may become extremely restive, particularly as they look to Asia and see new coal plants being built at a fever pitch.  The data will become clear that as America keeps decarbonizing–as it has done for 30 years mostly due to the displacement of coal by gas in the US electrical system—Asia will continue to go the other way.  (By the way, electricity represents the largest share of CO2 emission at roughly 25%.)  California has always seemed to lead social trends in this country, as it is doing again with its green energy transition.  The objective is noble though, extremely ambitious, especially the timeline.  As it brings its power paradigm to the rest of America, especially its frail grid, it will be interesting to see how voters react in other states as the cost of power leaps higher and its dependability heads lower.  It’s reasonable to speculate we may be on the verge of witnessing the Californication of the US energy system.  Lest you think I’m being hyperbolic, please be aware the IEA (International Energy Agency) has estimated it will cost the planet $5 trillion per year to achieve Net Zero emissions.  This is compared to global GDP of roughly $85 trillion. According to BloombergNEF, the price tag over 30 years, could be as high as $173 trillion.  Frankly, based on the history of gigantic cost overruns on most government-sponsored major infrastructure projects, I’m inclined to take the over—way over—on these estimates. Moreover, energy consulting firm T2 and Associates, has guesstimated electrifying just the US to the extent necessary to eliminate the direct consumption of fuel (i.e., gasoline, natural gas, coal, etc.) would cost between $18 trillion and $29 trillion.  Again, taking into account how these ambitious efforts have played out in the past, I suspect $29 trillion is light.  Regardless, even $18 trillion is a stunner, despite the reality we have all gotten numb to numbers with trillions attached to them.  For perspective, the total, already terrifying, level of US federal debt is $28 trillion. Regardless, as noted last week, the probabilities of the Great Green Energy Transition happening are extremely high.  Relatedly, I believe the likelihood of the Great Greenflation is right up there with them.  As Gavekal’s Didier Darcet wrote in mid-August:  ““Nowadays, and this is a great first in history, governments will commit considerable financial resources they do not have in the extraction of very weakly concentrated energy.” ( i.e., less efficient)  “The bet is very risky, and if it fails, what next?  The modern economy would not withstand expensive energy, or worse, lack of energy.”  While I agree this an historical first, it’s definitely not great (with apologies for all the “greats”).  This is particularly not great for keeping inflation subdued, as well as for attempting to break out of the growth quagmire the Western world has been in for the last two decades.  What we are seeing in Europe right now is an extremely cautionary case study in just how disastrous the war on fossil fuels can be (shortly we will see who or what has been a behind-the-scenes participant in this conflict). Essentially, I believe, as I’ve written in past EVAs, we are entering the third energy crisis of the last 50 years.  If I’m right, it will be characterized by recurring bouts of triple-digit oil prices in the years to come.  Along with Richard Nixon taking the US off the gold standard in 1971, the high inflation of the 1970s was caused by the first two energy crises (the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and the 1979 Iranian Revolution).  If I’m correct about this being the third, it’s coming at a most inopportune time with the US in hyper-MMT* mode. Frankly, I believe many in the corridors of power would like to see oil trade into the $100s, and natural gas into the teens, as it will help catalyze the shift to renewable energy.  But consumers are likely to have a much different reaction—potentially, a violently different reaction, as I noted last week.  The experience of the Yellow Vest protests in France (referring to the color of the vest protestors wore), are instructive in this regard.  France is a generally left-leaning country.  Despite that, a proposed fuel surtax in November 2018 to fund a renewable energy transition triggered such widespread civil unrest that French president Emmanuel Macron rescinded it the following month. *MMT stands for Modern Monetary Theory.  It holds that a government, like the US, which issues debt in its own currency can spend without concern about budgetary constraints.  If there are not enough buyers of its bonds at acceptable interest rates, that nation’s central bank (the Fed, in our case) simply acquires them with money it creates from its digital printing press.  This is what is happening today in the US.  Many economists consider this highly inflationary. The sharp and politically uncomfortable rise in US gas pump prices this summer caused the Biden administration to plead with OPEC to lift its volume quotas.  The ironic implication of that exhortation was glaringly obvious, as was the inefficiency and pollution consequences of shipping oil thousands of miles across the Atlantic.  (Oil tankers are a significant source of emissions.)  This is as opposed to utilizing domestic oil output, as well as crude from Canada (which is actually generally better suited to the US refining complex).  Beyond the pollution aspect, imported oil obviously worsens America’s massive trade deficit (which would be far more massive without the six million barrels per day of domestic oil volumes that the shale revolution has provided) and costs our nation high-paying jobs. Further, one of my other big fears is that the West is engaging in unilateral energy disarmament.  Russia and China are likely the major beneficiaries of this dangerous scenario.  Per my earlier comment about a stealth combatant in the war on fossil fuels, it may surprise you that a past NATO Secretary General* has accused Russian intelligence of avidly supporting the anti-fracking movements in Western Europe.  Russian TV has railed against fracking for years, even comparing it to pedophilia (certainly, a most bizarre analogy!).  The success of the anti-fracking movement on the Continent has essentially prevented a European version of America’s shale miracles (the UK has the potential to be a major shale gas producer).  Consequently, the European Union’s domestic natural gas production has been in a rapid decline phase for years.  Banning fracking has, of course, made Europe heavily reliant on Russian gas shipments with more than 40% of its supplies coming from Russia. This is in graphic contrast to the shale output boom in the US that has not only made us natural gas self-sufficient but also an export powerhouse of liquified natural gas (LNG).  In 2011, the Nord Stream system of pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from northern Russia began delivering gas west from northern Russia to the German coastal city of Greifswald.  For years, the Russians sought to build a parallel system with the inventive name of Nord Stream 2.  The US government opposed its approval on security grounds but the Biden administration has dropped its opposition.  It now appears Nord Stream 2 will happen, leaving Europe even more exposed to Russian coercion.  Is it possible the Russian government and the Chinese Communist Party have been secretly and aggressively supporting the anti-fossil fuel movements in America?  In my mind, it seems not only possible but probable.  In fact, I believe it is naïve not to come that conclusion.  After all, wouldn’t it be in both of their geopolitical interests to see the US once again caught in a cycle of debilitating inflation, ensnared by the twin traps of MMT and the third energy crisis? *Per former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasumssen:  Russia has “engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain Europe’s dependence on imported Russian gas”. Along these lines, I was shocked to listen to a recent podcast by the New Yorker magazine on the topic of “intelligent sabotage”.  This segment was an interview between the magazine’s David Remnick and a Swedish professor, Adreas Malm.  Mr. Malm is the author of a new book with the literally explosive title “How To Blow Up A Pipeline”.   Just as it sounds, he advocates detonating pipelines to inhibit fossil fuel distribution.  Mr. Remnick was clearly sympathetic to his guest but he did ask him about the impact on the poor of driving energy prices up drastically which would be the obvious ramification if his sabotage recommendations were widely followed.  Mr. Malm’s reaction was a verbal shrug of the shoulders and words to the effect that this was the price to pay to save the planet. Frankly, I am appalled that the venerable New Yorker would provide a platform for such a radical and unlawful suggestion.  In an era when people are de-platformed for often innocuous comments, it’s incredible to me this was posted and has not been pulled down.  In my mind, this reflects just how tolerant the media is of attacks on the fossil fuel industry, regardless of the deleterious impact on consumers and the global economy. Surely, there is a far better way of coping with the harmful aspects of fossil fuel-based energy than this scorched earth (literally, in the case of Mr. Malm) approach, which includes efforts to block new pipelines, shut existing ones, and severely restrict US energy production.  