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Ripple CEO says landmark lawsuit will be decided by a judge

Ripple has been involved with a legal battle with the SEC for nearly two years and the CEO, Brad Garinghouse thinks the judge will issue a bench ruiling......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsSep 22nd, 2022

The Supreme Court could keep moving the country to the right in a new term featuring major cases on affirmative action, voting rights, and free speech

"It's probably the worst environment in the Supreme Court that has ever existed in history," one court observer said. Protesters fill the street in front of the Supreme Court after the court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Washington, June 24, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press SCOTUS begins a new term on Monday, following a historic summer of decisions, notably the end of Roe v. Wade. The justices will review major cases on affirmative action, voting rights, and free speech. "It's probably the worst environment in the Supreme Court that has ever existed in history," a court observer said.  The Supreme Court has recently driven American law and life quickly to the right, handing down seismic decisions in June that eliminated constitutional protections for abortion, expanded gun rights, and bolstered religious liberties. That rightward trend will likely continue when the justices take the bench on Monday for what's shaping up to be another consequential term, featuring high-profile cases on affirmative action, election laws, and free speech, among many others. "There's no reason to think this coming term, or any term in the foreseeable future, will be any different. On things that matter most, get ready for a lot of 6-3s," Irv Gornstein, executive director at Georgetown Law's Supreme Court Institute, said during a term preview event in September.The 6-3 conservative majority returns as it faces sinking public approval ratings, which plummeted in the wake of its recent decisions, most notably the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24. The ruling triggered a wave of abortion bans in Republican-led states, with one in three women losing access to the procedure. Undoing 50 years of precedent, the decision has spurred questions about the court's legitimacy, prompting some of the justices themselves to publicly defend the institution.The court has also been shaken by the unprecedented leak on May 3 of a draft opinion in the abortion case, which an internal committee is still investigating. The leak sparked nationwide protests during a time of already intense political polarization. Law enforcement officials on June 8 arrested an armed man who made threats against Justice Brett Kavanaugh near his home in Maryland, eventually resulting in President Joe Biden signing a bill into law that extends security protections to Supreme Court justices' families. And the court is under increased scrutiny after Justice Clarence Thomas' wife, Ginni, pushed Republican state lawmakers and White House officials to overturn Biden's 2020 election victory. The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot plans to interview Ginni in the coming weeks. "The bottom line is, I think it's probably the worst environment in the Supreme Court that has ever existed in history," Richard Pierce, a law professor at the George Washington University Law School, told Insider. Monday is the first time the court will re-open to the public since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it'll be Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson's first term following her historic confirmation as the first Black woman nominated to the high court. The court will continue to add more cases to its docket in the coming months, and decisions will be handed down by next June. Here are some important cases to follow:Justice Clarence Thomas.Erin Schaff/Associated PressSCOTUS could end affirmative action in college admissionsFor more than 40 years, the Supreme Court has held that universities may consider race as a component of their admissions processes. But the justices could toss out that precedent as it's being challenged in two major cases. Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit founded in 2014 by Edward Blum, an opponent of affirmative action policies, alleged that the University of North Carolina discriminated against Asian and white applicants and violated the Constitution's equal protection clause by considering race in its admissions.The group also sued Harvard University, claiming the Ivy League school discriminated against Asian applicants, in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits private institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of race. Challengers have asked the Supreme Court to overturn a nearly 20-year-old landmark ruling, Grutter v. Bollinger, that upheld affirmative action. Both of the universities have denied claims of discrimination, and argued that their race-conscious admissions programs are lawful. The lower courts agreed with them.But the Supreme Court decided to take up the pair of cases, clearing the way for the conservative majority to potentially eliminate affirmative action in higher education – a hot-button issue that's long been publicly debated. A ruling in favor of the challengers could upend college admissions processes and likely lead to fewer minority students enrolled. "That will have enormous implications for universities all over the country, and then ripple effects in every other area: employment, for instance," Pierce said. Arguments for the cases are scheduled for October 31. A view of the U.S. Supreme Court building.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe court could upend how elections are runAnother blockbuster case concerns a radical legal theory that, if the Supreme Court embraces, could have the power to upend how elections are run nationwide.North Carolina House Speaker Timothy Moore, along with other Republican members of the state's general assembly, have asked the justices to review the "independent state legislature" theory, which asserts that the Constitution gives state legislatures the power to draw voting maps and set election laws, without any oversight from other authorities, like the state courts or the governor. The legislators invoked the theory in response to the North Carolina State Supreme Court striking down their newly drawn congressional map as a partisan gerrymander that favored Republicans. The Republican lawmakers want the Supreme Court to reinstate their map and to support their independent state legislature doctrine.The little-known theory gained ground in the 2020 elections, as former President Donald Trump and his allies relied on it to support their unsuccessful bid to overturn President Joe Biden's victory. Legal experts have widely debunked the theory, arguing that it has no place in the Constitution. They've also sounded the alarm about the potential consequences of the Supreme Court accepting it, tossing out the way elections have been handled for hundreds of years."This would effectively remove all checks and balances at the state level, handing virtually unchecked power to set federal election rules to politicians in the state capitol, cutting out the governor and the state courts and the state constitution," Thomas Wolf, deputy director for the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, told Insider, adding that such an outcome would be "catastrophic." Arguments for the case have not been scheduled by the court yet.A redrawn congressional map is also at the heart of another significant case before the Supreme Court, in which the justices will hear a challenge to Alabama's 2020 redistricting plan.A group of Black voters claimed the state legislature diluted their voting power by packing Black Alabamans into one of the state's seven congressional districts, instead of creating two majority-Black districts. Republican state lawmakers argued that they drew the map from a race-neutral standpoint, and that the Constitution does not require them to create districts based on race. Federal judges sided with the challengers, ordering Alabama to create a new map as the current one likely violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race."We trust that after reviewing our argument, the United States Supreme Court will protect the Voting Rights Act as well as the rights of the very communities who marched to ensure its passage," Evan Milligan, executive director at Alabama Forward and the lead plaintiff in the case, told Insider in a statement.Alabama called on the Supreme Court to reverse the decision, which it did, and consequently took up the case for review.The justices have chipped away at the Voting Rights Act through a series of rulings over the past several years, and could do so again in this case."It would undermine the entire reason why we have the Voting Rights Act in the first place. It's a landmark piece of legislation that really is about how the history of discrimination interacts with present political conditions," Yurij Rudensky, senior counsel for the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, told Insider.Arguments for the case are scheduled for October 4. Chief Justice John Roberts.Leah Millis-Pool/Getty ImagesThe court will review free-speech, Native American rights, and more The court is set to review a slew of other important matters, including those involving water pollution, Native American rights, and free speech.The first case the court will hear on Monday is Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which deals with an Idaho couple who sought to build on their land but the EPA blocked them from doing so on the grounds that the area contained wetlands regulated by the agency under the Clean Water Act. "It's a very, very hard case, a hard question, because on one side you have people like the Sacketts and lots of other people, particularly rural people who don't have freedom to use their own property the way they would like to," Pierce said. "But on the other side, you've got people who are harmed by pollution and would be harmed by any pollution that begins in, say, some isolated pond on somebody's property, but then whenever there's heavy rainfall, finds its way into a river."Later in the term, the court will hear arguments about whether parts of the decades-old federal Indian Child Welfare Act are unconstitutional. Congress passed the legislation in 1978 in response to growing concerns that Native American children were being separated from their families and adopted by non-Native families. But challengers say the law discriminates against non-Native Americans. And in a free-speech case, the court will revisit religious and LGBTQ+ rights as a Colorado designer refuses to create wedding websites for same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs. The case is reminiscent of a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs. The Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of the baker in 2018, but did not address the major free-speech questions at issue.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 1st, 2022

Donald Trump"s docket: The latest on key cases and investigations centered on the ex-president and his businesses

Donald Trump and his business are tangled in at least a dozen significant federal and local investigations and lawsuits. Here's the latest on all of them. Former President Donald Trump addresses the America First Agenda Summit in Washington, DC, on July 26, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty Images Trump and his businesses are tangled in at least a dozen significant investigations and lawsuits. Under inquiry are Trump's alleged mishandling of sensitive documents, efforts to overturn the US election and possible financial wrongdoing. Check back here for updates on Trump's legal troubles, and for details on what's coming next. It's hard to keep track of Donald Trump's very busy legal docket. The former president is the subject of at least four major investigations into wrongdoing relating to his handling of White House documents, the election, the insurrection, and his finances — probes based in Florida, Fulton County, Georgia; Washington, D.C., and New York.Trump's business also remains under indictment in Manhattan for an alleged payroll tax-dodge scheme. On top of all that, Trump is fighting or bringing a grab-bag of important lawsuits that could financially cripple his international real estate and golf resort empire.Keep up to date on the latest of Trump's legal travails, both criminal and civil, with this guide to the ever-evolving Trump docket.Indictments Trump with his former CFO Allen Weisselberg at Trump Tower in 2017.Evan Vucci/APThe Trump Organization Payroll Case The Parties: The Manhattan DA is prosecuting The Trump Organization. The Issues: Trump's real estate and golf resort business is accused of giving its executives pricey perks and benefits that were never reported as income to taxing authorities.The company's co-defendant, former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, has pleaded guilty to the 15-year, payroll tax-dodge scheme.As part of his August 18, 2022 plea deal, Weisselberg agreed to serve 5 months in jail and pay back $2 million in back taxes and penalties.What's next: Weisselberg also agreed to testify for the prosecution if lawyers for the Trump Organization fight the indictment at trial; an October 24 trial date has been set.Weisselberg would describe to jurors a tax-dodge scheme in which company executives, himself included, received some pay in off-the-books compensation that included free apartments, cars, and tuition reimbursement. But Weisselberg is hardly the ideal prosecution witness. He still works for Trump Org as a special advisor, and Trump's side is hoping to turn his testimony to its advantage.The Trump Organization could face steep fines if convicted of conspiring in the scheme by omitting the compensation from federal, state, and city tax documents and by failing to withhold and pay taxes on that compensation.Criminal InvestigationsFulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis in Atlanta, on Jan. 4, 2022.AP Photo/Ben Gray, FileThe Fulton County election interference probeThe parties: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Trump, and his Republican associates The issues: Willis is investigating whether Trump and his associates tried to interfere in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Her probe has expanded to also include investigating an alleged scheme to send a fake slate of electors to Georgia's state Capitol in an attempt to overturn the elections.She's notified Rudy Giuliani, Trump's former personal attorney, that he's a target in the investigation. Giuliani testified for six hours under court order on August 17.What's next: A federal appeals court temporarily halted on Sunday a court order for Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to testify before the Fulton County special grand jury on Tuesday, August 23.Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.Jon Cherry/Getty ImagesThe Justice Department investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 electionThe parties: Federal investigators are increasingly scrutinizing the role Trump and his allies played in the effort to overturn the 2020 election.The issues: The Justice Department is facing pressure to prosecute following a string of congressional hearings that connected the former president to the violence of January 6, 2021, and to efforts to prevent the peaceful handoff of power.In a series of eight hearings, the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol described Trump's conduct in criminal terms and pointed to an April court decision in which a federal judge said the former president likely committed crimes in his effort to hold onto power. In that ruling, Judge David Carter called Trump's scheme a "coup in search of a legal theory."Prosecutors have asked witnesses directly about Trump's involvement in the effort to reverse his loss in the 2020 election and are likely to issue more subpoenas and search warrants in the weeks ahead.In June, federal investigators searched the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who advanced Trump's baseless claims of election fraud.On the same day, federal agents seized the phone of John Eastman, a lawyer who helped advise Trump on how to overturn the 2020 election. A top prosecutor in the Justice Department's inquiry, Thomas Windom, revealed in late July that investigators had obtained a se cord warrant allowing a search of Eastman's phone. Rep. Liz Cheney, the top Republican on the panel, lost her primary bid for reelection on August 16. What's next:  The Justice Department has remained largely silent about how and whether it would consider charges against Trump, but in July, prosecutors asked witnesses directly about the former president's involvement in the attempt to reverse his electoral defeat. FBI agents descended on Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022, with a search warrant.Darren SamuelsohnThe Justice Department investigation into the handling of classified documentsThe parties: The FBI searched Trump's estate in South Florida, Mar-a-Lago, on August 8 as part of an investigation into the possible mishandling of government records, including classified documents. Trump and his lawyers alleged prosecutorial misconduct and condemned the search as politically motivated.The issues: Early in 2022, Trump turned over 15 boxes of documents — including some marked as classified and "top secret" — to the National Archives. But federal investigators scrutinizing the former president's handling of records reportedly grew suspicious that Trump or people close to him still retained some key records. The FBI seized about a dozen boxes of additional documents during the raid of Mar-a-Lago, in a search that immediately demonstrated how Trump's handling of records from his administration remains an area of legal jeopardy.What's next: A federal judge in South Florida granted Trump's request for an outside arbiter — known as a special master — to review the more than 11,000 documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago, including about 100 records marked as classified. Judge Aileen Cannon halted the review of those records as part of the Justice Department's criminal inquiry but said intelligence agencies could continue assessing the potential national security risk raised by Trump's hoarding of government records at his West Palm Beach estate. In response, the Justice Department said that bifurcation was unworkable and that Cannon's order had effectively paused the national security assessment.The Justice Department asked Cannon to exclude the 100 classified documents from the special master review. If she declines to do so by September 15, the Justice Department signaled that it would go to the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.Lawsuits against TrumpThe front page of the lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James accusing former President Donald Trump, his family and his business of a decade of padding his net worth to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans and tax breaks.Jon Elswick/APThe NY AG's civil filing against the Trump family and Trump OrganizationThe parties: New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued Trump, his family and the Trump Organization.The issues: James says she has uncovered a decade-long pattern of financial wrongdoing at Trump's multi-billion-dollar hotel and golf resort empire.She alleges Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans, and low-balled his properties' worth for tax breaks. Trump has derided the AG's efforts as a politically motivated witch hunt.The 220-page lawsuit arose from a three year investigation and makes multiple, corporation-crippling demands that would eventually be decided by a Manhattan judge.The demands include that the company pay back $250 million Trump allegedly pocketed by misleading banks about his worth. It further requests that Trump and his three eldest children — Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, who have all served as Trump Organization executives — be permanently barred from running a company in New York state.Th suit also demands that for the next five years, an independent receiver be put in place to monitor the company's finances and that Donald Trump be personally barred from purchasing property in New York or borrowing from a New York-registered bank over those same five years.Perhaps most extremely, it asks the judge to pull the Trump Organization's New York papers of incorporation. That's the charter that lets Trump draw revenue from his New York properties, including the lucrative commercial rents at his Manhattan skyscrapers. These hamstringing demands, if ordered by a judge, would run Trump's corporate headquarters out of New York. Trump would also be barred from selling, buying, collecting rent from or borrowing against any property in New York, potentially putting the Trump Organization out of business entirely. What's next:  Barring a settlement, next comes an "eye-glazing" litigation slog — legal filings, courtroom arguments, decisions and appeals — that could go on for two years before a trial can decide if anything material actually happens to the Trumps and the family business. But in announcing her office's lawsuit, the AG also revealed that she has referred her findings of alleged financial and tax fraud to federal prosecutors in New York and to the Internal Revenue Service.Either of those referrals could more quickly result in federal criminal charges and a bill for millions of dollars in back taxes and penalties.Supporters of then-President Donald Trump protest inside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DCBrent Stirton/Getty ImagesLawsuits alleging 'incitement' on January 6The Parties: House Democrats and two Capitol police officers accused Trump of inciting the violent mob on January 6.The Issues: Trump's lawyers have argued that his time as president grants him immunity that shields him from civil liability in connection with his January 6 address at the Ellipse, where he urged supporters to "fight like hell."A federal judge rejected Trump's bid to dismiss the civil lawsuits, ruling that his rhetoric on January 6 was "akin to telling an excited mob that corn-dealers starve the poor in front of the corn-dealer's home."Judge Amit Mehta said Trump later displayed a tacit agreement with the mob minutes after rioters breached the Capitol when he sent a tweet admonishing then-Vice President Mike Pence for lacking the "courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country."What's Next: Trump has appealed Mehta's ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and requested an oral argument. In a late July court filing, Trump's lawyers said the immunity afforded to the former president cannot be "undercut if the presidential act in question is unpopular among the judiciary."Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on October 18, 2021 in New York City.James Devaney/GC ImagesGalicia v. TrumpThe Parties: Lead plaintiff Efrain Galicia and four other protesters of Mexican heritage have sued Trump, his security personnel, and his 2016 campaign in New York.The issues: They say Donald Trump sicced his security guards on their peaceful, legal protest outside Trump Tower in 2015. The plaintiffs had been demonstrating with parody "Make America Racist Again" campaign signs to protest Trump's speech announcing his first campaign for president, during which he accused Mexican immigrants of being "rapists" and drug dealers. Trump fixer-turned-critic Michael Cohen said in a deposition that Trump directly ordered security to "get rid of" the protesters; Trump said in his own deposition that he didn't even know a protest was going on until the next day. His security guards have said in depositions that they were responding to aggression by the protesters.What's next: Trial is set for jury selection on October 31 in NY Supreme Court in the Bronx.Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll is pictured in New York in 2020.Seth Wenig/APE. Jean Carroll v. TrumpThe Parties: Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll sued Trump for defamation in federal court in Manhattan in June 2019.The Issues: Carroll's lawsuit alleges Trump defamed her after she publicly accused him of raping her in a Bergdorf-Goodman dressing room in Manhattan in the mid-90s.Trump responded to Carroll's allegation by saying it was untrue and that she was "not my type." Trump also denied ever meeting Carroll, despite a photo to the contrary.What's next: Arrangements for the sharing of evidence are ongoing behind the scenes, including for the possible collection of Trump's DNA.Carroll has said she wants to compare Trump's DNA with unidentified male DNA on a dress she wore during the alleged rape. The trial is tentatively set for Feb. 6, 2023; Carroll has said she would never settle the case.Carroll's lawyers say they are also getting ready to additionally sue Trump for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.Although Carroll's allegations are more than 30 years old, a New York law that takes effect on November 24 — the Adult Survivors Act — gives sex assault victims a one-year window to file civil cases regardless of when the incident occurred, so long as they were 18 or older at the time.  Donald Trump, right, sits with his children, from left, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Trump International Hotel on July 23, 2014, in Washington.Evan Vucci/APThe 'multi-level marketing' pyramid scheme caseThe Parties: Lead plaintiff Catherine McKoy and three others sued Trump, his business, and his three eldest children, Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, in 2018 in federal court in Manhattan.The Issues: Donald Trump is accused of promoting a scam multi-level marketing scheme on "The Celebrity Apprentice." The lawsuit alleges Trump pocketed $8.8 million from the scheme — but that they lost thousands of dollars. Trump's side has complained that the lawsuit is a politically motivated attack. What's Next: The parties say in court filings that they are working to meet an August 31 deadline for the completion of depositions. Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill February 27, 2019 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesMichael Cohen's 'imprisonment' caseThe Parties: Trump fixer-turned-critic Michael Cohen sued Donald Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr, and more than a dozen federal prison officials and employees, in federal court in Manhattan in 2021.The Issues: The president's former personal attorney is seeking $20 million in damages relating to the time he spent in prison for financial crimes and lying to Congress about Trump's dealings in Congress. Cohen says in his suit that he had been moved to home confinement for three months in the spring of 2020 due to the pandemic, but was then vindictively thrown into solitary confinement when he refused to stop speaking to the press and writing a tell-all book about his former boss. A judge ordered him released after 16 days.What's Next: A decision is pending on defense motions to dismiss the case.Singer Eddy Grant performs in concert in honor of Nelson Mandela in Hyde Park, London June 27, 2008.Andrew Winning/ReutersThe Electric Avenue copyright caseThe Parties: Eddy Grant, the composer/performer behind the 80s disco-reggae mega-hit "Electric Avenue," sued Donald Trump and his campaign in federal court in Manhattan in 2020.The Issues: Grant is seeking $300,000 compensation for copyright infringement. His suit says that Trump made unauthorized use of the 1983 dance floor staple during the 2020 campaign. About 40 seconds of the song played in the background of a Biden-bashing animation that Trump posted to his Twitter account. The animation was viewed 13 million times before being taken down a month later. Trump has countered that the animation was political satire and so exempt from copyright infringement claims. He's also said that the campaign merely reposted the animation and have no idea where it came from.What's Next: There was an August 21 deposition completion deadline for both sides — including for Trump and Grant. Pretrial motions are not due to be filed until October.Mary Trump speaks to Katie Phang on MSNBC on June 17, 2022.MSNBCMary Trump v. Donald TrumpThe Parties: The former president's niece sued him and his siblings in 2020 in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan.The Issues: Mary Trump alleges that she was cheated out of at least $10 million in a 2001 court settlement over the estate of her late father, Fred Trump, Sr. Mary Trump alleges she only learned by helping with a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times article that she'd been defrauded by her Uncle Donald, her aunt, Maryanne Trump Barry, and the late Robert Trump, whose estate is named as a defendant.The Times' 18-month investigation "revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges," the Pulitzer Committee said in praising the piece. Lawyers for the Trumps have countered that it's far too late for Mary Trump to sue over a 2001 settlement that she had knowingly participated in.What's next: The defendants' motion to dismiss, including on statute of limitations grounds, is still pending.Lawsuits brought by Trump Donald Trump v. Mary Trump The Parties: The former president counter-sued his niece Mary Trump — and the New York Times — in 2021 in New York state Supreme Court in Dutchess County.The Issues: Mary Trump, the Times and three of its reporters  "maliciously conspired" against him, Trump alleges, by collaborating with the Times on its expose of and breaching the confidentiality of the family's 2001 settlement of the estate of Mary Trump's father, Fred Trump, Sr. What's Next: Mary Trump's motion to dismiss is pending in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, where the case has since been transferred to.Hillary Clinton.Photo by: Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesDonald Trump v. Hillary ClintonThe Parties: Trump has sued Hillary Clinton, her campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and prominent Democrats including former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in a federal court in southern Florida in March, 2022.The Issues:  Trump alleged in this unusual use of federal racketeering statutes that Clinton and her campaign staff conspired to harm his 2016 run for president by promoting a "contrived Trump-Russia link." The defendants succeeded in getting the massive lawsuit dismissed in September; a federal judge in Florida said the suit was structurally flawed and called it "a two-hundred-page political manifesto" in which Trump detailed "his grievances against those that have opposed him."What's Next: Trump's side has promised to appeal the dismissal.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 23rd, 2022

Ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows complies with the Justice Department"s Jan. 6 probe

Meadows handed over the same information to DOJ that he provided to the House select committee, including a huge cache of text messages. Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows looks on in the Oval Office in April 2020.Evan Vucci/AP Former chief of staff Mark Meadows has responded to the DOJ's subpoena as part of its Jan 6 probe. He handed over the same documents to DOJ that he gave to the Jan 6 committee. The committee has scrutinized Meadows' involvement in the days leading up to the US Capitol attack. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has complied with the Justice Department's subpoena for its January 6 investigation, CNN reported.Meadows handed over the same information to the Justice Department that he provided to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.Last year, Meadows initially complied with the committee's investigation and handed over more than 2,300 text messages he exchanged with others between the 2020 presidential election day and President Joe Biden's inauguration.The committee has scrutinized Meadows' role and communications in the days leading up to the US Capitol attack. Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top aide to Meadows at the time, testified publicly before the committee that Meadows was warned in advance that there could be violence on January 6.Later on, Meadows refused to cooperate with the committee's investigation and filed a lawsuit against the committee and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, requesting a judge block it from enforcing subpoenas issued to him and Verizon, the carrier service for his cell phone. The House of Representatives then voted to refer the former chief of staff to the Justice Department for contempt of Congress, but DOJ ultimately decided not to charge him.One of Meadows' top deputies Ben Williamson has also received a grand jury subpoena, according to CNN.Trump has denounced the Justice Department investigations as politically motivated but some of this advisers have chosen to cooperate. In addition to Meadows, ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy have responded to federal subpoenas.At least seven people lost their lives, and about 140 police officers were injured during the January 6 insurrection.Meadows did not respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 15th, 2022

Letitia James vs. Donald J. Trump: What is New York"s attorney general about to do to Trump and his company?

Can she seek millions in back taxes? What does NY law allow? Everything you want to know about the probe that could put Donald Trump out of business. Donald Trump speaking at the NRA convention in Houston, TX, on May 27, 2022. New York Attorney General Letitia James, right, speaks in Washington, DC on Nov. 12, 2019.Left, Brandon Bell/Getty Images. Right, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images NY AG Letitia James is about to sue Donald Trump and his real estate and golf resort business. Experts predict she will allege a longstanding — and tricky to prove — pattern of financial fraud. The lawsuit will take years to resolve, two former assistant attorney generals tell Insider. It's been one month since Donald Trump's motorcade carried him to a Manhattan skyscraper, a block north of Wall Street, for his court-ordered deposition before Letitia James, New York's attorney general."You save the subject [of your investigation] for last," notes former Assistant NY Attorney General Armen Morian.Whatever James has up her sleeve after three long years of investigating the Trump Organization, it is now about to be revealed.Here — based on expert interviews and a review of two years of court filings — is our best guess on what's about to happen. Q: Best guess, then: what is Letitia James about to do to Donald Trump? A: James will sue the Trump Organization and Trump himself, the company's sole owner and beneficiary.She has signaled the suit will allege that for at least a decade, Trump has routinely fudged the dollar values of his towers, hotels and golf resorts on annual financial statements, tax submissions and other official documents.And she will allege these intentional misstatements helped Trump reap hundreds of millions in undeserved tax breaks, bank loans and deals on insurance.Q: So ... a lawsuit? That's all? After a three-year investigation?A: Yes, a lawsuit, filed on behalf of the people of New York, to be hashed out in state court in Manhattan, likely over the course of still more years to come.James' 169-page lawsuit against the National Rifle Association was filed two years ago last month, and it's still mired in litigation, with no trial date in sight. These things tend to drag on.Q: Well, that's a letdown.A: Sorry about that. Q: Pretty much nothing happens, then, for a couple more years? A: Pretty much. Though there is a chance James could also make a move with more immediate impact against Trump and his company. New York law lets her seek a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.Q: A what and a what?A: That's just legalese for two ways she can ask a Manhattan judge to immediately order the Trump Organization to stop engaging in specific, ongoing fraud. She can likewise ask that his business be put in receivership, and that Trump be immediately forced to pay back whatever she alleges he fraudulently pocketed.And if she's really feeling lucky, she can further seek to immediately revoke his corporate charter — the certificate of incorporation that allows him to operate his New York-incorporated business.It would be like pulling the plug on his company, leaving him owning a couple billion dollars in skyscrapers, hotels and golf resorts that he can't legally sell or draw revenue from.TROs and preliminary injunctions are decided after an evidentiary hearing by a judge alone — not by  a jury — and sometimes in a matter of weeks or months.Q: So why not just skip the lawsuit and seek this snappy relief, then?A: Not so fast, former prosecutors from the AG's office told Insider.There's a high bar of proof, particularly for the so-called corporate death penalty, noted attorney Kenneth Foard McCallion, a former assistant state AG and federal prosecutor.The AG would have to convince a judge that any fraud she has uncovered is still going on — and that it urgently needs to be halted, said McCallion, who heads McCallion & Associates and is the author of Profiles in Cowardice in the Trump Era.So far, James has given no indication that she has found real-time, ongoing fraudulent financial dealings. Scores of legal filings by James over the past two years have alleged fuzzy math going back a decade, but nothing similar for the year 2022.Although now that we think of it, there might be something ... fresher ... she could seek to hang a quick TRO on. Q: Yes...?A: She could allege that Trump's "intransigence" and "subterfuge" — her words for how he has fought her probe —  count as the latest examples of an ongoing pattern of fraud and deceit.AG senior enforcement counsel Kevin Wallace has hinted as much.Q: Isn't Trump allowed to fight this probe?A: He's allowed to fight fairly.But Wallace and his fellow investigators have complained repeatedly that Trump has turned over only 542 pages of personal business documents, much of it irrelevant to the probe.That's far less paperwork than what the head of a three-billion-dollar business would be expected to generate over the past decade. It's a fraction of the 6 million pages of Trump Org evidence James has otherwise collected through subpoenas and court orders.Scores of Trump employees have testified or sworn affidavits over the past two years; Wallace and others in James' office have hinted that some of these employees described Trump documents that should have been preserved and turned over, and which instead have vanished."I'll be frank," Wallace warned, during an April hearing in Manhattan, after defense lawyer Alina Habba said Trump simply had nothing else to turn over."If that's all there is, it raises a bunch of other issues." Q: What are the real odds, though, of James convincing a judge to do something right now?A: Long indeed, say former AG prosecutors.James would have to convince a judge that Trump's company is "such a present danger" to the people of New York "that it must be stopped," explained McCallion, a former prosecutor who handled complex litigation in the Department of Justice and NY AG's office."You'd have to show — and by clear and convincing evidence — that irreparable injury is at stake, that immediate harm is about to happen," said Morian, founder of Morian Law, and whose AG financial fraud cases included the 13-year prosecution of insurance giant AIG head Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. Besides, James has already sought, and won, court orders and a costly contempt citation against Trump over his failure to fully comply with her document subpoenas, noted Morian, an assistant AG in New York from 2006 to 2019."She's already fired all her bullets under any theory relating to his compliance with a subpoena," Morian said. Q: OK, so we're back to just a slow-pokey lawsuit, then?A: Yes, if James can't or won't go the TRO/preliminary injunction route. But scoff not. Or scoff in moderation.A lawsuit would slowly seek the same remedies, including pulling his charter — the so-called corporate death penalty.That menu of remedies also includes James asking a judge to place the Trump Organization under court-monitored receivership, where an independent manager would monitor for fraud.And it includes asking the judge to require that Trump repay hundreds of millions in tax, insurance and loan breaks that she can allege the former president pocketed based on fugazi math.Morian predicted James' lawsuit will closely mirror the allegations in a 115-page memorandum she filed in January.Q: Fugazi math? A: Fugazi as in Trump allegedly lowballed the value of his properties to lower his property taxes, and highballed valuations when trying to win better terms from lenders and insurance brokers.Sometimes, James has alleged, Trump signed off on property values that skyrocketed over time for no apparent reason, Other times, she's said, the same property received widely different valuations at nearly the same time.Q: Aren't real estate valuations pretty ... subjective?A: That's sure to be major part of the defense."You are not required to use the same methodology for each valuation, as long as the valuation is based on some rationale," Morian told Insider."It's not a slam dunk to say it's fraud because by one methodology a property was worth X, and by another methodology it was worth Y," he said. "Businesses do that all the time."Q: What about that "corporate death penalty" thing?A: The New York-incorporated Trump Organization is an umbrella for some 500 other entities, many of them Delaware-registered LLCs.James could seek to bar all of them from doing business in New York, including the three massive Manhattan skyscrapers — Trump Tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas and 40 Wall Street — from whose office and retail space Trump draws a significant chunk of income, as Forbes has reported.Q: Could James' lawsuit come after anyone else besides Donald Trump? A. Morian predicted that James will name multiple Trump LLCs, partnerships and holding companies as defendants, just to cover the waterfront.The lawsuit will likely also name as a defendant Eric Trump, who has been running the company day to day since his father took office in January 2017, and who was heavily involved in some of its development projects over the years.Q: By the way, who's been paying for all this probing and litigating? A: The taxpayers of New York have been paying for the work on the AG's side. Down the road, those costs could be charged to Trump as part of a settlement, or as part of a judge's order or jury verdict.Trump's hefty legal bills, meanwhile, have been footed by the RNC. Q: What?! It's not costing him a penny?A: Right. But that free ride will end, and he'll have to pay his own legal way, if and when he declares he is running for president. Q: What's Trump have to say about all this? A: Trump and his lawyers have consistently denied wrongdoing. Trump himself has repeatedly called James' investigation a "Witch Hunt," a "Radical Witch Hunt," a "racist" witch hunt, and a "politically-motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors and the Fake News Media." Q: One last thing. Who wins? A: In Trumpian fashion, we're going to have to plead the Fifth on that one.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 10th, 2022

Elon Musk takes another loss in Twitter battle as his request to delay trial is denied — but judge says he can add whistleblower allegations to his suit

Elon Musk said new whistleblower's revelations should result in a delayed trial and gave him more reasons cancel his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. Alex Kantrowitz Elon Musk is now able to include a whistleblower's claims in his countersuit against Twitter. Yet, Musk's legal team lost another attempt to delay the October trial. Twitter has already seen negative effects on its business during the case so far, the judge said. A Delaware judge on Wednesday ruled that Elon Musk's legal team can include in its countersuit against Twitter new details alleged by a former executive-turned-whistleblower last month. Judge Kathleen St. J. McCormick said in a Wednesday order Musk's legal team can amend its claims against Twitter given the allegations made by Twitter's former head of cybersecurity Peter Zatko. Zatko is better known by his hacker name "Mudge." Musk's team cannot do any kind of extensive additional discovery that will delay the case, with the judge only allowing "incremental" and "targeted" requests for more document production from Twitter.That was all the judge decided in Musk's favor. She rejected the billionaire's request to delay the trial, his second attempt to do so, reiterating that any further delay poses an outsized risk to Twitter as a business."I previously rejected Defendants' arguments in response to Twitter's motion to expedite, making clear that the longer the delay until trial, the greater the risk of irreparable harm to Twitter," McCormick said in a Wednesday order. "I am convinced that even four weeks' delay would risk further harm to Twitter too great to justify."She added that Twitter has already started to see negative effects due to the case, like increased employee attrition, as it's "been forced to manage under the constrains of a repudiated merger agreement."   The judge initially ruled in July that Twitter's lawsuit attempting to force Musk to close on his $44 billion agreement to acquire Twitter needed to be expedited, given the deal was set to close in late October and various financing agreements are contingent on that date. The five-day trial is set to take place in October.A spokesperson for Twitter told Insider that the company looks "forward to presenting our case in Court beginning on October 17th and intend to close the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk.""We are hopeful that winning the motion to amend takes us one step closer to the truth coming out in that courtroom," a lawyer for Musk, Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, said.Last week, Musk said Zatko's revelations — which Twitter says are "riddled with inaccuracies" — give him even more reasons to walk away from his deal to buy the social network. Musk has already claimed that Twitter withheld information on "bots" or spam accounts on the platform, amounting to fraud and breach of contract. He first tried to walk away from the deal in July, but was trying to "slow down" the process of taking over Twitter as early as May,text messages revealed in court show.Twitter sued Musk almost immediately, arguing Musk's true motivation for reneging on the deal is his the effect a downturn in the public financial markets had on his personal finances, which is largely tied up in stock of Tesla, where he is CEO.While Zatko's whistleblower claims mainly revolve around security issues at Twitter, Musk seized on them to prove his allegations of fraud. Twitter holds that Zatko is little more than a disgruntled former employee and was fired for "ineffective leadership and poor performance." On Tuesday, the company's legal team said the cybersecurity chief never "had anything to do with spam" on the platform and accused Zatko of "parroting" Musk's allegations against the company.Experts previously said the whistleblower's complaint is unlikely to sway the case. Though, it could convince the social media company to settle with Musk for a lower purchase price."It's certainly less than ideal for Twitter to have a former employee making claims like this now — and they raise Twitter's risk in a general sense," Matthew Schettenhelm, senior litigation analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, told Insider. "But when you dive into the details, they don't give me a reason to think Musk has an edge in the Delaware case."Are you a Twitter employee or someone with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com, on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device.Contact Grace Kay at gkay@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 7th, 2022

Ruth Bader Ginsberg would have taken Justice Alito"s "skin off" over being quoted in his Roe v. Wade opinion, longtime friend and journalist says

NPR's Nina Totenberg discussed her friendship with late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg this week for her memoir, "Dinners with Ruth." U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel Alito, Jr. sit next to each other as all of the justices on the court pose for their group portrait on November 30, 2018.Jim Young/Reuters RBG would have fought back against Samuel Alito's Roe v. Wade opinion, her longtime friend says. NPR's Nina Totenberg discussed the late Supreme Court Justice in an interview this week.  Totenberg said Ginsburg's words were taken "out of context" in Alito's majority opinion.  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have been displeased with her inclusion in Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade earlier this year, according to Ginsburg's longtime friend and peer.NPR legal correspondent Nina Totenberg spoke about her years-long friendship with the late judge in an NPR interview this week while promoting her forthcoming book "Dinners with Ruth." During the conversation, Totenberg suggested that Ginsburg, a fierce defender of women's rights, would have fought back against Alito's choice to quote her in his polarizing opinion.The Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v. Wade in a 5-4 decision that gutted the nearly 50-year-old landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, following an unprecedented leak of the draft opinion in the case.In his majority decision, Alito cited Ginsburg twice in arguing his belief that Roe was "egregiously wrong from the start," "Everybody knows that if she had been alive, she would have taken his skin off over that section, but it remained in the opinion," Totenberg said of Ginsburg's quote.In a lecture published in the 1992 issue of the New York University Law Review, Ginsburg argued that Roe v. Wade didn't go far enough in enshrining a women's right to choose. "Roe...halted a political process that was moving in a reform direction and thereby, I believed, prolonged divisiveness and deferred stable settlement of the issue," Alito quotes Ginsburg near the start of his 98-page opinion.Totenberg said Alito's decision to include Ginsburg's voice was one made in bad faith."I think that's an indication of how much bad feeling there is among the justices on this court that that section was not taken out because it was written out of context completely," the journalist said.Ginsburg throughout her life was open in her reservations about the legal basis on which Roe was passed, arguing that the landmark ruling actually "stopped the momentum that was on the side of change" in favor of abortion rights. She believed it would have been more effective for the court to consider a case that emphasized a woman's right to choose on the matter of equal protection under the law, rather than the right to privacy on which the case was ultimately decided.Ginsburg died at the age of 87 in 2020. Her death opened the door for then President Donald Trump to appoint Justice Amy Coney Barrett in his effort to support judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade — which she ultimately helped do. In the aftermath of her death, some have criticized Ginsburg for not stepping down when Barack Obama was president so he could appoint a liberal judge to replace her.Totenberg suggested that Ginsburg's reason for remaining was twofold: She thought the Republican-controlled Congress would block her successor, and she believed Hillary Clinton would be the next president and wanted to give the first female leader the opportunity to appoint her successor."She rolled the dice, and she lost," Totenberg said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 2nd, 2022

Judge OKs NY weapons ban in Times Square and other "sensitive" places — but calls the underlying law "doomed"

A federal judge let NY ban — for now — the concealed carrying of guns in 'sensitive' places like Times Square, but calls the underlying law 'doomed.' Ozgur Donmaz/Getty A judge let New York ban guns in 'sensitive' locations, but called the underlying law legally 'doomed.'  Legally-owed guns are, for now, prohibited in places like Times Square. Businesses can also ban guns. Gun lobbies are fighting the NY law, enacted after a June Supreme Court decision expanded gun rights. A federal judge has given the green light — for now — to tough new gun restrictions that New York lawmakers passed in response to this summer's landmark Supreme Court ruling expanding the right to bear arms in public.But Wednesday night's 78-page decision harshly questions the constitutionality of New York's Concealed Carry Improvement Act, even calling it legally "doomed," while still allowing it to take effect, as planned, on Thursday.The law bans guns in "sensitive" places like Times Square, parks, theaters, and houses of worship, and re-tightens concealed carry permit restrictions that had been loosened by the Supreme Court in June.Businesses throughout the state can also choose to prohibit guns on their premises.It's a decisive, though temporary, win for the CCIA, which will now remain in place while a pair of out-of-state gun lobbies continue the legal fight to revoke it."As gun violence continues to impact communities across the country, today's decision is a victory in our efforts to protect New Yorkers," NY Attorney General Letitia James wrote, praising the interim decision on Wednesday night."Responsible gun control measures save lives and any attempts by the gun lobby to tear down New York's sensible gun control laws will be met with fierce defense of the law," wrote James, whose office is defending the state against the gun lobbies' lawsuit.But US District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby sounded an ominous warning for the future of the law, New York's hastily-passed response to the Supreme Court's decision in June. "While pursuing the laudable goal of public safety, and in an attempt to curb ever-increasing mass shootings, the New York State Legislature has generated an unconstitutional statute," Suddaby warned.The CCIA was passed in June to quickly counter the Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which struck down New York's strict gun permitting process and loosened concealed-carry rights nationwide.For a century, New York had required those seeking concealed-carry permits to prove that being armed in public was necessary. But in the Bruen case, the Supreme Court found any such limits on the right to "bear arms" unconstitutional.New York lawmakers responded immediately. The Concealed Carry Improvement Act was enacted in just eight days.Two Virginia-based national gun lobbies, the Gun Owners Foundation and the Gun Owners of America, also responded fast, filing suit on behalf of their New York members and arguing that the CCIA is an illegal end-run around the Supreme Court.In turning down the gun groups' request for an immediate, preliminary halting of the law, Suddaby on Wednesday found legal flaws on both the plaintiff and the defendant side of the lawsuit.Most significantly, and in a blow to the law's future, the judge singled out a brief section of the CCIA, its so-called "good moral character" clause."No license shall be issued or renewed except for an applicant ... of good moral character," the clause reads. Such an applicant will use the weapon "only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others," it reads. The vague requirement of "good moral character" is fatally similar to the New York carry-permit application language the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional in June, Suddaby wrote.And the insistence that a gun could only be used "in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others" ignores what guns are all about, the judge wrote."The Court has difficulty imagining how any law-abiding, responsible citizen would ever 'use' a concealed handgun to defend himself or herself in public against another person in a manner that does not 'endanger' that other person," the judge wrote."The very act of using a firearm in self-defense against another person necessarily involves threatening, if not actually causing, danger to that other person," the judge added.The law "literally does not permit one to use a firearm in self-defense" and is therefore "conditioned on a logical impossibility," he said, and "doomed" to be struck down. Suddaby found that the gun groups have also misfired, by suing only a single defendant, New York's superintendent of State Police Kevin P. Bruen, the same defendant as in the Supreme Court case. As a state official, Bruen is only responsible for some of the CCIA restrictions the gun lobby is challenging, the judge noted, namely a statewide 18-hour firearm training requirement for carry permits and the ban on guns in sensitive locations. Bruen has no jurisdiction over other local restrictions allowed under the law.Suddaby found still more technical flaws, including that the gun lobby "[has] not sufficiently established a risk of future harm" to win an immediate halt to the New York law.In fact, the gun lobby's New York branch "has experienced an increase of approximately $6,000 in donations since the CCIA was passed," the judge wrote.The judge also noted that the lawsuit's only individual plaintiff, a Schenectady County gun owner named Ivan Antonyuk, has voluntarily opted himself out of any future harm from the law. Antonyuk told the judge during an August court hearing that simply as a courtesy, he has no intention to carry a gun in a sensitive location or anywhere else where it wasn't welcome, the judge said.James, in her statement Wednesday night, promised to continue to fight for the state's gun laws.Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 1st, 2022

DOJ says that "efforts were likely taken to obstruct" its investigation into Trump"s handling of government records

The DOJ said in a new court filing that Trump has no right to request a "special master" because records seized from Mar-a-Lago "don't belong to him." The Justice Department said Donald Trump's accusations against the government were "meritless."Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Brandon Bell/Getty Images The DOJ said in a court filing that Trump's Mar-a-Lago lawsuit "fails for multiple, independent reasons." It said Trump is not entitled to a special master because the Mar-a-Lago "records don't belong to him." It also said that classified records may have been "concealed and removed" and that "efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government's investigation" into Trump. The Justice Department late Tuesday urged a federal judge to reject Donald Trump's request for a court-appointed "special master" to review materials seized from Mar-a-Lago, arguing that the former president is not entitled to any such recourse "because those records don't belong to him.""Not only does Plaintiff lack standing to raise these claims at this juncture, but even if his claims were properly raised, Plaintiff would not be entitled to the relief he seeks," the filing said. The department argued that Trump's lawsuit "fails for multiple, independent reasons" and that it has "shown no basis for the Court to grant injunctive relief."It also said that classified government records may have been "concealed and removed" from a storage room at Mar-a-Lago and that "efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government's investigation" into Trump's handling of national security information.The filing pointed to a June 3 letter that one of Trump's lawyers, Christina Bobb, signed stating that to the best of her knowledge, all classified materials at Mar-a-Lago had been turned back over to the Justice Department pursuant to a grand jury subpoena.But when the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Florida residence two months later, it "recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the 'diligent search'" that Trump's lawyers and other representatives had weeks to perform, the filing said. That "calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter," it added.The Justice Department's response Tuesday came a week after Trump sued to stop the department from continuing its review of materials seized from Mar-a-Lago. In the lawsuit, Trump's lawyers asked Judge Aileen Cannon to order investigators to halt that review until she appointed an outside expert — known as a "special master" — to determine whether any of the material taken by federal agents is privileged.Cannon, a Trump appointee confirmed in 2020, indicated in a weekend order that she was inclined to grant Trump's request for an independent special master. She also ordered the Justice Department to file under seal a more detailed inventory of materials seized during the August 8 search of Trump's residence and private club in South Florida.The judge set a hearing for 1 p.m. Thursday at the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach.In a court filing Monday, the Justice Department said it identified a "limited set of materials that potentially contain attorney-client privileged information." A team specially assigned to filter out such information is following procedures to address potential privilege disputes, the Justice Department said.FBI agents removed more than two dozen boxes of materials from Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search, including 11 sets of classified documents, several of them categorized as top secret. On Friday, Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, told lawmakers that her office was leading an assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the release of those materials.In a separate court proceeding, the Justice Department on Friday unsealed a public version of the affidavit in support of the search warrant for Trump's home. Though heavily redacted, the document provided the clearest description to date of the FBI's rationale for pursuing an unprecedented search of a former president's home.According to the affidavit, the FBI decided to seek a search warrant after reviewing 184 classified documents, including some that appeared to bear Trump's handwriting, that the former president turned over to the National Archives in January. In the months that followed, the affidavit states, FBI agents came to suspect that Trump and his team were concealing the fact that he continued to store classified documents at Mar-a-Lago."There is also probable cause," the affidavit said, "to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found."A previously unsealed search warrant specified that the Justice Department is investigating whether Trump violated the Espionage Act and other laws governing the handling of government records.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 31st, 2022

A timeline of how the FBI came to search Trump"s Mar-a-Lago as part of an Espionage Act probe

Here is a timeline of Trump's dealing with the National Archives and the Department of Justice, and his handling of missing classified documents. Former US President Donald Trump waves while walking to a vehicle outside of Trump Tower in New York City on August 10, 2022. -STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images The FBI's search at Trump's Mar-a-Lago has sparked new questions about missing classified documents. Here is a timeline on how the FBI came to search Mar-a-Lago. Have a tip? Please email us at cdechalus@insider.com and ngaudiano@insider.com. The FBI's search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida follows months of allegations that the former president mishandled government records, including reports of him ripping up documents and photos of notes with handwriting resembling his that he reportedly tried to flush down the toilet.Republicans have attacked the FBI for carrying out the warrant, with Trump calling it "political persecution" and allies in conservative media like Fox News promoting the idea that evidence was "planted." The Justice Department is investigating whether he violated three federal laws, including the Espionage Act, when he took classified documents to the resort.Here's a timeline of events:February 7The National Archives and Records Administration confirms a Washington Post report that Trump took several boxes of official White House records and memorabilia to Mar-a-Lago when they should have been turned over to NARA, an independent federal agency that preserves government and historical records.The agency confirms arranging transport to recover 15 boxes of documents, and said Trump and his staff were "continuing to search for additional Presidential records that belong to the National Archives."The items were said to include correspondence from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and a letter former President Barack Obama left Trump in 2017. February 9NARA asks the Department of Justice to investigate whether Trump violated federal record-keeping laws, The Washington Post reported.Under the Presidential Records Act, official White House records should be given to the agency when a president leaves office.February 22Attorney General Merrick Garland acknowledges during a news conference that NARA informed DOJ that classified material was found on Trump's Mar-a-Lago property."We will do what we always do under these circumstances: look at the facts and the law and take it from there," he said.April 11In an email from the National Archives, Trump's lawyers learn that the FBI would soon review sensitive documents the former president turned over to the government three months earlier. A former deputy White House counsel, Pat Philbin, reviews the email and is later interviewed by FBI agents as part of the investigation into Trump's handling of government records.May 10The National Archives sends a letter to Trump's lawyer Evan Corcoran outlining weeks of resistance that followed the April email. The letter, which the National Archives released on August 23, documents how Trump sought to delay the FBI's review of records he'd turned over in January.In the letter, acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall stresses the urgency of the FBI's need to review the records, which included "100 documents with classification markings, comprising more than 700 pages," she wrote."It has now been four weeks since we first informed you of our intent to provide the FBI access to the boxes so that it and others in the Intelligence Community can conduct their reviews," Steidel Wall wrote. She noted that Trump's lawyers had asked for more time to consider whether the batch of documents included records they considered covered by executive privilege.But Steidel Wall said government lawyers had concluded that executive privilege is held by the sitting president, not a former one, and that President Joe Biden had delegated to her the decision of whether to allow the FBI to review the records."I have therefore decided not to honor the former President's 'protective' claim of privilege," she wrote.June 3The Wall Street Journal reports that Justice Department officials went to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Trump's legal counsel and obtain more information on the classified documents. The federal officials removed some sensitive national security documents with a grand jury subpoena, CNN reported.June 8CNN reports that Trump's legal counsel received a letter from federal authorities requesting them to secure the room where the sensitive documents were stored. Trump's staff then attached a padlock to the room door to secure it, according to CNN.June 22Federal authorities issue a subpoena to the Trump Organization to receive surveillance footage of the Mar-a-Lago resort as a part of their investigation into Trump's handling of sensitive documents, CNN reports.August 8The world learns that the FBI carried out a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home when he announced it, himself, in a statement, calling it an "unannounced raid" on his home.Trump, who was not at his South Florida club at the time, confirmed the search after it was first reported by Florida Politics.—Peter Schorsch (@PeterSchorschFL) August 8, 2022  Also that day, The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman shares photos with Insider that show notes in the bowls of two toilets with handwriting resembling Trump's. The images were also published Monday by the news outlet Axios.August 11Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department has filed a motion in court to unseal the Mar-a-Lago search warrant and property receipt."The Department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter," Garland said. "Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor. Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing."Prior to Garland's remarks, the Justice Department publicly declined to comment on the matter.A judge who signed off on the warrant orders the Justice Department to confer with Trump's legal counsel by 3 p.m. EST on Friday about whether he wants to fight the release of the documents. Later in the day, Trump writes on his social media platform that he supports the "immediate release" of the search warrant. August 12Trump puts out another statement accusing former President Barack Obama of also holding on to classified documents after he left the Oval Office. "President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!" he wrote.The statement came hours after he responded to a Washington Post report that the FBI searched for classified documents that contained nuclear information, calling that a "hoax."The Wall Street Journal also reported that the FBI took 11 sets of classified documents back with them after searching Mar-a-Lago.News later broke that DOJ is investigating whether Trump broke three federal laws, including the Espionage Act.August 22Trump's legal team files a lawsuit requesting a judge to stop the Justice Department from reviewing the documents that were seized during the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago.The former president's lawyers also demanded that the court appoint a "special master" to review the records to "protect the integrity of privileged documents."The Judge gave Trump's legal team until Friday to provide more details on their request.August 26The Justice Department releases a redacted version of the Mar-a-Lago affidavit, revealing more details about the classified documents kept at Trump's Florida resort. The Justice Department said in January that Trump turned over 15 boxes of records to the National Archives. The records included "184 unique documents bearing classification markings, including 67 documents marked as CONFIDENTIAL, 92 documents marked as SECRET, and 25 documents marked as TOP SECRET," according to a copy of the affidavit.The 38-page court filing also noted that some documents included Trump's "handwritten" notes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 26th, 2022