In America’s case, the result will be forcing us to unnecessarily and increasingly rely on overseas imports.  (For example, per the Wall Street Journal, drilling permits on federal land have crashed to 171 in August from 671 in April.  Further, the contentious $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” plan would raise royalties and fees high enough on US energy producers that it would render them globally uncompetitive.) Such actions would only aggravate what is already a severe energy shock, one that may be worse than the 1970s twin energy crises.  America has it easy compared to Europe, though, given current US policy trends, we might be in their same heavily listing energy boat soon. Solutions include fast-tracking small modular nuclear plants; encouraging the further switch from burning coal to natural gas (a trend that is, unfortunately, going the other way now, as noted above); utilizing and enhancing carbon and methane capture at the point of emission (including improving tail pipe effluent-reduction technology); enhancing pipeline integrity to inhibit methane leaks; among many other mitigation techniques that recognize the reality the global economy will be reliant on fossil fuels for many years, if not decades, to come.  If the climate change movement fails to recognize the essential nature of fossil fuels, it will almost certainly trigger a backlash that will undermine the positive change it is trying to bring about.  This is similar to what it did via its relentless assault on nuclear power which produced a frenzy of coal plant construction in the 1980s and 1990s.  On this point, it’s interesting to see how quickly Europe is re-embracing coal power to alleviate the energy poverty and rationing occurring over there right now - even before winter sets in.  When the choice is between supporting climate change initiatives on one hand and being able to heat your home and provide for your family on the other, is there really any doubt about which option the majority of voters will select? Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 19:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Washington Or Moscow: Decision-Time For Erdogan In Northern Syria

Washington Or Moscow: Decision-Time For Erdogan In Northern Syria Authored by Tulin Daloglu via TheCradle.co, Erdogan's Syria choices seem increasingly limited by unflagging US support for his Kurdish foes. Turkey's only option may be a Russian one... In his 7 October statement renewing US national emergency powers in Syria, US President Joe Biden said: “The situation in and in relation to Syria, and in particular the actions by the Government of Turkey to conduct a military offensive into northeast Syria, undermines the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, endangers civilians, and further threatens to undermine the peace, security, and stability in the region, and continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” The full statement obviously has several intended audiences, but then quite remarkably, veers to cast Turkey, a NATO ally, almost as an existential threat to the United States. Ankara understands that the exaggerated accusation may be a tactic to keep Turkey from carrying out military operations east of Euphrates River, currently controlled by US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) militias. But whether Turkey aims to make this move is beside the point. What this harsh White House language seems to be communicating is a US red line whereby the Kurdish-controlled area in northeastern Syria is regarded as a federal district – as in Washington, DC or Puerto Rico. That is the crux of all that matters. For years, US policymakers regarded Turkish misgivings over this issue as either paranoiac or conspiratorial. When Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed a multi-billion-dollar energy package in 2013 by bypassing the central government in Baghdad, it was Washington that warned Ankara that such acts could only empower the Kurds’ drive for independence. To note, these contracts eventually did not yield any favorable results. Fast forward to 2017, when Washington tamped down the Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum quickly and decisively. The move made Ankara temporarily cool its concerns over the US’ stance on Kurdish nationhood, but found itself on alert again when the Pentagon began working closely with the YPG militia in Syria. Turkey argues that the YPG is an extension of a group the US State Department classifies as a terrorist organization: the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The US maintains that its support of the YPG does not indicate hostility toward Turkey, its territorial integrity or national harmony; it merely needs non-US bodies on the ground to fight ISIS and, frankly, Syrian allied forces attempting to recover their resource-rich swathe of territory. For years now, the American media has glorified the bravery of Kurdish fighters to generate sympathy, and cast Turkey as a racist state prepared to commit cross-border genocide against Kurdish populations. This simplistic approach in shaping people’s perception is one aspect of Washington’s policy agenda. The other part frames the US-YPG relationship as being merely transactional – the YPG maximizes its political and military power and the US scores gains against ISIS and the Syrian government. The question is whether US-backed Kurdish forces are even an antidote to ISIS. Former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford doesn’t think so. “The YPG militia cannot destroy ISIS,” he said in a recent webinar event. “An autonomous (Kurdish) administration is not going to resolve the ISIS problem.” So then, why does Biden’s administration believe that Turkey undermines US counter-terrorism efforts enough to pose a national security threat? If one examines Washington’s own post-9/11 foreign policy track record in Turkey’s neighborhood, there’s virtually nothing resembling “peace, security, and stability in the region.” Is Turkey single-handedly responsible for these American failures? No. Could the Kurdish militia pose a threat to Turkey’s national unity and peace? Yes. Does the YPG have a right under international law to defend itself? Let’s get honest here – these NATO allies no longer trust each other enough to look away. And frankly, neither Turkey, nor the US, nor the YPG have the right to invoke international law in their fights against each other inside Syrian territory. The US-Turkey relationship has never been an easy one due to Ankara’s poor record of human rights and rule of law, and its 1974 Cyprus intervention. These differences have grown in recent years, and include Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 program, its exposure to CAATSA sanctions, bitter fights over its acquisition of Russian S-400 anti-missile systems, and so forth. But no issue today is of more concern to the Turks than the Kurdish one, and Washington doesn’t want to hear it. When then-Vice President Biden visited Ankara on August 24, 2016, Turkey launched its Operation Euphrates Shield in northeastern Syria. Whether Biden received prior notice remains a mystery; it was the first high-level US visit to Turkey after the failed 15 July putsch by the Turkish-banned Fethullah Gulen movement (Gulen enjoys asylum in the United States), and perhaps Ankara was feeling vindictive. “We couldn’t understand if it was an internet game, if it was serious, when it happened,” Biden has said. The again, he also assured Turkey that the US would extradite Gulen if the evidence warranted a trial, and that it would cut support to the YPG if they did not withdraw to the east of the Euphrates river. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with Biden on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Rome later this month, but the way Washington is ignoring him after years of support is making him restless. The inner ranks of the Ankara beltway are still reeling from the speed at which Turkey went from downing a Russian fighter jet for its 8-second incursion into Turkish air space, to purchasing S-400s from Russia the next day. Given Ankara’s chaotic past decade, nothing is taken at face value anymore. But the US is also no longer perceived as a respectful partner in building democracy and human rights. Today, it is regarded more as a cold-blooded, interest-driven power broker, with little loyalty. While Russia, China and Iran are also viewed as sanguine players, they at least appear to respect their alliances. Neither of these rising regional powers can single-handedly shape the world order in the way the Americans have done for decades. But, together, they are jockeying to exert influence and maximize their benefits in the wake of Washington’s error-filled, foreign policy decline in influence. The more the US sidelines the interests of its NATO ally in favor of Kurdish militias, the more tectonic opportunities arise for Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran’s benefit. Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin met privately for almost three hours in Sochi on 29 September. It is in Putin’s interest to exploit or magnify US-Turkish differences to wrench Turkey away from its Western alliance, where anti-Erdoganism creates unprecedented opportunities for Russia. For years, Washington supported Erdogan in power; now Moscow is playing the same game. The YPG recently killed two Turkish special operations police officers in northern Syria. Since then both Erdogan and Turkey’s Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar have spoken cautiously about their next step. On Friday, the Turkish president promised a “different” kind of anti-terror response in Syria, and took a swipe at the Americans: “The terrorists of the PKK, YPG and PYD are running wild in entire Syria, not only in the northern part. The leading supporters of them are the international coalition and the US,” he said. It is unclear what Erdogan intends to do next. It could be a limited operation targeting only the Tel Rifaat area – which is under the supervision of the Russians, who have promised to clear out YPG militia. But Moscow will want something in exchange – likely, the complete removal of Turkish-backed militants in Idlib. However, if Erdogan and Putin reached a comprehensive agreement in their latest bilateral meeting, Turkey could also aim for the area (30 kilometers deep, from Manbij to al-Malikiyah) of Operation Peace Spring, which Biden would fiercely oppose. Or it could do nothing at all. For Ankara, these are not easy times to make hard decisions. One direction will leave Erdogan stuck with uneasy allies who militarily support his most belligerent foes. The other direction will see him abandoning all hope of territorial gains in the Levant, highlight his decade-long failed investment in Syrian regime-change, and place him firmly back within Turkey’s borders. President Biden has either misread the tea leaves in the region or actively wants Moscow to exert even more influence over Ankara. Either way, Erdogan may find himself outmatched in the duel between Moscow and Washington. The end game could be a new West Asian order. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/19/2021 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 19th, 2021

Biden Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Tied To Alleged 2016 Clinton Scheme To Co-Opt CIA/FBI To Tar Trump

Biden Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Tied To Alleged 2016 Clinton Scheme To Co-Opt CIA/FBI To Tar Trump Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan figures prominently in a grand jury investigation run by Special Counsel John Durham into an alleged 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign scheme to use both the FBI and CIA to tar Donald Trump as a colluder with Russia, according to people familiar with the criminal probe, which they say has broadened into a conspiracy case. Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan as Clinton campaign adviser for the 2016 election. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File Sullivan is facing scrutiny, sources say, over potentially false statements he made about his involvement in the effort, which continued after the election and into 2017. As a senior foreign policy adviser to Clinton, Sullivan spearheaded what was known inside her campaign as a “confidential project” to link Trump to the Kremlin through dubious email-server records provided to the agencies, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Last week, Michael A. Sussmann, a partner in Perkins Coie, a law firm representing the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making false statements to the FBI about his clients and their motives behind planting the rumor, at the highest levels of the FBI, of a secret Trump-Russia server. After a months-long investigation, the FBI found no merit to the rumor. The grand jury indicated in its lengthy indictment that several people were involved in the alleged conspiracy to mislead the FBI and trigger an investigation of the Republican presidential candidate -- including Sullivan, who was described by his campaign position but not identified by name. The Clinton campaign project, these sources say, also involved compiling a "digital dossier” on several Trump campaign officials – including Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page. This effort exploited highly sensitive, nonpublic Internet data related to their personal email communications and web-browsing, known as Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses. Alleged targets: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page. YouTube/CNN/FNC/RCP To mine the data, the Clinton campaign enlisted a team of Beltway computer contractors as well as university researchers with security clearance who often collaborate with the FBI and the intelligence community. They worked from a five-page campaign document called the "Trump Associates List." The tech group also pulled logs purportedly from servers for a Russian bank and Trump Tower, and the campaign provided the data to the FBI on two thumb drives, along with three “white papers” that claimed the data indicated the Trump campaign was secretly communicating with Moscow through a server in Trump Tower and the Alfa Bank in Russia. Based on the material, the FBI opened at least one investigation, adding to several others it had already initiated targeting the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016. Michael Sussmann: Indicted former Clinton campaign lawyer allegedly coordinated with Jake Sullivan on dubious materials provided to the FBI and media. perkinscoie.com The indictment states that Sussmann, as well as the cyber experts recruited for the operation, "coordinated with representatives and agents of the Clinton campaign with regard to the data and written materials that Sussmann gave to the FBI and the media." One of those campaign agents was Sullivan, according to emails Durham obtained. On Sept. 15, 2016 – just four days before Sussmann handed off the materials to the FBI – Marc Elias, his law partner and fellow Democratic Party operative, "exchanged emails with the Clinton campaign’s foreign policy adviser concerning the Russian bank allegations," as well as with other top campaign officials, the indictment states. The sources close to the case confirmed the "foreign policy adviser" referenced by title is Sullivan. They say he was briefed on the development of the opposition-research materials tying Trump to Alfa Bank, and was aware of the participants in the project. These included the Washington opposition-research group Fusion GPS, which worked for the Clinton campaign as a paid agent and helped gather dirt on Alfa Bank and draft the materials Elias discussed with Sullivan, the materials Sussmann would later submit to the FBI. Fusion researchers were in regular contact with both Sussmann and Elias about the project in the summer and fall of 2016. Sullivan also personally met with Elias, who briefed him on Fusion's opposition research, according to the sources. Sullivan maintained in congressional testimony in December 2017 that he didn’t know of Fusion’s involvement in the Alfa Bank opposition research. In the same closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, he also denied knowing anything about Fusion in 2016 or who was conducting the opposition research for the campaign. "Marc [Elias] ... would occasionally give us updates on the opposition research they were conducting, but I didn't know what the nature of that effort was – inside effort, outside effort, who was funding it, who was doing it, anything like that," Sullivan stated under oath. Jake Sullivan's December 2017 House testimony may put him in perjury jeopardy.  House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Sullivan also testified he didn’t know that Perkins Coie, the law firm where Elias and Sussmann were partners, was working for the Clinton campaign until October 2017, when it was reported in the media as part of stories revealing the campaign's contract with Fusion, which also produced the so-called Steele dossier. Sullivan maintained he didn’t even know that the politically prominent Elias worked for Perkins Coie, a well-known Democratic law firm. Major media stories from 2016 routinely identified Elias as "general counsel for the Clinton campaign" and a "partner at Perkins Coie." "To be honest with you, Marc wears a tremendous number of hats, so I wasn’t sure who he was representing," Sullivan testified. "I sort of thought he was, you know, just talking to us as, you know, a fellow traveler in this — in this campaign effort." Although he acknowledged knowing Elias and his partner were marshaling opposition researchers for a campaign project targeting Trump, Sullivan insisted, "They didn’t do something with it." In truth, they used the research to instigate a full-blown investigation at the FBI and seed a number of stories in the Washington media, which Elias discussed in emails. Marc Elias: Prominent Democrat lawyer allegedly also coordinated with Sullivan. Sullivan would later plead ignorance under oath about Elias's role. Perkins Coie Lying to Congress is a felony. Though the offense is rarely prosecuted, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller won convictions of two of Trump’s associates on charges of that very offense. An attorney for Sullivan did not respond to questions, while a spokeswoman for the National Security Council declined