Federal Court Strikes Down Texas Ban On Young Adults Carrying Guns In Public

Federal Court Strikes Down Texas Ban On Young Adults Carrying Guns In Public Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times, A federal judge has struck down a Texas law preventing individuals aged 18 to 20 years from carrying handguns in public, in the first major court ruling on Second Amendment rights since the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to carry firearms in public for self-defense. Previously, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the state law, but that was before the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling. The Supreme Court voted 6–3 on June 23 in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen to strike down New York state’s tough concealed-carry gun permitting system on constitutional grounds. At the same time, the court found that laws preventing law-abiding individuals from carrying firearms in public for self-defense cannot be upheld unless they are consistent with the nation’s historical firearm regulation traditions. Before the ruling, laws in New York and seven other states required applicants to demonstrate “proper cause” in order to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. But the high court’s ruling declared that New York’s proper-cause requirement—and by extension, the laws of the other seven states—violated the 14th Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense. Some states like Maryland rescinded their proper cause requirement but other blue states have been slow to comply or have resisted the decision outright. Since the ruling, civil rights activists have filed several lawsuits aimed at reining in gun restrictions they argue are not consistent with Bruen. On Aug. 25, in a lawsuit filed in November of last year, Judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, ruled that the Texas law violates the Bruen precedent. Texas officials had argued that historical analogs justify the law. “The issue is whether prohibiting law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds from carrying a handgun in public for self-defense is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” Pittman, a Trump appointee, wrote in his opinion (pdf) in Firearms Policy Coalition Inc. v. McCraw, court file 4:21-cv-1245. “Based on the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by Founding-Era history and tradition, the Court concludes that the Second Amendment protects against this prohibition. Texas’s statutory scheme must therefore be enjoined to the extent that law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds are prohibited from applying for a license to carry a handgun.” Pittman stayed his ruling for 30 days to give Texas an opportunity to appeal. The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), which brought the lawsuit here, hailed the new court ruling. “Texas cannot point to a single Founding Era law that prohibited 18-to-20-year-olds from carrying a functional firearm for self-defense, because not only did no such law exist, but those individuals are an important reason why we have a Bill of Rights in the first place,” FPC senior attorney Cody Wisniewski said in a statement. “The typical age of individuals that went to war with the British for our Independence was between 17 and 20 years old. And young people have just as much a right to keep and bear arms in public as adults over the age of 21,” the attorney said. “This decision is a significant victory for the rights of young adults in Texas and demonstrates for the rest of the nation that similar bans cannot withstand constitutional challenges grounded in history.” The FPC said it is also pursuing lawsuits seeking to restore the right of young adults to carry firearms in California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The Epoch Times reached out for comment to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, but had not received a reply as of press time. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/26/2022 - 13:25.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 26th, 2022

The Twitter Whistleblower Needs You to Trust Him

An exclusive interview with Twitter whistleblower Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, the famous hacker fighting a messy battle with the platform Peiter Zatko, the Twitter whistle-blower, is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. The day before his complaint against the social media company was published, Zatko was sitting in his lawyer’s office in Washington, scrolling through his camera roll to find a photo of his legs locked around someone’s neck. The move is called a side-triangle. It’s totally safe, he says, because the opponent will black out before a lack of blood flow to the brain can cause any lasting damage. One of the things Zatko likes about the martial art, he explains, is that it’s less about brute strength than finding creative ways to maneuver your opponent into a weaker position. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] That talent translates to cybersecurity. In Nov. 2020, Zatko, the hacker known as “Mudge,” was hired as Twitter’s security lead, with a global remit to fix gaping vulnerabilities in one of the world’s most important communications platforms. But 14 months later, he was fired. Six months after that, he filed a sweeping whistle-blower complaint that paints a damning portrait of a company in crisis. In an 84-page complaint to federal regulatory agencies and the Department of Justice, which was first reported by the Washington Post and CNN and which TIME obtained from a congressional source, he describes Twitter as crippled by rudderless and dishonest leadership, beset by “egregious” privacy and security flaws, tainted by foreign influence, a danger to national security, and susceptible even to total collapse. Zatko says he felt an ethical duty to come forward. “Being a public whistle-blower is the last resort, something that I would only ever do after I had exhausted all other means,” he told TIME in a lengthy interview on Aug. 22. “It is not an easy path, but I view it as continuing to help improve the place where I was employed.” Twitter quickly hit back. Zatko was fired for “ineffective leadership and poor performance,” CEO Parag Agrawal wrote in an email to employees, calling the disclosures a “false narrative that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies” and presented out of context. “Mudge was accountable for many aspects of this work that he is now inaccurately portraying more than six months after his termination,” Agrawal said. The story of how a top Twitter official turned whistle-blower is not a straightforward saga. In more than a dozen interviews with Zatko’s friends, family, and current and former colleagues, the portrait that emerges is more complicated. Eight current and former Twitter employees, who spoke with TIME on condition of anonymity in order to discuss issues they were not authorized to speak publicly about, said that many aspects of Zatko’s disclosures rang true to their experience, particularly his allegations of security deficiencies and shortcomings in company leadership. Some of the same sources, many of whom professed to like and admire Zatko, suggested that various allegations were misleading, overblown, or lacking context—in part because Zatko was straying into areas of the company into which he had only basic insight. Read More: ‘Egregious Deficiencies,’ Bots, and Foreign Agents: The Biggest Allegations From the Twitter Whistle-Blower Zatko’s allegations have emerged at a pivotal moment for Twitter, which is locked in a legal battle over an agreement to sell the company to Elon Musk. That makes the accuracy and credibility of Zatko’s claims a multibillion-dollar issue, and the object of considerable debate by his former colleagues. “Is Mudge generally correct? Yes,” says one current Twitter employee who worked with Zatko. “Where he is correct is that Twitter has absolutely been negligent in creating the appropriate security infrastructure for a company that has the level of impact it has … Is Mudge wrong about lots of things? Also yes. I think there’s a lot of sour grapes.” Zatko had come from a long line of jobs where he had free rein to tear up organizational structures and prioritize security above all else. But at Twitter, current and former colleagues say, he found himself in a different environment: navigating tense internal politics at a corporation bent on boosting revenue, without support from his superiors. Some employees caught up in the tumult perceived Zatko to be a figure hired by then CEO Jack Dorsey for publicity reasons, stepping on the toes of qualified colleagues with more institutional knowledge. Technically brilliant and morally rigid, Zatko was an iconoclast stepping into a corporate bureaucracy. “It’s like asking a doctor who’s been trained to do brain surgery to suddenly become a podiatrist,” says a former Twitter colleague. The polarized reactions to Zatko’s disclosures illustrate just how atypical a tech whistle-blower he is. Last year, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, disclosed tens of thousands of pages of internal company documents that revealed a company prioritizing profits over user safety. But readers didn’t have to take Haugen’s word for it; they could read the words of Facebook’s own safety teams. Zatko is different. As a former senior executive, he had a bird’s-eye view into Twitter’s decisionmaking, ultimately responsible for hundreds of staff in some of Twitter’s most high-priority work streams. But he didn’t release the same breadth of documentation as Haugen; while Zatko supplied some exhibits to support his claims, including internal emails, his partially redacted disclosures rely largely on his own credibility as one of the most celebrated figures in cybersecurity. He is implicitly asking the public to trust that his version of events is the correct one, and that Twitter is lying. Zatko may lose money by coming forward. Half of his compensation at Twitter was in cash, but the rest came in stock, says John Tye of the law firm Whistleblower Aid, which is representing Zatko. The value of those shares dropped by about 9% when news of Zatko’s allegations broke. Tye insists Zatko’s motivations are rooted in a desire to see the company succeed in the long term, not his own financial self-interest. The fate of Twitter’s stock price may be just the first of a cascading series of consequences from Zatko’s disclosures. His contention that Twitter has a bigger bot problem than executives admit may prevent them from forcing completion of the Musk deal. Tye says that his client prefers Twitter to remain a public company, for the public good. “We have concerns if the SEC were to lose jurisdiction if the company goes private, because there’s one less law-enforcement lever,” Tye says. “That’s a problem for accountability.” Zatko told TIME he has never met Musk and did not provide any information to him in advance of his disclosures becoming public knowledge. Zatko’s allegations could ripple out even further, in Washington and beyond. On Sept. 13, he is set to testify in Congress about the allegations, which could spur investigations by the SEC and FTC. That could in turn further erode public faith in social media companies generally, as they face escalating questions about their influence on politics and society, as well as global efforts to rein them in. All of which means the question of what kind of whistle-blower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko is has consequences well beyond Twitter’s future. In his Twitter profile picture, Zatko has flowing, shoulder-length brown hair, with a ring of light hovering above his head like a halo. But it’s been more than two decades since he traded this long-haired look—“hacker Jesus,” his wife Sarah Zatko jokes—for a clean-cut mien befitting a man who’s done tours at the highest levels of government. As Zatko sat down for his interview with TIME on the eve of the allegations becoming public, he sported a crisp goatee flecked with gray, wired spectacles, and a lapel pin depicting the logo of his lawyers, Whistleblower Aid. The profile picture is no accident. Zatko cites his famous work in the 1990s as both the defining era of his life and the grounding for his present morality. “I always ask myself: What would the Mudge of the late ‘90s think about what I’m doing now?” he says of his decision to blow the whistle on Twitter. “I want to make sure I haven’t lost that drive, that my ethics are still just as strong, that I’m fighting for people just as hard.” Dina Litovsky for TIMESarah Zatko at home on Aug. 23, 2022 Zatko is both attuned to and skilled at nurturing the mythology surrounding him. When he was a toddler, his father hung over his crib a mobile made of circuit boards. “He wanted me not to be afraid of technology,” he said in a 2011 interview with a trade magazine. He says he began hacking at the age of 5, picking locks and reverse-engineering computer games with his dad on a late-1970s Apple II computer to get around copyright protections. As a teenager, he spent his time surfing ARPANET, the predecessor to the modern internet, along with the bulletin boards where communities of online hackers were taking shape. Growing up in Alabama and Pennsylvania in the 1980s, his childhood heroes were the social activist Abbie Hoffman and the musician Frank Zappa. Zatko studied the guitar and the violin, and chose music over computer science, attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating, he split his time between playing at clubs with his progressive metal band Raymaker, part-time tech-support work, and working with a high-profile hacker “think tank” called the L0pht (pronounced Loft) to expose corporate security flaws. He would soon become its most prominent member and went on to join a hacking cooperative known as the Cult of the Dead Cow. At the L0pht, Zatko pioneered a strategy of publicly embarrassing companies that refused to patch vulnerabilities that he and his fellow hackers had flagged to them. His biggest nemesis in the 1990s was Microsoft. When Zatko and his colleagues showed it was possible to insert malicious code to run secretly on any machine, Microsoft ignored it. So the L0pht released a user-friendly tool that allowed anybody to break into Windows users’ personal accounts, reasoning that it was the only way to force the company to finally fix its vulnerabilities. It worked. Today, Zatko says, Microsoft has one of the most advanced security programs in the world. Still, “responsible disclosure,” as the tactic of public embarrassment became known, is a bit of a misnomer. Criminals could use the hacking program he released to crack passwords in less than 24 hours, enabling them to steal credit-card or medical data from innocent users using unpatched machines. Zatko says that he thought “long and hard” before deciding that releasing the tool was the only way to make Microsoft change its ways and protect its users, even if some people got hurt in the short term. “Dishonesty is definitely something that frustrates him,” says his wife Sarah, a former mathematician at the National Security Agency. “It doesn’t mean he’s always trying to make a big public fuss, because if you can get things fixed … through proper channels it’s always easier on everybody. But if that’s not possible, there’s always this fallback.” Zatko and other members of the L0pht agreed to testify about internet security on Capitol Hill in May 1998. In the congressional hearing room, they were identified on their placards only by their hacker names. Zatko sat in the center of the group of seven hackers and did most of the talking. Even then, he flashed a flair for the dramatic, getting lawmakers’ attention by infamously claiming he could take down the internet in 30 minutes. “How can we be expected to protect the system and the network,” Zatko asked the assembled Senators, “when all of the seven individuals seated before you can tear down the foundation that the network was built upon?” Douglas Graham—Congressional Quarterly/Getty ImagesComputer hackers from the L0pht testify before a Senate Governmental Affairs hearing on government computer security on May 19, 1998 Still in his 20s, he began to work as an unofficial adviser on internet-security issues to Richard Clarke, who would become the cybersecurity czar for three different U.S. Presidents. A photo from 2000 shows Zatko at the first White House meeting on cybersecurity, talking to then President Bill Clinton. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, cybersecurity suddenly became an urgent part of counterterrorism strategy. Bad actors and “spam gangs” run out of Russia and Eastern Europe were releasing viruses and other malware, wreaking havoc on systems unprepared to counter them. Zatko began advising U.S. intelligence agencies and the military for free. Zatko was shaken by what he uncovered when he started digging. “I started to figure out numerous ways of knocking the financial sector down,” he says. “It just started to dawn on me that I, as an individual actor, could wreak serious havoc. And this is shortly after 9/11.” He had a bad reaction to drugs that his psychiatrist prescribed to deal with his rising anxiety, which only made things worse. It took a long time for him to emotionally recover. “Every security professional has the moment where they have started to learn enough about the field that all of a sudden they have this existential crisis,” says Zatko’s wife Sarah. “Then you either become [nihilistic] and everything’s hopeless, or else you have to figure out a way to get past it and try to fix your corner of things.” Out of his rut and adopting that new mindset, Zatko was tapped in 2010 to lead cybersecurity efforts at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). “I didn’t go there because I thought it was cool. I didn’t go there because I wanted to be a part of the government,” he told the audience at the DEF CON hacker conference in 2013. “I actually went there because I thought they and other parts of government had kind of lost their way, and I had an opportunity to go in and fix it.” One of his first moves was bringing in hackers and forcing career officials at the military office to spend three days in a conference room with them, says Renee Rush, a U.S. Air Force veteran who worked with him at the agency. “Mudge could go anywhere and get a big paycheck,” Rush says, “but you’ll never find him in a job that doesn’t have a distinctive mission.” AlamyPresident Clinton meets with technology leaders, including Peiter “ Zatko’s sense of principle has a way of engendering loyalty among his many mentees, both inside and outside his field. Ryan Hall, a champion mixed martial artist, became close friends with Zatko after Zatko joined Hall’s gym in Arlington, Va., in 2010 to practice jiu-jitsu. He recalls seeing Zatko at a coffee shop a block from the gym, sporting jeans and a T-shirt, surrounded by men in well-cut suits. “Peiter has very little time for moral waffling,” Hall says. After 3½ years, Zatko left DARPA for stints doing security research at Google and the payment processor Stripe. He cast both as companies that took security advice seriously. “The executives actually back security and let us do things differently (otherwise I wouldn’t be there!),” he tweeted approvingly in 2018 while at Stripe. Over the years, internet security has grown more complicated as its impact expands beyond scams, cyberattacks, and corporate or government security hacks. Zatko publicly expressed his frustration that veteran security experts’ advice was being ignored in the lead-up to the 2016 election. The Democratic National Committee reached out to him for help to improve its network and information security, but even his most basic suggestions were considered too “annoying,” he said. “DNC creates Cybersecurity board made up of well-meaning people with no cybersecurity expertise,” he tweeted in August 2016. “Your move Russia…” Four years later, after the Trump era showed just how essential the security of social media platforms was for safeguarding democracy, Zatko was sitting in his home office in New Jersey. The room is in an extension with no central heating or cooling system. In the winter, it is warmed by “way too many” computer cores—over 100, he estimates. It’s a messy space, with dog-eared textbooks strewn across the floor and framed letters of praise from national security luminaries on the walls. Zatko’s phone rang. On the other end was Dorsey. The man who had co-founded Twitter addressed him as Mudge, and told Zatko the hacker’s work during the 1990s was one of the reasons he pursued a tech career. “That just blew my mind,” Zatko recalls. “I’m talking to the guy who created, let’s face it, a platform that is critical worldwide. It influences governments, social change, it is the perception many people have of the world. And he was telling me that he was interested in me.” Zatko eventually decided to accept the unorthodox job Dorsey was offering, overseeing Twitter’s entire security operations, both data and physical. Zatko saw the protection of a platform as influential as Twitter as perhaps his most effective way to “make a dent in the universe”—a personal motto originating from his time at the L0pht. The move was hailed by experts as a sign of Twitter’s serious commitment to fixing long-standing security issues. As one security analyst put it, “A rare moment of cybersecurity sunshine where it seems the right person is put in the lead on addressing a major issue.” Twitter needed him. The company was reeling from one of the most embarrassing incidents in its 16-year history. In July 2020, a trio that included two teenagers used extremely basic phishing methods to gain access to the accounts of Twitter employees. They were then able to send tweets from the accounts of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and a slew of other blue-checked accounts, setting up a scam that netted them over $100,000 in Bitcoin. The incident was hardly the company’s first major security lapse. The year before, the U.S. government had accused two Twitter employees of being moles for the Saudi Arabian government. This month, one of them was found guilty in federal court. Back in 2011, the FTC had filed a complaint against Twitter for failing to protect consumer information. That complaint was supposed to result in Twitter implementing a robust security program resistant to cyberattacks. Yet the success of the July 2020 hackers showed how vulnerable the platform remained. “While Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Meta consistently put out new features to help people protect their accounts and information, Twitter’s focus seemed to be a bit stale,” says Runa Sandvik, a privacy and security researcher. “It’s unclear what Twitter was doing in that space, if anything at all.” Zatko’s whistle-blower complaint says he expected to spend the remainder of his career working at Twitter. But it quickly became apparent that the company was “a decade behind” its competitors, he wrote in a staff memo included in the disclosures. Teams fighting bots were understaffed and overworked, he alleges, and internal security measures Twitter promised to develop in the wake of the 2011 FTC mandate had yet to be rolled out. Zatko’s complaint claims that a serious security breach was occurring at Twitter on average every week. Read More: What the Twitter Whistle-blower Disclosure Means for Elon Musk. On Jan. 6, 2021, Zatko was watching the Capitol insurrection unfold online and asked a Twitter engineering executive to curtail employees’ access to internal systems. He learned that too many employees had irrevocable access. One rogue engineer with the right system privileges could have sabotaged the platform, sowing misinformation and discord, Zatko alleges in his disclosure. Zatko tried to patch these holes. He shuttered several existing security and privacy programs in favor of a new department, optimistically named Confidence. He drew up a three-year plan to improve defense efforts and measure spam bots, which he alleges were running rampant and unchecked across the platform. According to his disclosure, he was met with continual pushback at senior levels of the company, and when it came to security issues, he says, “deliberate ignorance” was the norm. Some product managers were “encouraged” to override security and privacy issues in order to release new products more quickly, his complaint alleges. Current and former Twitter employees who spoke with TIME corroborated the general sweep of Zatko’s allegations that Twitter often prioritized profit over security. “Unless you can make a compelling trade-off argument for why improved security or privacy will benefit the business more than their cost,” says one former Twitter employee, “it’s very hard to enforce change.” Zatko’s complaint adds that his efforts to inform Twitter’s board about various security issues were met with alarm or anger, and that at least twice he was asked by executives to withhold information from the board. Twitter declined multiple requests from TIME to address specific parts of Zatko’s allegations. In his email dated Aug. 23, Agrawal said Zatko’s disclosures as a whole had many inaccuracies in them. Meanwhile, Dorsey, the man who Zatko thought would be his main ally, was increasingly absent and unfocused, Zatko’s disclosure says. A representative for Dorsey’s company, Block, did not respond to a request for comment for this story. The situation began to come to a head in November 2021, when Dorsey resigned. His replacement was Agrawal, who had formerly been the most senior executive in charge of security issues before Zatko arrived. Tensions between the two quickly escalated. Zatko says in his disclosures that he became concerned that Agrawal was going to use the first board meeting of his tenure to diminish the severity of security issues. He wrote to Agrawal on Dec. 15, arguing that there were “numerous, and some significant, misrepresentations” in materials for an upcoming presentation, according to emails contained in the complaint. Agrawal brushed him off, Zatko’s complaint alleges, and the next day, the documents were presented at a high-level Risk Committee board meeting. In a Jan. 4, 2022, email to Agrawal, Zatko called the documents “at worst fraudulent,” and wrote, “I was hired to achieve certain goals and to fix problems here at Twitter. In order to do that, we need to recognize the actual state of affairs at the company.” A few days later, Agrawal wrote back to Zatko, saying that the company had launched an internal investigation into Zatko’s allegations of “fraud.” Zatko was asked for a detailed report to back up his claims, which he began to pull together. Less than two weeks later, before he was able to file the report, he was fired. Zatko retained Whistleblower Aid on March 17, a month before Musk offered to buy Twitter. He concluded he had no choice but to blow the whistle. “Change sometimes requires, you know, kicking the hornet’s nest a little bit,” he says. “Ethically and morally, I had to pursue this.” In interviews, current and former Twitter officials had differing perspectives on Zatko’s allegations. Several said that Zatko was right about many things, including data-management issues, chaotic leadership, and platform vulnerabilities. But some felt he mischaracterized or exaggerated certain details in the disclosure, particularly when it came to issues that he himself did not work on. “He didn’t know what was happening with the bots stuff,” says a current employee who worked with Zatko. “That did not fall under his security purview.” Zatko’s attorneys dispute this, arguing that he did in fact have insight into and authority over the bots issue as the ultimate supervisor of Twitter Services, which oversees global content moderation at scale. The disagreement can be chalked up to Twitter’s messy organizational structure, in which different arms of the company have competing claims to ownership of the bots issue. Hannah McKay—AFP/Getty ImagesJack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter, testifies remotely during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “ Other parts of Zatko’s disclosures simply pit his word against Twitter’s. One of his most explosive claims is that Twitter “knowingly” hired “agents” of the Indian government. Because of access privileges afforded to many Twitter employees, Zatko says in his disclosure, these alleged agents could access sensitive user data. The hires came at a time when the Indian government was bristling at Twitter’s refusal to identify details about people using the platform to criticize the nation’s ruling party. Zatko had direct responsibility for the physical security of employees at Twitter, and would likely have been directly briefed on alleged espionage efforts. The disclosures state that Zatko has given more details about this incident to the Department of Justice and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Twitter declined multiple requests from TIME to address Zatko’s claims about Indian agents on the record. One person with direct knowledge of Twitter’s internal affairs in India told TIME they had no knowledge of the supposed agent, but said they would not be surprised if the Indian government had at least tried to covertly appoint an agent to Twitter’s payroll, similar to the Saudi case. Some of Zatko’s other claims strike experts as overstated. His disclosure argues that Twitter’s failure to own the rights to training data of machine-learning models constitutes “fraud,” for example. That shortcoming is an industry-wide practice, according to two former Twitter employees and others familiar with industry standards. As the pushback mounts, Zatko tells TIME he stands by his allegations and for legal reasons is unable to talk about his time at Twitter beyond what’s in the disclosures. “I was aware of the most common tactics that would happen, that there would be attempts to character assassinate me or make things personal—anything that would distract from the data and the problem at hand,” Zatko says. While Zatko describes his decision to go public in idealistic terms, the timing of the disclosures is notable. The trial to decide whether Musk must go through with his initial agreement to buy Twitter is set to start in Delaware on Oct. 17. Zatko inserts himself into this battle from the opening pages of his disclosure, claiming that Twitter is “lying about bots to Elon Musk.” Zatko may be drawn directly into the court case: Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, tells TIME his team has subpoenaed Zatko, although Zatko’s lawyers say he has received no such subpoena. Two legal experts say they’re skeptical Zatko’s claims will have a major impact on the lawsuit. He provides scant new information about spam bots, and what he does claim about them has little to do with the merger agreement. Ann Lipton, a law professor at Tulane University, says that Zatko’s claims that Twitter lied in its SEC filings will be hard to prove. “When a disgruntled employee disagrees with management decisions,” Lipton says, “that’s frequently not taken as a sufficient basis for treating an SEC filing as false.” “The question ultimately boils down to the credibility of the assertions made by the whistle-blower, and that is usually determined by the existence of hard evidence,” says Howard Fischer, a former SEC attorney. “Twitter’s real regulatory risk lies in whether or not the documentary evidence, and not the potentially self-serving statements of a former employee, shows knowing or reckless misleading of regulators or investors in public filings and statements.” Greg Kahn for TIMEZatko attending meetings in Washington on Aug. 23, 2022 The disclosures could have other long-lasting financial and political ramifications. The company’s stock price dropped by around 9% in the wake of the disclosures’ publication. The same day, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and Democratic Representative Frank Pallone announced they were investigating Zatko’s claims, with Pallone calling for “the need to pass comprehensive privacy legislation.” Zatko’s allegations have demoralized Twitter employees, some current staffers say, and may exacerbate a brain drain at a company that has lost many of its leaders and significantly slowed its spending while in Musk-induced limbo. Twitter still has a significant impact on elections and political discourse around the world, and those who are still working on its security and privacy teams will “have to work three or four times harder,” says a former Twitter employee. Knowing that his actions would cause corporate chaos and catalyze government investigations, Zatko says he made his decision with one goal in mind: to make Twitter, and thus the world, safer. Although right now the public can only take him at his word, that may not hold true for long. When he testifies before Congress in September, Zatko—who refused to discuss the meat of his complaint in his interview with TIME—will have the legal cover to expand on the allegations, potentially revealing new and damaging details about what happened within Twitter. Zatko is not the youthful star hacker he used to be. Two days before his interview with TIME, he broke a toe while sparring with a jiu-jitsu opponent, an accident he chalks up in part to partial paralysis of his back, which he says his doctor told him has been brought on by the stress of the past few months. Injury, however, may be necessary if you’re going to engage in the fight. “If you’re just reacting to what an adversary is doing, they’re the ones that are moving you around and manipulating you,” he says. “That’s all too common in this industry.” —With reporting by Leslie Dickstein, Nik Popli, Simmone Shah, and Julia Zorthian.....»»