comment. After the 2016 election, Sullivan continued to participate in the anti-Trump effort, which enlisted no fewer than three Internet companies and two university computer researchers, who persisted in exploiting nonpublic Internet data to conjure up “derogatory information on Trump" and his associates, according to the indictment.Prosecutors say the operation ran through at least February 2017, when Sullivan met with another central figure in the plot to plant the anti-Trump smear at the FBI. But now the goal was to compel agents to continue investigating the false rumors in the wake of the election, thereby keeping Trump's presidency under an ethical cloud. Daniel Jones: One of the lead figures in helping resurrect the Trump-Russia collusion narrative after Trump's election, Jones coordinated with Sullivan in hatching the effort. McCain Institute/YouTube On Feb. 10, 2017, Sullivan huddled with two Fusion operatives and their partner Daniel Jones, a former FBI analyst and Democratic staffer on the Hill, to hatch the post-election plan to resurrect rumors Trump was a tool of the Kremlin. As RealClearInvestigations first reported, the meeting, which lasted about an hour and took place in a Washington office building, also included former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The group discussed raising money to finance a multimillion-dollar opposition research project headed by Jones to target the new president. In effect, Jones’ operation would replace the Clinton campaign’s operation, continuing the effort to undermine Trump. It’s not clear if Sussmann attended the Feb. 10 meeting, but he was apparently still involved in the operation, along with his crew of data miners. The day before the meeting attended by Sullivan, Sussmann paid a visit to the CIA’s Langley headquarters to peddle the disinformation about the secret server – this time to top officials there, according to the sources familiar with Durham's investigation. During a roughly 90-minute meeting, Sussmann provided two officials at the intelligence headquarters “updated” documents and data he'd provided the FBI before the election, RealClearInvestigations has learned exclusively. Then, on March 28, 2017, Jones met with the FBI to pass on supposedly fresh leads he and the cyber researchers had learned about the Alfa Bank server and Trump, and the FBI looked into the new leads after having closed its investigation a month earlier. That same month, FBI Director James Comey publicly announced the bureau was investigating possible “coordination" between Moscow and the newly sworn-in president's campaign. Despite the renewed push by Jones, the FBI debunked the tip of a nefarious Russian back channel. Agents learned the email server in question wasn’t even controlled by the Trump Organization. "It wasn’t true," Mueller confirmed in 2019 testimony. It turns out that the supposed “secret server" was housed in the small Pennsylvania town of Lititz, and not  Trump Tower in New York City, and it was operated by a marketing firm based in Florida called Cendyn that routinely blasts out emails promoting multiple hotel chains. Simply put, the third-party server sent spam to Alfa Bank employees who used Trump hotels. The bank had maintained a New York office since 2001. “The FBI’s investigation revealed that the email server at issue was not owned or operated by the Trump Organization but, rather, had been administrated by a mass-marketing email company that sent advertisements for Trump hotels and hundreds of other clients,” Durham wrote in his indictment. Nonetheless, Jones and Sullivan kept promoting the canard as true. Democrat Senators Mark Warner and Ron Wyden: Conduits for TDIP's Trump-Russia material. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik With help from Sullivan and Podesta in 2017, Jones launched a nonprofit group called The Democracy Integrity Project, which raised some $7 million mainly from Silicon Valley tech executives. TDIP hired computer researchers, as well as Fusion opposition researchers and Christopher Steele, the British author of the now-discredited Steele dossier, to “prove” the rumors in the dossier. As they sought new dirt on Trump, they fed their information to media outlets, leading Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee (namely Sens. Mark Warner and Ron Wyden), and the FBI. Jones previously worked on the Senate intelligence panel, which had launched a major investigation of Trump and Russia, and he provided a pipeline of information for the committee, according to the sources. As RCI first reported, Jones emailed a daily news bulletin known as "TDIP Research" to prominent Beltway journalists to keep the Trump-Russia “collusion” rumor-mill going, including the debunked rumor about the "secret server." Durham has subpoenaed Jones to testify before his grand jury hearing the case, along with computer experts and researchers recruited by Sussmann for the Clinton campaign project, persons close to the investigation said. Attempts to reach Jones for comment were unsuccessful. In a statement, Durham said his investigation "is ongoing." Special Counsel John Durham: Lengthy single count "speaking" indictment of Sussmann suggests a broader conspiracy case in the works. AP Indictments for a single-count process crime such as making a false statement normally run a page or two. But Durham’s filing charging Sussmann spans 27 pages and is packed with detail. FBI veterans say the 40-year prosecutor used the indictment to outline a broader conspiracy case he’s building that invokes several other federal statutes. "That is what we call a 'speaking indictment,' meaning it is far more detailed than is required for a simple indictment under [federal statute] 1001,” which outlaws making false statements and representations to federal investigators, former assistant FBI Director Chris Swecker said in an interview with RealClearInvestigations. "It is damning,” he added. “And I see it as a placeholder for additional indictments, such as government grant and contract fraud, computer intrusion, the Privacy Act and other laws against dissemination of personally identifiable information, and mail fraud and wire fraud – not to mention conspiracy to commit those offenses." Chris Swecker: The Sussmann indictment "is damning," and "I definitely see more to come," says the ex-top FBI investigator. Miller & Martin "I definitely see more [indictments] to come,” emphasized Swecker, who knows Durham personally and worked with him on prior investigations. The sources close to the case said former FBI general counsel James Baker, who accepted the sketchy materials from Sussmann and passed them on to agents for investigation, is cooperating with Durham’s investigation, along with former FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap, who has provided prosecutors contemporaneous notes about what led the bureau to open an investigation into the allegations Trump used Alfa Bank as a conduit between his campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin to steal the election. According to the sources, Durham also has found evidence Sussmann misled the CIA, another front in the scandal being reported here for the first time. In December 2016, the sources say Sussmann phoned the general counsel at the agency and told her the same story about the supposed secret server – at the same time the CIA was compiling a national intelligence report that accused Putin of meddling in the election to help Trump win. Sussmann told Caroline Krass, then the agency’s top attorney, that he had information that may help her with a review President Obama had ordered of all intelligence related to the election and Russia, known as the Intelligence Community Assessment. The review ended up including an annex with several unfounded and since-debunked allegations against Trump developed by the Clinton campaign. It’s not clear if the two-page annex, which claimed the allegations were “consistent with the judgments in this assessment,” included the Alfa Bank canard. Before it was made public, several sections had been redacted. But after Sussmann conveyed the information to Krass, an Obama appointee, she told him she would consider it for the intelligence review of Russian interference, which tracks with Sussmann’s 2017 closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. (Krass’ name is blacked out in the declassified transcript, but sources familiar with Sussmann's testimony confirmed that he identified her as his CIA contact.) Caroline Krass: Michael Sussmann also gave  Trump-Russia material to this CIA lawyer. CIA/Wikipedia “We’re interested,” said Krass, who left the agency several months later. "We’re doing this review and I’ll speak to someone here.” It’s not known if Sussmann failed to inform the top CIA lawyer that he was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign, as he’s alleged to have done at the FBI. Attempts to reach Krass, who now serves as Biden’s top lawyer at the Pentagon, were unsuccessful. But in his return trip to the CIA after the election, Sussmann “stated falsely – as he previously had stated to the FBI general counsel – that he was ‘not representing a particular client,’ " according to the Durham indictment, which cites a contemporaneous memo drafted by two agency officials with whom Sussmann met that memorializes their meeting. (The document refers to the CIA by the pseudonym “Agency-2.” Sources confirm Agency-2 is the CIA.) Remarkably, the CIA did not ask for the source of Sussmann’s walk-in tip, including where he got several data files he gave the agency. The FBI exhibited a similar lack of curiosity when Sussmann told it about the false Trump/Alfa Bank connection. Attempts to reach Sussmann to get his side to the additional CIA allegations leveled by Durham were unsuccessful. The 57-year-old attorney pleaded not guilty to a single felony count and was released on a $100,000 bond Friday. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.The prominent Washington lawyer quietly resigned from Perkins Coie, which has scrubbed all references to him from its website. And late last month, as rumors of the indictment swirled, the powerhouse law firm divested its entire Political Law Group formerly headed by Marc Elias – who commissioned the Steele dossier. Elias, who worked closely with Sussmann on the Trump-Alfa Bank project, also is no longer employed by the firm. Jake Sullivan’s Golf Cart Rounds In late July 2016, during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the CIA picked up Russian chatter about a Clinton foreign policy adviser who was trying to develop allegations to “vilify" Trump. The intercepts said Clinton herself had approved a “plan" to “stir up a scandal” against Trump by tying him to Putin. According to hand-written notes, then-CIA chief John Brennan warned President Obama that Moscow had intercepted information about the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016, of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump.” That summer, Brennan had personally briefed Democrats, including then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the Alfa Bank-Trump server rumors, according to congressional reports. Reid fired off a letter to Comey demanding that the FBI do more to investigate Trump's ties to Russia. During that convention, Sullivan drove a golf cart from one TV-network news tent in the parking lot to another, pitching producers and anchors a story that Trump was conspiring with Putin to steal the election. CNN, ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News, as well as Chris Wallace of Fox News, all gave him airtime to spin the Clinton campaign’s unfounded theories. Sullivan also gave off-camera background briefings to reporters. "We were on a mission," Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri later admitted in a Washington Post column. “We wanted to raise the alarm." Then, on the eve of the election, Sullivan claimed in a written campaign statement that Trump and the Russians had set up a “secret hotline” through Alfa Bank, and he suggested “federal authorities” were investigating “this direct connection between Trump and Russia.” He portrayed the shocking discovery as the work of independent experts — “computer scientists” — without disclosing their attachment to the campaign. “This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow,” Sullivan claimed. Clinton teed up his statement in an Oct. 31, 2016, tweet, which quickly went viral. Also that day, Clinton tweeted, “It’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia,” while attaching a meme that read: “Donald Trump has a secret server. It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank called Alfa Bank.” The Clinton campaign played up the bogus Trump-Alfa Bank story on the eve of the 2016 election. Twitter/@HillaryClinton It’s not immediately apparent if then-Vice President Joe Biden was briefed about the Alfa Bank tale or other Trump-Russia rumors and investigations. Biden has never been questioned about his own role in the investigation of Trump. However, it was the former vice president who introduced the idea of prosecuting Trump’s national security adviser appointee, Gen. Flynn, under the Logan Act of 1799, a dead-letter statute that prohibits private citizens from interfering in U.S. foreign policy and which hasn’t been used to prosecute anyone in modern times. According to notes taken by then-FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok, who attended a Jan. 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting with Obama and Biden, in which Trump, Flynn and Russia were discussed, Biden raised the idea: “VP: Logan Act,” the notes read. Although he’s not an attorney, Sullivan has argued in congressional testimony and elsewhere that Flynn violated the Logan Act, raising suspicions he may have put the idea in Biden’s head. Sullivan had advised the vice president before joining the Clinton campaign. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 23rd, 2021

Jan. 6 live updates: 2 Secret Service sources told CNN that Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6

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 former WH aide Cassidy Hutchinson gave damning testimony to the House Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger said she had "more courage than most" Republicans. Two Secret Service sources said Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. DOJ wants a DC judge to reject Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial over January 6 hearings' publicity, saying that he has 'barely been mentioned'Steve Bannon argued in April that his criminal prosecution should be dismissed.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Department of Justice asked a DC judge on Friday to reject Trump ally Steve Bannon's request to delay his contempt-of-Congress trial, arguing that the January 6 hearings have not revolved around him to the point of distraction.On Wednesday, Bannon's lawyers asked a DC judge to delay his July 18 trial, citing a "media blitz" from the public January 6 committee hearings and saying the request was "due to the unprecedented level of prejudicial pretrial publicity."DOJ lawyers said that Bannon is not as popular as he thinks he is."The Defendant's motion gives the false impression — through general statistics about the volume of viewership of the Committee's hearings and overall media coverage of the Committee's hearings — that all of the Committee's hearings and the attendant media coverage is about him," DOJ lawyers wrote in a filing on Friday. "The truth is just the opposite — the Defendant has barely been mentioned in the Committee's hearings or the resulting media coverage of them."Read More2 Secret Service sources told CNN that Trump angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6, partly confirming Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimonyFormer President Donald Trump.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo Secret Service sources told CNN on Friday that they heard about former President Donald Trump lunging at the driver of his presidential SUV on January 6, 2021.The pair of sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, backed up much of former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony on the altercation in the motorcade vehicle known as "the Beast" after Trump found out he wouldn't be driven to join his supporters at the Capitol."He had sort of lunged forward – it was unclear from the conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don't know," one of the Secret Service sources told CNN. "Nobody said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to lunge over the seat – for what reason, nobody had any idea."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen says Trump uses a 'mob boss' playbookMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, compared the former president to a "mob boss" amid allegations that Trump allies sought to intimidate Jan. 6 witnesses."Donald Trump never changes his playbook," Cohen told The Washington Post. "He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached."Read Full StoryTrump allies paid legal fees for multiple Jan. 6 witnesses, including Cassidy Hutchinson, sparking witness-influencing concerns, report saysCassidy 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 allies and supporters paid the legal fees for multiple people who had provided testimony to the January 6 committee, including the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, The New York Times reported.Hutchinson eventually fired the lawyer who was paid for a pro-Trump group, and went on to provide damning testimony about Trump, the report said. Two sources familiar with the committee told The Times that they believe Hutchinson's decision to part ways with the lawyer — who had been recommended by Trump allies and paid for by a pro-Trump PAC — likely played a role in her decision to provide new evidence. There are no laws against a third party paying for a witness' legal representation in a congressional inquiry, but the situation may raise some ethical concerns, according to the report.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent said he, too, would have defied Trump's request to be taken to the Capitol on January 6Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said in an op-ed that he also would not have taken then-President Donald Trump to the Capitol on January 6, 2021.In an op-ed published by Newsweek, Wackrow said he was shocked by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the January committee regarding Trump's actions on the day of the Capitol riot. Hutchinson, a former aide in the Trump White House, claimed that Trump had gotten into a physical altercation with the head of his security detail while demanding to be brought to the Capitol."If I had been working on Trump's security detail on January 6, I would have made the same decision as Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Robert Engel to not go to the Capitol based on the known escalating threats," Wackrow wrote.He added, however, that he believed Trump still respects the Secret Service because he probably has seen "first-hand what they're willing to do to protect him and his family." Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says Cassidy Hutchinson is a 'hero' and has 'more courage than most' Republicans after January 6 testimonyCassidy Hutchinson testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday applauded Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony to the January 6 committee, saying the former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has "more courage" than most of his Republican colleagues. "Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero and a real patriot (not a faux 'patriot' that hates America so much they would attempt a coup.)," Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, said in a tweet."Of course they will try to bully and intimidate her. But she isn't intimidated. More courage than most in GOP," Kinzinger added of Hutchinson.Read Full StoryGOP Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump's chances of winning the party's 2024 presidential nomination are 'much more tenuous' following the January 6 committee's hearingsRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania at the White House with Trump in February 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania suggested Thursday that public hearings from the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, had damaged former President Donald Trump politically, even among Republicans.At the end of a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg that focused on the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve's approach to tackling inflation, the retiring lawmaker was asked whether he believed the hearings would preclude Trump from seeking a second term as president in 2024."I don't know that it means that. I mean he gets to decide whether he's going to run," said Toomey, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of an insurrection after the Capitol riot."Look, I think he disqualified himself from serving in public office by virtue of his post-election behavior, especially leading right up to January 6," Toomey said. "I think the revelations from this committee make his path to even the Republican nomination much more tenuous."Read Full StoryCheney 'absolutely confident' that former White House aide's explosive testimony is credibleRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks during a business meeting on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice-chair of the House's January 6 committee, said she is "absolutely confident" that a former White House aide's damning testimony is accurate."I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I'm confident in her testimony," Cheney told ABC News's Jonathan Karl about the allegations made by top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson this week.Cheney said that Hutchinson showed "an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage" by testifying.Read MoreBannon wants his contempt trial to be delayed because of Jan. 6 hearingsSteve Bannon outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesTrump ally Steve Bannon has asked for his contempt-of-Congress trial to be delayed because the hearings on the Capitol riot are getting so much publicity.A federal grand jury indicted Bannon in November 2021 on two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.In a Wednesday court filing, Bannon's lawyers argued that the coverage of the committee's hearings would make his trial unfair.Read More January 6 panel subpoenas former White House counsel Pat CipolloneFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House's panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.The demand for Cipollone to appear before the committee comes after explosive testimony from a former top White House aide in the Trump administration, who described Trump and his inner circle's actions before and during the insurrection.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent says Trump's 'girth' would have made it impossible to attack driverOutgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesA former White House aide testified that former President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at a Secret Service agent on January 6, 2021, after they refused to take him to the Capitol building.But former Secret Service agents told Insider they have doubts about the story."Trump's not a little guy, right? And the space to actually be able to lunge towards the wheel is not that big," one former agent said, speaking on background to Insider.  "I don't mean to sound disparaging to the former president, but just his girth would prevent him from actually getting to the steering wheel."Keep ReadingHouse Republican who led rioter on tour before insurrection could oversee Capitol policeRep. Barry LoudermilkBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Barry Loudermilk — who led a Capitol rioter on a tour of the building the day before the insurrection — could end up overseeing Capitol police.If Republicans regain control of the House, Loudermilk would be next in line to lead the committee that has oversight over the police force attacked by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.Loudermilk has faced backlash from Democrats after video showed him taking a group on a tour of the Capitol building, showing them hallways, security areas, and stairwells. The next day, members of the tour flaunted a sharpened flagpole bearing the American flag as they marched near the Capitol.It remains unclear whether the group entered the Capitol building itself during the riot.Read Full Story Former Jan. 6 committee investigator announces run for SenateSenior investigative counsel John Wood questions witnesses during the third public hearing of the January 6 committee on June 16, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee investigator John Wood is launching an independent Senate campaign in Missouri in an effort to stop GOP nominee Eric Greitens.Wood told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he believes Greitens — the former Missouri governor — is likely to win the Republican nomination, and that voters deserved an alternative.Wood, a Republican, said he will run as an independent.Read MoreTrump ally says Hutchinson's testimony was a 'campaign commercial' for Ron DeSantis in 2024Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPhelan M. Ebenhack/AP PhotoExplosive testimony by a former Trump White House aide could be a boost to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace Trump on the presidential ticket in 2024, CNN reported.One Trump adviser said the hearings — which painted as Trump as violent and volatile — were "basically a campaign commercial" for DeSantis. Another told CNN that "no one is taking this lightly."DeSantis has flirted with larger political ambitions and is a rising Republican star who would be poised to fill the leadership vacuum if Trump is forced aside.Read Full StorySecret Service agents willing to dispute Hutchinson's claims about Trump's outburst, reports sayFormer President Donald TrumpSAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesSecret Service agents are willing to testify before the January 6 House panel to refute former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's claim that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel when he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, according to multiple reports.The driver of the car and the head of Trump's security are ready to testify under oath that the former President never lunged for the wheel or physically assaulted the driver, according to CBS News.Read More Hutchinson's testimony could lead to legal trouble for Trump: reportCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoFormer aides to Donald Trump worry the explosive testimony by a former White House aide could put Trump in legal jeopardy, according to the New York Times."This hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on," former Attorney General Bill Barr told the Times after testimony from top White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol riot.Hutchinson's testimony painted Trump as a volatile man who knew his supporters were armed on January 6, 2021. Trump also demanded to be taken to the Capitol building, but his security staff refused, Hutchinson said.Mick Mulvaney, who was once Trump's White House Chief of Staff, said evidence of possible witness tampering could open his orbit up to charges.Keep Reading  Former Trump press secretary shares text that appears to show Melania Trump to condemn Capitol riot violenceMelania Trump speaks at the White House on October 09, 2019Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham shared a text exchange on Tuesday that purportedly showed former First Lady Melania Trump refusing to condemn