Category: topSource: timeAug 25th, 2022

Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez have weathered a tabloid scandal, a possible iPhone hack, and even a trip to space. Here"s where their relationship began and everything that"s happened since.

It's been an eventful three years for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, TV host and helicopter pilot Lauren Sanchez. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were publicly outed as a couple in January 2019. Since then, they have both finalized their divorces and embarked on a multicontinental romance. Most recently, they bought a new house in Maui, Hawaii, and took a whirlwind trip to London. It's been a turbulent few years for Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.In January 2019, the bombshell news broke that the Amazon CEO and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Hours later, the world learned that Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a TV host and helicopter pilot who, along with her husband, had been friends with the Bezoses.Despite a tumultuous few years that involved leaked texts, blackmail, a billion-dollar divorce, and maybe even interference from the Saudi Arabian government, Bezos and Sanchez are still going strong.Here's how their relationship became public and how they've spent the last three years as a couple.It all started on January 9, 2019. Shortly after 9 a.m., Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Scott, issued a joint statement on Twitter that they were divorcing.Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott.Dia Dipasupil / Staff"As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends," the statement read. "If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again."MacKenzie Scott, formerly MacKenzie Bezos, was one of Amazon's earliest employees. The couple has four children together. Hours later, a second bombshell dropped: Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez.Paul Archuleta/Getty ImagesSanchez started her career as a news reporter and anchor — she was a longtime anchor of "Good Day LA" on Fox 11 and worked as a correspondent on "Extra." More recently, she's worked as a helicopter pilot and founded her own aerial filming company in 2016, called Black Ops Aviation. Sanchez has also had TV and film roles, including as the host of the reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" and playing an anchor in movies like "Fight Club" and "The Day After Tomorrow," according to her IMDB page. Bezos and Sanchez met through her then-husband, Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of Hollywood talent agency WME.Jeff Bezos with Lauren Sanchez and her husband, Patrick Whitesell.Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon StudiosSanchez and Whitesell had been married since 2005, but at the time the news broke, the couple had been separated since that fall, Page Six reported. According to Brad Stone's book "Amazon Unbound," Sanchez and Bezos reconnected at an Amazon Studios party for the film "Manchester by the Sea" in 2016, though it's unclear when their romance began. In March 2018, Sanchez was invited to Amazon's annual MARS conference in Palm Springs. One month later, they had dinner with Sanchez's brother, Michael, in Los Angeles.That July, Bezos hired Sanchez's company to film footage for his rocket company, Blue Origin.The National Enquirer said it had conducted a four-month investigation into Bezos and Sanchez's relationship and had obtained texts and photos the couple had sent to each other.Jeff Bezos.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe Enquirer said it had tracked the couple "across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and 'quality time' in hidden love nests." Page Six, which published the news a few hours before the Enquirer, reported that Bezos and his then-wife knew that the Enquirer report was coming out and had timed their divorce announcement to get ahead of the news.The gossip site also reported at the time that Bezos and Sanchez started dating after Jeff and MacKenzie had separated the previous fall, and that MacKenzie knew of the relationship. The Enquirer said it had gotten its hands on "raunchy messages" and "erotic selfies," including a text that reportedly read: "I love you, alive girl."Jeff BezosREUTERS/Gary CameronThe tabloid said it also had racy photos of Bezos, including one that was too explicit to print.But according to Stone's book, the tabloid never actually had a "below-the-belt selfie" of Bezos — it was a photo of someone else Michael Sanchez took from a male-escort website and showed to the tabloid over FaceTime.Almost immediately, questions arose about the Enquirer's motives for investigating Bezos and Sanchez and the tabloid's connection to Donald Trump.David Pecker, former CEO of AMI.Marion Curtis via AP, FileA feud has simmered for years between Trump and Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a frequent Trump target. The Enquirer's publisher, then known as AMI, was run by David Pecker, a longtime Trump ally. (In August 2020, AMI combined with Accelerate 360 to form A360 Media, with Pecker as executive advisor.) By the end of January 2019, The Daily Beast reported that Bezos had started funding an investigation into who had leaked his private messages to the Enquirer. Bezos' personal head of security, Gavin de Becker, headed up the investigation. De Becker said at the time that he thought the leaks were "politically motivated," which AMI denied. The investigation initially pointed to Michael Sanchez, Lauren's brother and an outspoken Trump supporter, as the person who leaked the photos and texts, which Sanchez denied. Then, that February, Bezos dropped a bombshell of his own: an explosive blog post titled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker," in which he accused Pecker and AMI of trying to blackmail him.Bezos speaks at the Economic Club of Washington DC on September 13, 2018.Reuters/Joshua RobertsBezos wrote that the publisher had been threatening him with the publication of explicit photos he'd taken of himself unless he stopped investigating who was leaking his photos and texts to the tabloid.AMI also demanded that Bezos no longer claim the publisher's investigation into his personal life was influenced by political motivations, Bezos wrote. As a result, Bezos published the emails he'd received from AMI."Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten," Bezos wrote.Bezos also hinted in the post that there may have been a link between the investigation into his relationship with Sanchez and the Saudi Arabian government — specifically, that he might have been a target of the Saudis because he owns the Washington Post, which provided "unrelenting coverage," Bezos said, of the murder of its journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents. The "Saudi angle" of Bezos' own investigation into the leaks seemed to have "hit a particularly sensitive nerve" with Pecker, Bezos wrote. For its part, the Saudi Arabian government denied any role in the situation and called the whole saga a "soap opera." Things quieted down for Bezos and Sanchez publicly for a few months, until April 2019, when he and Scott finalized the terms of their divorce.Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott.Danny Moloshok/ReutersBezos and Scott both released statements on Twitter saying they had "finished the process of dissolving" their marriage and would be co-parenting their four kids.Scott said she was granting Bezos all her interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, as well as 75% of the Amazon stock they owned, and voting control over the shares she retained.Her remaining stake in Amazon has positioned her among the richest people in the world, with a net worth of $36.2 billion. One day later, Sanchez and Whitesell filed for divorce.Patrick Whitesell and Lauren Sanchez.AP PhotoTMZ reported at the time that the couple filed for joint custody of their two children. The couple reportedly finalized their divorce in October 2019. The Bezos divorce was finalized that July. A few days later, Bezos and Sanchez made their first public appearance as a couple at Wimbledon.Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos at Wimbledon.AP Photo/Tim IrelandThe couple were seated behind the royals at the men's Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the All England Club. A few months prior to Wimbledon, the couple had attended another exclusive event: the annual Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. There, they mingled with Warren Buffett, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg, according to Stone's book.The pair was spotted again in August on what appeared to be a fabulous European vacation.The Rising Sun, a yacht that belongs to media titan David Geffen.Victor Fraile/ReutersThey were seen strolling through Saint-Tropez and cruising off the coast of Spain, in the Balearic Islands, aboard media mogul David Geffen's superyacht, the Rising Sun.Other guests reportedly included Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and the founder of Thrive Capital, Josh Kushner, along with his supermodel wife, Karlie Kloss. Bezos and Sanchez were then seen on fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg's sailing yacht off the coast of Italy.Diane von Furstenberg and Jeff Bezos pose at the Statue of Liberty Museum opening on May 15, 2019.Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesThe couple appears to be close friends with von Furstenberg and her husband, IAC Chairman Barry Diller.In December 2019, Bezos reportedly threw Sanchez an elaborate 50th birthday celebration.Katy Perry and Orlando BloomPhillip Faraone/Getty ImagesThe celebration included both a private dinner and a star-studded party attended by von Furstenberg and Diller, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, and Timothée Chalamet, Page Six reported.Around the holidays, the couple jetted off to French-speaking Caribbean island St. Barths.Reuters/Andrew CouldridgeThere, they relaxed on yachts and meandered around the island with Sanchez's son with her previous partner, former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez.In January 2020, Sanchez accompanied Bezos on a trip to India.Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez in India in January 2020.Prodip Guha/Getty ImagesSanchez attended Bezos' visit to Mahatma Gandhi's tomb and walked the red carpet with Bezos at an Amazon Prime Video event in Mumbai. A few weeks later, Sanchez traveled with Bezos to another international event — this time, a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France. Meanwhile, Bezos had become embroiled in a legal spat with Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez's brother.John Sciulli/Getty Images for Politicon; Getty ImagesSanchez filed a defamation lawsuit against Bezos in February 2020, claiming Bezos and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, falsely accused him of providing Bezos' nude photos to the National Enquirer. Sanchez claimed in the suit that Bezos told journalists he had handed over the images to the tabloid, but he says he never had the photos in his possession. Bezos said in a court filing of his own that the suit amounted to "extortion" and directly threatened free speech. Bezos sought to dismiss Sanchez's lawsuit under a California law that's intended to protect against frivolous lawsuits. A judge has since tossed Sanchez's defamation suit, citing a lack of evidence. The judge later ordered Sanchez to pay $218,000 in legal fees for Bezos.In the lawsuit, Sanchez used the word "fiancé" to describe Bezos' relationship to Lauren Sanchez, implying that the couple is engaged.Pawan Sharma/AFP via Getty ImagesHere's the full sentence from the lawsuit (emphasis ours):"While Mr. de Becker's initial asserted theory was that Mr. Sanchez had sold out his sister for $200,000, Mr. de Becker soon realized this theory would not hold up because, among other reasons, it was inconceivable that Mr. Sanchez would ruin his relationship with his sister and her current fiancé, the richest man in the world, for financial gain."Bezos isn't described as Sanchez's fiancé anywhere else in the suit, and Bezos and Sanchez have never confirmed that they're engaged. In December, Page Six published photos of the couple on vacation, noting that Sanchez was wearing a large diamond ring. She has since been spotted several times with the ring on her left hand, where engagement rings are typically worn. At the time lawyers for Michael Sanchez said in a statement, "Michael's complaint speaks for itself." Representatives for Bezos and Sanchez did not respond to requests for comment.News broke in early 2020 that Bezos had purchased the Warner estate, a massive Beverly Hills compound, for $165 million. The purchase was the most expensive home sale in California history at the time.An aerial view of the Warner estate.Los Angeles County/PictometryPrior to the sale, The New York Post reported that Bezos and Sanchez had been house-hunting in Los Angeles for weeks, touring mansions throughout the area.The Warner estate was built by Hollywood mogul and Warner Bros. cofounder Jack Warner in 1937. It spans eight acres and is situated in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills. It's an incredibly private property that's surrounded by tall hedges, blocked off by a large gate, and completely hidden from view from the street.The compound is home to multiple dwellings, including two guesthouses and a 13,600-square-foot mansion. The estate also features a pool, tennis court, and manicured gardens, as well as a nine-hole golf course and a "motor court" with its own garage and gas pumps, according to Architectural Digest. In July 2020, Bezos appeared to make another purchase, this time right next door: a $10 million home that shares a hedge line with the Warner estate. According to property records viewed by both Variety and Daily Mail, Bezos is the new owner of the 1930s-era home on a side street in Beverly Hills' Benedict Canyon neighborhood. In February 2021, Bezos made a major career move: He announced that he would step down as CEO of Amazon in the third quarter of that year.Mike Blake/Reuters; Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty ImagesThe move became official on July 5, 2021, with Andy Jassy — then the CEO of Amazon Web Services — taking his place at the helm of Amazon.Almost immediately after his departure from Amazon became official, Bezos headed for outer space.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesIn July of last year, Bezos lifted off aboard a Blue Origin rocket in the company's first human spaceflight. Bezos was accompanied by his brother, Mark, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, and Dutch teen Oliver Daemen on the quick voyage to the edge of space.Sanchez was in attendance, embracing Bezos after he safely touched down on Earth.A few months later, Bezos expanded his real estate empire once again when he and Sanchez purchased a home on Maui, Hawaii.Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez.Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesThe home, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum in October 2021, is located in an isolated area on the island's south shore and is near lava fields, Pacific Business News reported."Jeff and Lauren love Maui, have a home on the island, visit frequently, and want to be a part of supporting the local community," an unnamed person close to the couple told PBN at the time.Bezos had made several donations to local organizations in the weeks leading up the report of his new home purchase on the island, including to organizations that support women and children that have experienced abuse or homelessness and a substance abuse treatment center.Bezos and Sanchez have continued traveling the world, most recently to London.Ricky Vigil/Getty ImagesBezos took a private tour of Buckingham Palace, where "he showed a particular interest in the Throne Room and Ballroom," The Sun reported. He and Sanchez were later spotted having dinner at the The Twenty Two hotel in Mayfair with actor Tom Cruise. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 14th, 2022

Elon Musk"s countersuit against Twitter says the company is operating a "scheme" to mislead investors

Elon Musk confidentially filed the countersuit last week, escalating his legal fight against Twitter over whether he can exit the $44 billion deal. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceXGotham/Getty Images Elon Musk confidentially filed a countersuit against Twitter late last week. Musk makes several claims against Twitter, including about the soundness of its user metrics. Musk claims that Twitter is attempting to "distract" from its many "misrepresentations." Elon Musk's confidentially filed 164-page countersuit against Twitter is full of accusations around the validity of the social media company's business claims, according to a copy obtained by Insider.The countersuit is another escalation of the ongoing legal fight over Musk's attempt to back out of his $44 billion agreement to buy Twitter. The billionaire and the platform are already scheduled to face off in an October trial with in Delaware court over whether he is legally able to walk away from the deal to acquire the platform.In his counterclaims, Musk argues at length that he is entitled to drop the deal entirely. He claims he was led to believe in Twitter's public assurances to investors that its business, built around user metrics, was sound. They are far from it, he claims. For months, Musk has argued publicly that Twitter had more "bots" or spam accounts than it admitted. After pushing for more and more information about the issue, he at the start of July decided to call off the deal.Now, he is accusing the company of intentionally "miscounting" the number of spam accounts it hosts in order to juice its user metrics "as part of its scheme to mislead investors about the company's prospects." He also claims that Twitter's reliance on the metric mDAU, or monetizable daily active Twitter users, as a basis of revenue is misleading in and of itself. Meanwhile, Twitter actually has 65 million fewer daily users than it claims, according to Musk. And those that see ads, and should be considered "monetizeable," are as low as 16 million users. Twitter's lawsuit to enforce the merger agreement is "filled with personal attacks against Musk and gaudy rhetoric more directed at a media audience than this court" and "is nothing more than an attempt to distract from these misrepresentations," Musk's counterclaims said."That has been Twitter's strategy all along: to distract from and obfuscate the truth about its disclosures—first from its investors and then from the Musk Parties when they began to discern the truth," the claims continue.Musk's counterclaims were initially not available to the public because the suit allegedly contained private company information that needed to be redacted, according to arguments from Twitter's lawyers. After days of back and forth between lawyers on each side, the judge overseeing the case in Delaware Chancery Court said the suit needed to be made public by Friday.Musk faces an uphill battle in his efforts to back out of the deal due to the ironclad contract he signed earlier this year, multiple experts previously told Insider.But his countersuit is an attempt to create a path out of the deal. While Twitter has pointed out repeatedly that Musk waived his right to information before signing the merger agreement, Musk says he was going the traditional route of "trust but verify," meaning he trusted Twitter's public disclosures and went about validating them after, and negotiated the right to do so."The Musk parties... fully expected that Twitter would hide nothing from its would-be owner, including about the magnitude of its false or spam account problem," the complaint says. "Instead, the opposite happened. Twitter played a months-long game of hide-and-seek to attempt to run out the clock before the Musk Parties could discern the truth about these representations, which they needed to close. The more Twitter evaded even simple inquiries, the more the Musk Parties grew to suspect that Twitter had misled them."It did so intentionally, he claimed. The platform's process of user authentication is weak, according to the counterclaims. The company does not send email, text, or other push notifications to users to verify them, and its CEO Parag Agrawal allegedly could not explain to Musk how it selected which accounts to run by human moderators.Twitter has handed over to Musk massive amounts of information on accounts and users. Although Musk's claims refer to it as "limited," his analysis so far allegedly shows "shocking results." In early July, for instance, a review carried out by Musk's experts showed "one-third of visible accounts may have been false or spam accounts." To him, this means a "conservative floor" for spam accounts on the platform is 10%, not the 5% Twitter publicly claims.This, combined with the allegation that Twitter's mDAU's are much lower than it has said, means Musk has every right to terminate his deal to acquire the company, he said. Musk asked the court to rescind the merger agreement and for undisclosed compensatory damages.Are you a Twitter employee or do you have insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com, on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 4th, 2022

Visa to suspend ad payments on MindGeek"s Pornhub amid child pornography lawsuit

Visa is suspending payments for advertisements on Pornhub parent company MindGeek's websites amid a lawsuit that accuses both companies of monetizing child porn. Visa on Thursday announced that it will be suspending Visa services for TrafficJunky, the advertising arm of Pornhub parent company MindGeek amid allegations that the financial services company monetized illegal content on the platform. The announcement came after a California district judge recently decided to allow a lawsuit against Visa and MindGeek alleging that the companies monetized child pornography and violated trafficking laws to proceed after Visa filed a motion to dismiss. "With respect to MindGeek specifically, we suspended sites that contained user-generated content in December 2020 and acceptance on those sites has not been reinstated. Despite what you may have read in recent days, you cannot use your Visa card on Pornhub," Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly Jr. said in a Thursday statement. "The legal decision, with which we disagree, has also created new uncertainty about the role of TrafficJunky, MindGeek’s advertising arm. Accordingly, we will suspend TrafficJunky’s Visa acceptance privileges based on the court’s decision until further notice." He added that during the suspension, "Visa cards will not be able to be used to purchase advertising on any sites including Pornhub or other MindGeek affiliated sites." LAWSUIT ACCUSING PORNHUB PARENT COMPANY MINDGEEK OF MONETIZING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CAN MOVE FORWARD, JUDGE RULES In response to Judge Cormac Carney's order to allow the case to move forward, Kelly emphasized that Visa "strongly" disagrees with the decision and is "confident" in its position that Visa was not complicit in MindGeek's alleged actions because Visa cards were used to purchased advertisements on the company's porn websites such as Pornhub. He added that while he knows the case can take "years," he felt "compelled to speak out" as a "father and grandfather." "Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse," he said. "It is illegal, and Visa does not permit the use of our network for illegal activity. Our rules explicitly and unequivocally prohibit the use of our products to pay for content that depicts nonconsensual sexual behavior or child sexual abuse. We are vigilant in our efforts to deter this and other illegal activity on our network." MASTERCARD, VISA INVESTIGATE PORNHUB BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP FOLLOWING REPORT Judge Carney was required to assume that 100% of the plaintiff's allegations are true in order to make the ruling. "Visa lent to MindGeek a much-needed tool—its payment network—with the alleged knowledge that there was a wealth of monetized child porn on MindGeek’s websites," he wrote. "If Visa was aware that there was a substantial amount of child porn on MindGeek’s sites, which the Court must accept as true at this stage of the proceedings, then it was aware that it was processing the monetization of child porn, moving money from advertisers to MindGeek for advertisements playing alongside child porn like Plaintiff’s videos." Visa alleged in its motion to dismiss that it did not have any substantial influence over MindGeek's operations on its porn websites, but Carney wrote that "Visa quite literally did force MindGeek to operate differently, and markedly so, at least for a time" when it temporarily suspended payments for MindGeek after The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof published a disturbing Dec. 4, 2020, report detailing the abuse of minors and female victims on Pornhub including "child rapes, revenge pornography, spycam videos." The financial services company also stated that it could not be expected to police "the billions of individual transactions it processes each year." But Carter says it is not being asked to do so. "It is simply being asked to refrain from offering the tool with which a known alleged criminal entity performs its crimes. That is not a tall order and does not spell out an existential threat to the financial industry," the judge wrote.  MASTERCARD TACKLES CONSENT ON PORN SITES, REQUIRES BANKS TO CERTIFY MATERIAL AFTER DISTRESSING REPORTS Carter concluded: "Visa is being kept in this case because it is alleged to have continued to recognize as a merchant an immense, well known, and highly visible business that it knew used its websites to host and monetize child porn." Plaintiff Serena Fleites alleges in the lawsuit that when she was 13 years old in 2014, her then-boyfriend pressured her into making an explicit video and then uploaded it to MindGeek's most popular free porn website, Pornhub.com, which reportedly gets more annual website visits than Netflix. GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE  The video apparently garnered 400,000 views by the time Fleites discovered it and continued to be viewed in the weeks it allegedly took for Pornhub to remove it. The complaint further alleges that the video was also downloaded and re-uploaded to the site several times. "Plaintiff’s life spiraled out of control," the lawsuit states. Fleites alleges that she dropped out of school, distanced herself from family and friends, attempted suicide multiple times, and met an older man who introduced her to heroin, while she was still minor.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS "To fund her heroin addiction, Plaintiff—still a minor at this point—created sexually explicit videos at the older man’s behest, who in turn sold the videos on Craigslist. Some of the videos were uploaded to Pornhub and were still available on the website as recently as June 2020," the complaint states, describing the ordeal of removing content as a"whack-a-mole situation" for victims......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsAug 4th, 2022

Real Estate Leaders Face Another Setback in Burnett/Sitzer Lawsuit

As the fight to preserve the agent compensation structure wages on, real estate leaders and advocates were dealt another courtroom loss in a critical antitrust lawsuit with potentially disastrous consequences for the industry. A Missouri federal judge recently denied a motion by HomeServices of America (HSOA), the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), RE/MAX and Keller… The post Real Estate Leaders Face Another Setback in Burnett/Sitzer Lawsuit appeared first on RISMedia. As the fight to preserve the agent compensation structure wages on, real estate leaders and advocates were dealt another courtroom loss in a critical antitrust lawsuit with potentially disastrous consequences for the industry. A Missouri federal judge recently denied a motion by HomeServices of America (HSOA), the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), RE/MAX and Keller Williams to compel arbitration in the Burnett/Sitzer class action lawsuit. U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Bough asserted in a July 19 court order that HomeServices, which initially filed the motion, had “ample opportunity to raise its intention of asserting its arbitration rights” but ultimately waived them by fighting the allegations in federal court. “Having followed this course, must live with the consequences,” Bough wrote in the order. HomeServices did so after Bough granted the plaintiffs a class certification in April, opening the door for hundreds of thousands of home sellers to join in on the case if they paid a broker commission on listings featured on one of four local MLSs named in the lawsuit. At issue is a longstanding multiple listing service (MLS) policy commonly known as the “Participation Rule” or “Buyer Broker Commission Rule,” which mandates that brokers list buyer agent compensation as a prerequisite to listing a property on certain multiple listing services. The home sellers claimed in the case that NAR and industry franchisors conspired to inflate seller costs through the policy. According to Bough’s recent order, plaintiffs—including class representatives Rhonda and Scott Burnett—used Reece & Nichols Realtors, Inc. and BHH KC Real Estate LLC to sell their homes. Both firms, wholly owned by HSOA, used form listing agreements with sellers that included different versions of arbitration agreements through the past eight years. HomeServices contended that it had a right to compel unnamed class members to arbitrate in the case because it has a “close relationship” with both brokerages, and the plaintiffs lumped the three companies together as a single unit in their filing. HomeServices and other defendants tried instead to have the dispute between the brokers and the “unnamed class members” handled by a private arbitrator in federal court and to halt court proceedings until arbitration was completed. Ultimately, the court sided with the plaintiffs, citing a September 2021 decision by the 8th Circuit Court that affirmed that the company had waived its right to arbitration. “We have little doubt about what HomeServices was trying to do,” read an excerpt from the order. “If there was a possibility that the case would end in federal court, it was uninterested in switching to arbitration. Indeed, it has never seriously disputed that it knew about the arbitration clause long before it moved to compel arbitration. Yet it decided to pursue the case in federal court anyway.” The commentary went on to critique HomeServices’ “preference for litigation over arbitration” throughout the lawsuit and suggested that the company tried to keep its right to arbitration “in its back pocket.” “It is not as if HomeServices lacked opportunities along the way,” wrote the 8th Circuit Court. “A party cannot keep a contractual right to arbitration in its back pocket and pull it out only when it is ready for a do-over.” HomeServices declined to comment for this story, but the court order indicates that the company argued that it didn’t waive its rights but was unable to “move to compel arbitration of claims by absent members until the class was certified.” The court decision adds another wrinkle to an already convoluted web of legal battles the real estate industry has faced in recent years. The Burnett/Sitzer case is one of two significant federal antitrust lawsuits targeting the existing agent commission structure and NAR policies that have upheld it. In response to RISMedia requests for comment on the recent court ruling, an NAR spokesperson says that the denial of HSOA’s motion doesn’t impact the case as it stands for the association. “NAR continues to believe the pro-competitive, pro-consumer local MLS broker marketplaces serve the best interests of buyers and sellers,” says Mantill Williams, a spokesman for NAR. Williams adds that “listing brokers making offers of compensation to buyer brokers gives first-time, low/middle-income and all homebuyers a better shot at affording a home and professional representation.” That aligns with arguments made in a recently publicized study that HomeServices commissioned to examine the potential implications of indulging the proposed “decoupling” of agent compensation. The report, which also highlights and criticizes arguments made by plaintiffs and their supporters, found that a commission structure based on buyers paying their agents would significantly suppress homeownership among large segments of the population like minority buyers and those in the low- and middle-income bracket. “The issues at stake here impact all REALTORS® and are not specific to any particular brand,” Williams says. “Because we know we are working in the best interest of consumers, we’re confident we will prevail.” The post Real Estate Leaders Face Another Setback in Burnett/Sitzer Lawsuit appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJul 27th, 2022