the violence during the Capitol riot. The apparent screengrab of a text exchange was between Grisham and a person named "MT." "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" read the message. "No," the person replied.Representatives for Melania Trump at Trump's post-presidential press office did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.Read Full StoryJohn Eastman drops lawsuit blocking his phone records from January 6 committeeJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APIn a late Tuesday filing, John Eastman dropped a lawsuit he'd filed to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from accessing his phone records."Plaintiff brought this lawsuit primarily to protect the content of his communications, many of which are privileged," the latest filing read. "The Congressional Defendants represented in their motion to dismiss that they were not seeking the content of any of Plaintiff's communications via the subpoena they had issued to Defendant Verizon."The former Trump lawyer's phone was seized by federal agents on June 22, according to a separate suit he filed on Monday, seeking the return of his property. Of interest to investigators are call logs from Eastman's personal device, and the search warrant indicates investigators will not review any additional content from his phone without a court order. Read Full StoryTrumpworld shocked by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive January 6 testimony, calling it the 'most damning day' and 'insane'Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoIt took six hearings for the January 6 select committee to finally break through to embattled former President Donald Trump's inner circle.Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing Tuesday that Trump was determined to go to the US Capitol with his armed supporters on January 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying the election results. Hutchinson's additional revelations about that day came crashing down on Trumpworld during the two-hour hearing. Among them were that Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad" on January 6, that Trump knew his supporters were armed when they flooded the Ellipse to attend his "Stop the Steal" rally, and that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." "Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. READ MOREFox News host says it's not 'wholly out of character' that Trump 'might throw his lunch' after January 6 testimony on ketchup dripping down the wallFormer President Donald Trump and Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesMoments after a colleague referred to Tuesday's January 6 committee testimony as "stunning," Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts surrounding his efforts 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.""I mean, I'm not sure that it really shocks anybody that the president just — knowing what we've seen, observing him over the years — if he got angry then he might throw his lunch," MacCallum said. "I'm not sure. It's obviously a very dramatic detail, and the way that she describes it, um, is. But I'm not sure if this is wholly out of character with the Donald Trump and the President Trump that people came to know over the years."READ MOREHere are all the people who sought preemptive pardons from Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, per January 6 committee witnessesRep. 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 ch.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 1st, 2022

Jan. 6 live updates: Trump allies paid multiple Jan. 6 witnesses" legal fees, report says

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 former WH aide Cassidy Hutchinson gave damning testimony to the House Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger said she had "more courage than most" Republicans. The NYT reported that Trump allies helped pay many witnesses' legal fees, sparking concerns of witness influencing. Trump allies paid legal fees for multiple Jan. 6 witnesses, including Cassidy Hutchinson, sparking witness-influencing concerns, report saysCassidy 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 allies and supporters paid the legal fees for multiple people who had provided testimony to the January 6 committee, including the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, The New York Times reported.Hutchinson eventually fired the lawyer who was paid for a pro-Trump group, and went on to provide damning testimony about Trump, the report said. Two sources familiar with the committee told The Times that they believe Hutchinson's decision to part ways with the lawyer — who had been recommended by Trump allies and paid for by a pro-Trump PAC — likely played a role in her decision to provide new evidence. There are no laws against a third party paying for a witness' legal representation in a congressional inquiry, but the situation may raise some ethical concerns, according to the report.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent said he, too, would have defied Trump's request to be taken to the Capitol on January 6Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.PhoPhoto by Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesFormer Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said in an op-ed that he also would not have taken then-President Donald Trump to the Capitol on January 6, 2021.In an op-ed published by Newsweek, Wackrow said he was shocked by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the January committee regarding Trump's actions on the day of the Capitol riot. Hutchinson, a former aide in the Trump White House, claimed that Trump had gotten into a physical altercation with the head of his security detail while demanding to be brought to the Capitol."If I had been working on Trump's security detail on January 6, I would have made the same decision as Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Robert Engel to not go to the Capitol based on the known escalating threats," Wackrow wrote.He added, however, that he believed Trump still respects the Secret Service because he probably has seen "first-hand what they're willing to do to protect him and his family." Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says Cassidy Hutchinson is a 'hero' and has 'more courage than most' Republicans after January 6 testimonyCassidy Hutchinson testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday applauded Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony to the January 6 committee, saying the former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has "more courage" than most of his Republican colleagues. "Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero and a real patriot (not a faux 'patriot' that hates America so much they would attempt a coup.)," Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, said in a tweet."Of course they will try to bully and intimidate her. But she isn't intimidated. More courage than most in GOP," Kinzinger added of Hutchinson.Read Full StoryGOP Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump's chances of winning the party's 2024 presidential nomination are 'much more tenuous' following the January 6 committee's hearingsRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania at the White House with Trump in February 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciRepublican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania suggested Thursday that public hearings from the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, had damaged former President Donald Trump politically, even among Republicans.At the end of a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg that focused on the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve's approach to tackling inflation, the retiring lawmaker was asked whether he believed the hearings would preclude Trump from seeking a second term as president in 2024."I don't know that it means that. I mean he gets to decide whether he's going to run," said Toomey, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of an insurrection after the Capitol riot."Look, I think he disqualified himself from serving in public office by virtue of his post-election behavior, especially leading right up to January 6," Toomey said. "I think the revelations from this committee make his path to even the Republican nomination much more tenuous."Read Full StoryCheney 'absolutely confident' that former White House aide's explosive testimony is credibleRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks during a business meeting on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice-chair of the House's January 6 committee, said she is "absolutely confident" that a former White House aide's damning testimony is accurate."I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I'm confident in her testimony," Cheney told ABC News's Jonathan Karl about the allegations made by top Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson this week.Cheney said that Hutchinson showed "an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage" by testifying.Read MoreBannon wants his contempt trial to be delayed because of Jan. 6 hearingsSteve Bannon outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesTrump ally Steve Bannon has asked for his