Jan. 6 live: Primetime hearing focuses on Trump"s actions during the deadly Capitol riot

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 Thursday's hearing in the Jan. 6 probe is focusing on Trump's actions as his supporters stormed the Capitol. Two administration officials — national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews — are testifying. The panel plans to keep digging through August and with more hearings to come in September. Jan. 6 panel has summertime plansJan. 6 Committee vice-chair Liz CheneySaul Loeb/AFPThe January 6 Committee leaders kicked off Thursday's hearing by outlining their plans for more summertime work as their panel continues its investigation of the 2021 insurrection at the Capitol.Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel's chairman, said via video that there'd be more hearings in September. A few moments later, Rep. Liz Cheney, said the panel plans to spend the August recess "pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts" before turning to additional hearings."The damn has begun to break," Cheney said.   Latest hearing will focus on Trump's reaction to the Capitol riot — and his alleged inaction to stop it.Former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesThe House panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 will hold its eighth hearing on Thursday night.The hearing — scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET — will focus on Trump's actions during the deadly insurrection at the Capitol building.Committee members have argued that Trump knew of the violence and refused to take actions to prevent or stop it, despite the pleas from advisors in his inner circle.Former national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, former deputy press secretary in the Trump administration, are expected to testify.The committee is expected to add to the public's understanding of the critical 187 minutes between when Trump stirred up a crowd of his supporters at the Ellipse to when he posted a video to Twitter asking them to "go home."READ FULL STORYRep. Kinzinger says Trump acted like an angry child during January 6 attackRepublican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois during a hearing on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2021.Ting Shen-Pool/Getty ImagesGOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is expected to play a leading role in Thursday's primetime hearing, will focus on Trump's mindset and actions as he watched his supporters assault law enforcement and desecrate the Capitol.In an interview with The Bulwark, Kinzinger said Trump "was someone who knew exactly what he was doing."Read Full StoryTrump spent most of the January 6 attack watching TV in the White House dining room: new videoFormer President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTrump spent the bulk of his time during the Capitol attack watching reports of the insurrection on TV, according to video testimony given to the January 6 House panel.Ahead of Thursday night's hearing on how Trump reacted to the storming of the Capitol, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a member of the House Select Committee, shared a video compilation of the depositions on Twitter.—Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 21, 2022Read Full StorySecret Service may have violated federal law by deleting messages around January 6The leaders of the January 6 hearings say the Secret Service may have violated federal law by undergoing a process that led to text messages from the time of the Capitol riot to be deleted."The procedure for preserving content prior to this purge appears to have been contrary to federal records retention requirements and may represent a possible violation of the Federal Records Act," a letter from Reps. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney said.So far, the committee had received one text message from the agency.Jan. 6 hearings are 'undoubtedly starting to take a toll' on Trump's popularity, former ambassador saysFormer White House counsel Pat Cipollone is seen on a video display during the seventh hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 12, 2022.Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty ImagesA former ambassador who served during the Trump administration says the former president's popularity is taking a hit as more revelations about Trump's actions before and during the Capitol riot come out.Attorney Randy Evans, who was ambassador to Luxembourg, said the hearings' "steadiness, the repetitiveness, has had a corrosive effect."Evans added it's "all undoubtedly starting to take a toll — how much, I don't know. But the bigger question is whether it starts to eat through the Teflon. There are some signs that maybe it has. But it's too early to say right now."Read MoreSecret Service has only submitted 1 text to the Jan. 6 committee: panel memberThe House panel investigating the Capitol riot has received just one text message from the Secret Service in response to a subpoena, Rep. Zoe Lofgren said."In their letter they gave no indication that they have secured the phones in question and done some forensic work with them. That's something we want to know," Lofgren told MSNBC on Tuesday."Obviously, this doesn't look good ... Coincidences can happen but we really need to get to the bottom of this and get a lot more information than we have currently."Read Full StoryJan. 6 panel subpoenas Secret Service for text messages as DHS watchdog accuses agents of deleting them after being askedA US Secret Service agent takes position outside the White House in November 2020.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot has issued a subpoena to the US Secret Service after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general accused the agency of deleting text messages after being asked.Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairperson, said in a Friday letter to Secret Service director James Murray that the panel was seeking text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021.Thompson mentioned three previous requests for information, sent in January, March, and August of last year, pertaining to all communications between DHS officials and then-President Donald Trump about the Capitol riot.Read Full StoryThe Jan. 6 witness Trump tried to call is a White House support staffer, reports sayThe Jan. 6 committee witness whom former President Donald Trump is alleged to have tried to contact is a White House support staffer, reports say. At Tuesday's hearing, committee member Rep. Liz Cheney claimed that Trump sought to contact a witness who had not appeared publically, in what she characterized as a form of witness tampering. CNN first reported, citing two sources, that Trump made the call to the witness after the June 28 testimony by another witness, the former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson.According to the report, the support staffer was in a position to corroborate parts of Hutchinson's testimony, and had been providing evidence to the committee. NBC News later said it had confirmed CNN's reporting. Neither outlet named the person.Read Full StoryWatergate star witness predicts criminal charges after latest Jan. 6 testimony: 'Trump is in trouble'Former White House Counsel John Dean testifying on Capitol Hill on June 10, 2019.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesJohn Dean, a key witness in the Watergate investigation, said that former President Donald Trump and others will likely face legal repercussions from evidence presented at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing. In an interview with CNN, Dean highlighted testimony by former members of extremist group the Oath Keepers, who were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol.Dean described them as "really classic authoritarian followers, following the leader."He argued that the testimony proves the extent to which the rioters believed they had been sent by Trump, which he said could be used by prosecutors were they to bring charges against the former president.Read Full StoryTrump 'liked the crazies' and wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander as Jan. 6 rally speakers despite red flags raised, former spokesperson saysKatrina Pierson, a former campaign spokesperson for Donald Trump and one of the organizers of the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally, said Trump wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander to speak at the event despite the "red flags" they raised.On Tuesday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, played a video of Pierson's testimony to the panel in which Pierson commented on Trump's love for "crazies" like Jones and Alexander."Yes, I was talking about President Trump. He loved people who viciously defended him in public," Pierson said in her deposition.Read Full StoryPhoto shows Mark Meadows escorting Rudy Giuliani from the White House following 'UNHINGED' West Wing meeting about 2020 election resultsA photo that Cassidy Hutchinson took of Mark Meadows leading Rudy Giuliani away from the Oval Office.Courtesy of CSPANFormer Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had to escort former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani from the Oval Office following a chaotic, late-night December 2020 West Wing meeting about the election results, according to new January 6 testimony.Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive testimony stunned Washington last month, shared with the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot a photo she took of Meadows leading  Giuliani away from the Oval Office following the turbulent gathering, which was the site of a face-off between Trump's legal allies and White House lawyers over efforts to promote the then-president's baseless claims of election fraud, according to testimony.The January 6 panel shared the photo alongside real-time text messages Hutchinson was sending from the meeting during its seventh live hearing on Tuesday. READ FULL STORYFormer Twitter employee feared people were going to die on January 6A former Twitter employee told the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol that activity on the platform raised concerns that there would be deadly violence in Washington on January 6.The former employee, whose voice was obscured in a recording played during Tuesday's hearing, testified about trying and failing to get the company to intervene as former President Donald Trump's extremist supporters used the platform to repeat his statements about the upcoming protests to the 2020 election results.On the night of January 5, the employee testified about slacking a colleague, a message to the effect of, "When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried."The former employee was on a team responsible for platform and content moderation policies during 2020 and 2021.READ FULL STORYOath Keepers attorney used the 'Queer Eye' loft kitchen from Season 3 as her video background before the January 6 committeeOath Keepers attorney Kellye SoRelle.C-SPANTestifying remotely before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, the Oath Keepers' attorney and acting president used a green screen background from the Netflix show "Queer Eye."Erin Ryan, host of Crooked Media's "Hysteria" podcast, tweeted out a screenshot of the remote deposition from Oath Keepers acting president Kellye SoRelle alongside an image from the third season of the streaming series, which Ryan said she found from a reverse Google image search.READ FULL STORYRep. Liz Cheney ends hearing with bombshell: Donald Trump called a witness in the House January 6 investigationFormer President Donald Trump called a witness in the congressional inquiry into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday, prompting House investigators to notify the Justice Department. "After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation. A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call and, instead, alerted their lawyer to the call," said Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, in a bombshell revelation that concluded the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing."Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice," she added. "Let me say one more time: We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously."READ FULL STORYThe January 6 investigators obtained a video of Roger Stone reciting the Proud Boys' 'Fraternity Creed,' the first step for initiation to the extremist groupAn image of Roger Stone is shown on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via APNew details emerged at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing on the close ties between Roger Stone and extremist groups, including that the longtime Donald Trump confidante was recorded reciting the Proud Boys' so-called "Fraternity Creed." Rep. Jamie Raskin, who co-chaired the public hearing, described reciting the creed as "the first level of initiation" into the far-right group, five members of which are scheduled to be tried on seditious conspiracy charges in December.  "Stone's ties to the Proud Boys go back many years," Raskin said. "He's even taken their so-called "Fraternity Creed," required for the first level of initiation to the group."Video then played showing Stone in a crowded outdoor setting, saying, "Hi, I'm Roger Stone. I'm a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for the creation of the modern world." READ FULL STORYTrump planned to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol on January 6, according to a draft tweetThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Tuesday revealed a draft tweet in which President Donald Trump called on his supporters to go to the US Capitol after his speech on January 6, 2021."I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!" Trump wrote in the draft tweet, which is undated.Trump never sent the tweet, but its existence, along with other messages exchanged between rally organizers, offer proof that the march to the Capitol was premeditated, the January 6 committee said.Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida presented the evidence during Tuesday's hearing, and said: "The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather it was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president."READ FULL STORYTrump's ex-campaign manger Brad Parscale said in private texts that Trump is to blame for Capitol rioter's deathIn a series of texts revealed at the 7th hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, President Donald Trump's former campaign manger Brad Parscale suggested in a message to former Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson that Trump's words led to the death of a capitol rioter.Messages show Pierson tried to push back, writing that "it wasn't the rhetoric.""Katrina," Parscale wrote back. "Yes it was."Read Full StoryPat Cipollone suggested Pence should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom for refusing to block the Electoral Collage count certificationA video of Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via AP"I think the vice president did the right thing, I think he did the courageous thing," Cipollone said in testimony revealed at the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing on Tuesday. "I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Pence."Cipollone added that he didn't think Pence had any "legal authority" to do anything other than refuse to give into President Donald Trump's pressure campaign and interfere with the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021.Read Full Story  11 House Republicans met with Trump to strategize overturning the election results on January 6, and 5 of them later asked for pardonsAccording to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, a member of the January 6 committee, several Republicans met at the White House on December 21, 2020, as part of an effort to "disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6."Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani were all at the meeting, along with President Donald Trump.According to White House visitor logs, Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Florida, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Rep-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia all attended the meeting.Read Full StoryFormer Twitter employee tells January 6 committee that Trump received special treatment from TwitterAn evidence tweet is shown on a screen during a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. - The House committee probing the 2021 assault on the US Capitol is examining connections between associates of former US President Donald Trump and far right-wing extremist groups at its seventh hearing on Tuesday.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images"I believe that Twitter relished in the knowledge that they were also the favorite and most used service of the former president and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem," the former Twitter employee told investigators in testimony aired in Tuesday's hearing of the congressional committee investigating January 6.The employee, whose identity was kept secret, was introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin as having worked on Twitter's content moderation team from 2020 to 2021.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson texted a fellow White House aide 'the west wing is UNHINGED' as Oval Office meeting almost devolved into a brawlCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesAccording to messages released by the House January 6 committee, Hutchinson texted the message to another top aide, Anthony Ornato.It was sent amid the scene of a December 2020 Oval Office meeting as Trump attorney Sidney Powell and White House lawyers clashed over efforts to push Trump's debunked election fraud claims. Read Full Story Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone 'set a new land speed record' trying to break up a meeting between Trump, Michael Flynn, and Overstock's CEO, Sidney Powell saidDemocratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the committee members leading Tuesday's January 6 hearing, said former President Donald Trump, election lawyer Sidney Powell, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, had met to discuss an ongoing effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election.Powell told investigators in previously recorded testimony, however, that the group had "probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes" with Trump before Pat Cipollone, then the White House Counsel, intercepted the meeting."I bet Pat Cipollone set a new land speed record," Powell quipped.Rep. Jamie Raskin says the 'oldest domestic enemy' of US democracy' is 'whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections'Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., left, listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite"The problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in America," Raskin said in his opening statement during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.He mentioned a time during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, when an 1837 racist mob in Alton, Illinois, during which rioters broke into an abolitionist newspaper's office and murdered the paper's editor, Elijah Lovejoy."If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, Lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work," Raskin said.Read Full StoryConvicted Capitol rioter testifying in front of the committee warned that a 'Civil War will ensue' if Trump got robbed in 2020Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty last month to disorderly conduct in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is set to testify in from to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.His testimony is expected to underscore how Trump summoned supporters to Washington DC on the day Congress was scheduled to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.On December 26, 2020, Ayres posted to Twitter: "If the [deep state] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!" It was posted days after Trump called for a "big protest" in his own tweet.Read Full StoryEx-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was against Trump naming Sidney Powell special counselA video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteIn previously unseen footage from his deposition to the House Select Committee last Friday, Cipollone spoke about Powell being Trump's pick to be special counsel for the Department of Justice to investigate repeatedly disproven wide spread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election."I was vehemently opposed," Cipollone said when asked about Powell being made special counsel. "I didn't think she should've been appointed to anything."Read Full StoryRep. Jamie Raskin says Trump 'electrified and galvanized' his extremist supporters with a tweet calling for a 'big protest'Jamie Raskin listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteRaskin, a Maryland Democrat, referenced a December 19, 2020, tweet from Trump during the House's January 6 committee hearing on Tuesday."Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump's tweet said. "Be there, will be wild!" Raskin said that Trump's tweet spurred on "the dangerous extremists in the Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government.""Here were thousands of enraged Trump followers, thoroughly convinced by the Big Lie who traveled from across the country to join Trump's wild rally to 'stop the steal,'" he added. "With the proper incitement by political leaders, and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the Capitol, confront the vice president in Congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results."Read Full Story  Ivanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost re-election 'probably prior' to a formal Electoral Collage vote in December 2020Ivanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost the 2020 presidential election likely before a formal Electoral College vote on December 14, 2020."Was that an important day for you? Did that affect your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end to this administration?" an attorney for the committee asked Ivanka Trump in video taped testimony."I think it was my sentiment, probably prior as well," Ivanka Trump said in response.Read Full StoryPat Cipollone's testimony 'met our expectations," Cheney saysFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee vice chair and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified before the panel — and that his testimony "met our expectations."The House committee then aired several clips of Cipollone's sworn testimony at the start of their seventh hearing on Tuesday.Cipollone told the January 6 committee that he agreed Trump should concede the 2020 election and that he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden fair and square.  Read Full StoryCheney: Trump is 'not an impressionable child'GOP Rep. Liz CheneyAP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)GOP Rep. Liz Cheney pushed back on excuses for former President Donald Trump's actions during the Capitol riot, saying he was not simply misled about his election lies but knew they were false."President Trump is a 76-year-old man," Cheney said as the January 6 committee began its hearing on Tuesday. "He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices."Cheney said evidence shows Trump was warned "over and over" that there was no sign of widespread election fraud."No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion," she said, "and Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind."Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee's next hearing expected to link Trump even more closely to the Capitol attackLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesFrom its very first hearing, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made a point of connecting former President Donald Trump to the violence of that day.A month later, the House panel is poised to delve even deeper. At its next public hearing, set for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the committee is expected to focus on how the violent pro-Trump mob coalesced on January 6 and the involvement of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.Committee aides said Monday during a background call with reporters that the panel's seventh hearing would underscore how a single tweet from Trump mobilized his supporters, proving a "pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by Proud Boys.""Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted on December 19, 2020. "Be there, will be wild!"READ FULL STORYCassidy Hutchinson's testimony jolted the DOJ into focusing on Trump in its Jan 6 investigation, report saysCassidy Hutchinson testifying before the Jan. 6 committee on June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTestimony by Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson sparked debate among top Justice Department officials about Donald Trump's potential criminal culpability for the Capitol riot, The New York Times reported. The June 28 testimony by the former White House aide prompted officials to discuss Trump's actions on January 6, 2021, and questions about potential legal ramifications for the former president, sources told The Times. Present at some of the discussions were Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the report said. Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson and Rep. Liz Cheney have forged an 'unlikely bond' amid January 6 testimony process, per reportCassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive January 6 testimony stunned Washington last month, has found a friend and ally in Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has been ostracized from the GOP for criticizing the former president and serving as vice-chair on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, according to The New York Times.The two Republican women — both on the outs with the party's overwhelming Trump faction — have developed an unlikely bond in recent weeks as the January 6 panel riot zeroes in on increasingly damning testimony against former President Donald Trump.The congresswomen admires Hutchinson's dedication to country over personal power, according to The Times. "I have been incredibly moved by young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the Jan. 6 committee," Cheney said in a recent speech at the Reagan Library.Read Full Story A bad day for Steve BannonSteve Bannon asked to delay his mid-July trial by at least three months.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesMonday was not a good day in court for Steve Bannon.The former Trump aide lost on several key pre-trial motions ahead of his upcoming July 18 federal trial on contempt of Congress charges.U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled from the bench that Bannon's defense attorneys couldn't use several of their planned arguments. Nichols also denied Bannon's bid to have the trial date delayed.Insider's Ryan Barber was at the courthouse in Washington, DC, and has more in his dispatch linked below. Read Full Story'That mob on the Mall'An Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana.William Campbell/Corbis via Getty ImagesWe've got a handy preview for you on Tuesday's next big House January 6 hearing, which will focus on the right-wing extremist groups that in the words of Rep. Adam Schiff helped lead "that mob on the Mall." Laura Italiano breaks down the five potential bombshells she'll be looking out for when the panel convenes at 1 pm. Check out what those are here:Read Full Story The most shocking revelations from the January 6 committee's first hearings on the Capitol attackCassidy 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 PhotoThe next January 6 committee hearing is scheduled for July 12, at 10 a.m. ET.Catch up on the biggest revelations from the public hearings thus far.Read Full StoryTeasing new witnesses, Rep. Adam Kinzinger says of Trump and his allies: 'They're all scared. They should be.'Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesIn a series of Sunday tweets, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Donald Trump and his allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are "scared" following last week's testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6 select committee. "This BIPARTISAN committee has been able to find out things that up until recently were denied by the Jan 6th truthers, so they are left with trying to discredit a young woman with more courage than they could muster in a lifetime. Except… that isn't working," Kinzinger tweeted."Cassidy doesn't seek the limelight, but she is compelled with honor. She didn't even have to swear an oath to the constitution like Kevin, Elise, Kristi Noem and others did. But she volunteered to come under oath to tell what she knows. She is a better person than them all. "Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the January 6 panel won't 'stand by' and let 'men who are claiming executive privilege' attack Cassidy Hutchinson's characterCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testify during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview that aired on Sunday reaffirmed her confidence in former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and said that the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol wouldn't sit by idly and let her endure anonymous attacks.While sitting down with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Wyoming Republican expressed confidence in Hutchinson and the credibility of future hearings."What Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure," she said."The Committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege. And so we look forward very much to additional testimony under oath on a whole range of issues," she added.Read Full StoryKinzinger says new witnesses have been coming forward to the Jan. 6 committee since Cassidy Hutchinson's 'inspiring' testimonyRep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesRep. Adam Kinzinger says that more witnesses have come forward since Cassidy Hutchinson's blockbuster testimony during the Jan 6. hearings last week.  "She's been inspiring for a lot of people," Kinzinger said Sunday on CNN's  "State of the Union." "Every day, we get new people that come forward and say, 'hey, I didn't think maybe this piece of the story that I knew was important, but now that you guys are talking' — I do see this plays in here."Hutchinson, an ex-aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed in front of the Jan. 6 committee shocking details of former president Donald Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol attack, including that he attempted to grab the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at one of his Secret Service agents, as Insider's Grace Panetta previously reported. "I mean, look, she is going to go down in history," Kinzinger said, referring to the 25-year-old. "People can forget the names of every one of us on the committee. They will not forget her name. And, by the way, she doesn't want that. She doesn't want to be out in the public spotlight."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the Jan. 6 committee could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against TrumpU.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 in an interview broadcast on Sunday said that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against former President Donald Trump.During an interview on ABC's "This Week," Cheney — who serves as the vice-chair of the panel — was asked by correspondent Jonathan Karl if the work conducted by its members has shown that Trump's conduct warrants prosecution."Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that," the Wyoming Republican said. "I think we may well as a committee have a view on that."She continued: "If you just think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat — when the Congress is under threat? It's just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we've found."Read Full StoryDOJ 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: smallbizSource: nytJul 21st, 2022