contempt-of-Congress trial to be delayed because the hearings on the Capitol riot are getting so much publicity.A federal grand jury indicted Bannon in November 2021 on two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.In a Wednesday court filing, Bannon's lawyers argued that the coverage of the committee's hearings would make his trial unfair.Read More January 6 panel subpoenas former White House counsel Pat CipolloneFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesThe House's panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.The demand for Cipollone to appear before the committee comes after explosive testimony from a former top White House aide in the Trump administration, who described Trump and his inner circle's actions before and during the insurrection.Read Full StoryFormer Secret Service agent says Trump's 'girth' would have made it impossible to attack driverOutgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesA former White House aide testified that former President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at a Secret Service agent on January 6, 2021, after they refused to take him to the Capitol building.But former Secret Service agents told Insider they have doubts about the story."Trump's not a little guy, right? And the space to actually be able to lunge towards the wheel is not that big," one former agent said, speaking on background to Insider.  "I don't mean to sound disparaging to the former president, but just his girth would prevent him from actually getting to the steering wheel."Keep ReadingHouse Republican who led rioter on tour before insurrection could oversee Capitol policeRep. Barry LoudermilkBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesRepublican Rep. Barry Loudermilk — who led a Capitol rioter on a tour of the building the day before the insurrection — could end up overseeing Capitol police.If Republicans regain control of the House, Loudermilk would be next in line to lead the committee that has oversight over the police force attacked by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.Loudermilk has faced backlash from Democrats after video showed him taking a group on a tour of the Capitol building, showing them hallways, security areas, and stairwells. The next day, members of the tour flaunted a sharpened flagpole bearing the American flag as they marched near the Capitol.It remains unclear whether the group entered the Capitol building itself during the riot.Read Full Story Former Jan. 6 committee investigator announces run for SenateSenior investigative counsel John Wood questions witnesses during the third public hearing of the January 6 committee on June 16, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee investigator John Wood is launching an independent Senate campaign in Missouri in an effort to stop GOP nominee Eric Greitens.Wood told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he believes Greitens — the former Missouri governor — is likely to win the Republican nomination, and that voters deserved an alternative.Wood, a Republican, said he will run as an independent.Read MoreTrump ally says Hutchinson's testimony was a 'campaign commercial' for Ron DeSantis in 2024Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisPhelan M. Ebenhack/AP PhotoExplosive testimony by a former Trump White House aide could be a boost to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace Trump on the presidential ticket in 2024, CNN reported.One Trump adviser said the hearings — which painted as Trump as violent and volatile — were "basically a campaign commercial" for DeSantis. Another told CNN that "no one is taking this lightly."DeSantis has flirted with larger political ambitions and is a rising Republican star who would be poised to fill the leadership vacuum if Trump is forced aside.Read Full StorySecret Service agents willing to dispute Hutchinson's claims about Trump's outburst, reports sayFormer President Donald TrumpSAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesSecret Service agents are willing to testify before the January 6 House panel to refute former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's claim that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel when he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, according to multiple reports.The driver of the car and the head of Trump's security are ready to testify under oath that the former President never lunged for the wheel or physically assaulted the driver, according to CBS News.Read More Hutchinson's testimony could lead to legal trouble for Trump: reportCassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoFormer aides to Donald Trump worry the explosive testimony by a former White House aide could put Trump in legal jeopardy, according to the New York Times."This hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on," former Attorney General Bill Barr told the Times after testimony from top White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol riot.Hutchinson's testimony painted Trump as a volatile man who knew his supporters were armed on January 6, 2021. Trump also demanded to be taken to the Capitol building, but his security staff refused, Hutchinson said.Mick Mulvaney, who was once Trump's White House Chief of Staff, said evidence of possible witness tampering could open his orbit up to charges.Keep Reading  Former Trump press secretary shares text that appears to show Melania Trump to condemn Capitol riot violenceMelania Trump speaks at the White House on October 09, 2019Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham shared a text exchange on Tuesday that purportedly showed former First Lady Melania Trump refusing to condemn the violence during the Capitol riot. The apparent screengrab of a text exchange was between Grisham and a person named "MT." "Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness & violence?" read the message. "No," the person replied.Representatives for Melania Trump at Trump's post-presidential press office did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.Read Full StoryJohn Eastman drops lawsuit blocking his phone records from January 6 committeeJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.Charles Dharapak/APIn a late Tuesday filing, John Eastman dropped a lawsuit he'd filed to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from accessing his phone records."Plaintiff brought this lawsuit primarily to protect the content of his communications, many of which are privileged," the latest filing read. "The Congressional Defendants represented in their motion to dismiss that they were not seeking the content of any of Plaintiff's communications via the subpoena they had issued to Defendant Verizon."The former Trump lawyer's phone was seized by federal agents on June 22, according to a separate suit he filed on Monday, seeking the return of his property. Of interest to investigators are call logs from Eastman's personal device, and the search warrant indicates investigators will not review any additional content from his phone without a court order. Read Full StoryTrumpworld shocked by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive January 6 testimony, calling it the 'most damning day' and 'insane'Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoIt took six hearings for the January 6 select committee to finally break through to embattled former President Donald Trump's inner circle.Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing Tuesday that Trump was determined to go to the US Capitol with his armed supporters on January 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying the election results. Hutchinson's additional revelations about that day came crashing down on Trumpworld during the two-hour hearing. Among them were that Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad" on January 6, that Trump knew his supporters were armed when they flooded the Ellipse to attend his "Stop the Steal" rally, and that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." "Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. READ MOREFox News host says it's not 'wholly out of character' that Trump 'might throw his lunch' after January 6 testimony on ketchup dripping down the wallFormer President Donald Trump and Fox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesMoments after a colleague referred to Tuesday's January 6 committee testimony as "stunning," Fox News host Martha MacCallum downplayed new revelations about former President Donald Trump's violent outbursts surrounding his efforts 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.""I mean, I'm not sure that it really shocks anybody that the president just — knowing what we've seen, observing him over the years — if he got angry then he might throw his lunch," MacCallum said. "I'm not sure. It's obviously a very dramatic detail, and the way that she describes it, um, is. But I'm not sure if this is wholly out of character with the Donald Trump and the President Trump that people came to know over the years."READ MOREHere are all the people who sought preemptive pardons from Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, per January 6 committee witnessesRep. 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 ch.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 1st, 2022