"I hate that Black bitch!" Donald Trump"s lawyer recently shouted about NY AG Letitia James: lawsuit

Alina Habba, Trump's busiest lawyer, was also caught on tape dropping 'N' bombs while singing along to gangsta rap, as a former employee alleges. Alina Habba, left, and Michael Madaio, attorneys for former president Donald Trump, in Midtown Manhattan on May 9, 2022.Matthew Cronin / Insider Donald Trump's busiest lawyer, Alina Habba, is being sued for alleged racist behavior by an ex-employee. Na'Syia Drayton alleges Habba recently called the NY AG who's investigating Trump's business a 'Black bitch.' Habba is on tape dropping 'N' bombs while singing along to rap to 'energize' herself before hearings, Drayton's lawyer alleges. A lawyer for Donald Trump is being accused of "racist" office behavior by an ex-employee, including allegedly shouting "I hate that Black bitch!" about the New York Attorney General Letitia James after losing a court case. The New Jersey-based attorney, Alina Habba, is also on tape dropping "N" bombs while rapping bombastically along to gangsta rap recordings that blasted in her Bedminster law offices, according to the lawyer beyind a lawsuit filed this week in Middlesex County, New Jersey.The audio tapes — duets, apparently, which also feature Habba's law partner Michael Madaio rapping along — may become public as part of her client's new lawsuit, said Jaqueline Tillmann, the Princeton lawyer repping former Habba employee Na'Syia Drayton."We are contemplating amending the complaint and adding one or two of the recordings as exhibits," Tillmann told Insider Thursday.Habba, arguably the former president's busiest lawyer, made the "Black bitch" slur two months ago, in the midst of representing Trump in contentious, high-stakes litigation surrounding James' ongoing probe of the Trump Organization.Habba identifies as Arab American; law partner Madaio is white; their firm, Habba Madaio & Associates, is based in the same weathy Jersey town as the Trump National Golf Club.The AG is Black, as is the former Habba employee who is bringing the lawsuit, Drayton, 27, of Fords, New Jersey.Drayton's lawsuit says she was racially harassed and discriminated against; she seeks unspecified back pay, lost future wages and other damages."When Defendant Alina Habba learned that she lost her matter," the lawsuit says of an unspecified April court loss to James, "and that the Judge rejected her legal argument, Defendant Alina Habba emerged irate from her office, (where she and Defendant Michael Madaio were meeting) and shouted, 'I HATE THAT BLACK BITCH!'" the lawsuit says."Thereafter, Defendant Alina Habba began parading around the office seething about the judge, and complaining that she had lost her argument," the lawsuit says, leaving Drayton feeling "appalled" and "astonished." "Na'Syia was shocked that her supervisor would say that, and feel comfortable saying that around her," said Tillmann, of Lewis Tillmann Law Offices.The racism accusation has flown both ways:  April also happens to be the month that Trump twice accused James of being racist, including in a bizarre "Happy Easter" post online that provided no basis for the label.The "that Black bitch!" slur is presented in the lawsuit as the final straw of inappropriate behavior at Habba's law firm, prompting Drayton's resignation on June 14.  There were plenty of other straws, Drayton alleges."You people like fried chicken," Habba once told her loudly while perusing the menu during a staff luncheon, Drayton says in the lawsuit.In another instance, a Jewish co-worker was allegedly casually referred to by Habba as "a cheap Jew." Habba and Madaio also had the "inappropriate and offensive" habit of dropping "N" bombs while "loudly" rapping along to "booming" rap music in the office, something the two engaged in increasingly this year to "energize, motivate and otherwise 'pump themselves up' prior to making court appearances," the lawsuit alleges.The partners' playlist included "what is generally perceived and classified as gangster and hip-hop music," including Ruff Ryders Anthem by DMX; Niggas in Paris by Kanye West and Jay-Z; and Rich Ass Fuck and Lollipop by Lil Wayne.The "racially offensive and sexually inappropriate" lyrics to the songs were attached to Drayton's lawsuit as "Exhibit A." Drayton's concerns, once voiced, were met with "emotional, animated, and aggressive" combativeness by Habba, she alleges, including criticism for her being "hyper-sensitive" and "ungrateful." "I am a fucking minority myself!" Habba allegedly shouted back at Drayton. "I'm not white," Habba allegedly continued. "I used to be bullied because I am Arab." The lawsuit says Habba vehemently defended her right to enjoy hip hop in the office, declaring, "Everybody listens to Kanye West — and I'm not allowed to?"Habba allegedly went on, "Do you understand how I feel now?! I love hip-hop — always have, always will ... I'm taking serious offense to this, frankly." "She really fully expected that when she complained, Alina would take corrective action," Drayton's lawyer told Insider."She didn't believe that Alina would agree with her, but she expected a change in behavior. This was an easy fix for any employer who was reasonably sensitive."Just which legal loss to James may have prompted the alleged "that Black bitch!" remark was left unstated in the lawsuit. Drayton's lawyer said her client wasn't privy to the details.But April was a busy month for litigation between Trump, the Trump Organization and the AG's office, with Trump on the losing end of much of it. The AG is wrapping up a three-year probe into what her office has called a decade-long pattern of financial misstatements in documents used by Trump to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans and tax breaks.In one noteworthy loss, Habba argued unsuccessfully against Trump being ordered held in contempt of court for failing to fully comply with James' subpoeana for his personal business documents.During hearings over the contempt matter, Habba made no secret  of being irritated by the AG's document demands — and even by the demands of the judge."If you would like a bunch more affadavits, you can order that," Habba snapped angrily at New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, during a March hearing on the matter. "You can order anything you like."  "I don't want to do this dance back and forth," she told a pair of James' lawyers at another hearing. "I don't have more documents to to give you so you can fine us for ten months but you're not going to get any more documents from Mr. Trump."Habba has accused James, a Democrat, of singling out Trump for political reasons, and on a Newsmax appearance in January she called James "a sick person." In addition to the AG probe, Habba reps Trump as a defendant in lawsuits filed by Michael Cohen and by protesters of Mexican heritage who allege Trump sicced his security on them outside Manhattan's Trump Tower in 2015. The latter case is set for jury selection in the Bronx on Monday.Habba also reps Trump as a plaintiff, including in his failed federal lawsuit seeking to shut down James' probe, and in his massive lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, alleging an "unthinkable plot" to tie his 2016 presidential campaign to Russia.A spokesperson for James declined to say what, if anything, the AG would do in response to the lawsuit.But it's doubtful the ex-employee's accusations — which are being strenuously denied by Habba — will have any impact on the probe, which has already been delayed by the death of Trump's first wife, Ivana.A new date for court-ordered depositions by Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump, Jr., originally set for this week, has yet to be set. Habba is strongly denying the allegations of racism in the lawsuit, which was first reported by the Daily Beast."Na'Syia is someone we love and care about and have for years," Habba said in a statement responding to the lawsuit. In addition to this year's eight-month stint, Drayton had worked with Habba pre-pandemic at a previous Jersey law firm. "Na'Syia had never made a single complaint to anyone until she had decided to quit and ask for an exorbitant amount of money in return. I am disappointed by this lawsuit and the allegations which are simply not true."  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 21st, 2022

Jan. 6 live: Latest hearing will focus on Trump"s actions during the deadly Capitol riot

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 Thursday's hearing in the Jan. 6 probe will focus on Trump's actions as his supporters stormed the Capitol. Two administration officials — national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews — are expected to testify. The panel has also called for the Secret Service to turn over text messages sent around the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Latest hearing will focus on Trump's reaction to the Capitol riot — and his alleged inaction to stop it.Former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition during their annual conference on June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.Seth Herald/Getty ImagesThe House panel investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 will hold its eighth hearing on Thursday night.The hearing — scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET — will focus on Trump's actions during the deadly insurrection at the Capitol building.Committee members have argued that Trump knew of the violence and refused to take actions to prevent or stop it, despite the pleas from advisors in his inner circle.Former national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, former deputy press secretary in the Trump administration, are expected to testify.Trump spent most of the January 6 attack watching TV in the White House dining room: new videoFormer President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTrump spent the bulk of his time during the Capitol attack watching reports of the insurrection on TV, according to video testimony given to the January 6 House panel.Ahead of Thursday night's hearing on how Trump reacted to the storming of the Capitol, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a member of the House Select Committee, shared a video compilation of the depositions on Twitter.—Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 21, 2022Read Full StorySecret Service may have violated federal law by deleting messages around January 6The leaders of the January 6 hearings say the Secret Service may have violated federal law by undergoing a process that led to text messages from the time of the Captiol riot to be deleted."The procedure for preserving content prior to this purge appears to have been contrary to federal records retention requirements and may represent a possible violation of the Federal Records Act," a letter from Reps. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney said.So far, the committee had received one text message from the agency.Jan. 6 hearings are 'undoubtedly starting to take a toll' on Trump's popularity, former ambassador saysFormer White House counsel Pat Cipollone is seen on a video display during the seventh hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 12, 2022.Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty ImagesA former ambassador who served during the Trump administration says the former president's popularity is taking a hit as more revelations about Trump's actions before and during the Capitol riot come out.Attorney Randy Evans, who was ambassador to Luxembourg, said the hearings' "steadiness, the repetitiveness, has had a corrosive effect."Evans added it's "all undoubtedly starting to take a toll — how much, I don't know. But the bigger question is whether it starts to eat through the Teflon. There are some signs that maybe it has. But it's too early to say right now."Read MoreSecret Service has only submitted 1 text to the Jan. 6 committee: panel memberThe House panel investigating the Capitol riot has received just one text message from the Secret Service in response to a subpoena, Rep. Zoe Lofgren said."In their letter they gave no indication that they have secured the phones in question and done some forensic work with them. That's something we want to know," Lofgren told MSNBC on Tuesday."Obviously, this doesn't look good ... Coincidences can happen but we really need to get to the bottom of this and get a lot more information than we have currently."Read Full StoryJan. 6 panel subpoenas Secret Service for text messages as DHS watchdog accuses agents of deleting them after being askedA US Secret Service agent takes position outside the White House in November 2020.J. Scott Applewhite/AP PhotoThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot has issued a subpoena to the US Secret Service after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general accused the agency of deleting text messages after being asked.Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairperson, said in a Friday letter to Secret Service director James Murray that the panel was seeking text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021.Thompson mentioned three previous requests for information, sent in January, March, and August of last year, pertaining to all communications between DHS officials and then-President Donald Trump about the Capitol riot.Read Full StoryThe Jan. 6 witness Trump tried to call is a White House support staffer, reports sayThe Jan. 6 committee witness whom former President Donald Trump is alleged to have tried to contact is a White House support staffer, reports say. At Tuesday's hearing, committee member Rep. Liz Cheney claimed that Trump sought to contact a witness who had not appeared publically, in what she characterized as a form of witness tampering. CNN first reported, citing two sources, that Trump made the call to the witness after the June 28 testimony by another witness, the former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson.According to the report, the support staffer was in a position to corroborate parts of Hutchinson's testimony, and had been providing evidence to the committee. NBC News later said it had confirmed CNN's reporting. Neither outlet named the person.Read Full StoryWatergate star witness predicts criminal charges after latest Jan. 6 testimony: 'Trump is in trouble'Former White House Counsel John Dean testifying on Capitol Hill on June 10, 2019.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesJohn Dean, a key witness in the Watergate investigation, said that former President Donald Trump and others will likely face legal repercussions from evidence presented at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing. In an interview with CNN, Dean highlighted testimony by former members of extremist group the Oath Keepers, who were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol.Dean described them as "really classic authoritarian followers, following the leader."He argued that the testimony proves the extent to which the rioters believed they had been sent by Trump, which he said could be used by prosecutors were they to bring charges against the former president.Read Full StoryTrump 'liked the crazies' and wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander as Jan. 6 rally speakers despite red flags raised, former spokesperson saysKatrina Pierson, a former campaign spokesperson for Donald Trump and one of the organizers of the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally, said Trump wanted Alex Jones and Ali Alexander to speak at the event despite the "red flags" they raised.On Tuesday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, played a video of Pierson's testimony to the panel in which Pierson commented on Trump's love for "crazies" like Jones and Alexander."Yes, I was talking about President Trump. He loved people who viciously defended him in public," Pierson said in her deposition.Read Full StoryPhoto shows Mark Meadows escorting Rudy Giuliani from the White House following 'UNHINGED' West Wing meeting about 2020 election resultsA photo that Cassidy Hutchinson took of Mark Meadows leading Rudy Giuliani away from the Oval Office.Courtesy of CSPANFormer Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had to escort former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani from the Oval Office following a chaotic, late-night December 2020 West Wing meeting about the election results, according to new January 6 testimony.Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive testimony stunned Washington last month, shared with the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot a photo she took of Meadows leading  Giuliani away from the Oval Office following the turbulent gathering, which was the site of a face-off between Trump's legal allies and White House lawyers over efforts to promote the then-president's baseless claims of election fraud, according to testimony.The January 6 panel shared the photo alongside real-time text messages Hutchinson was sending from the meeting during its seventh live hearing on Tuesday. READ FULL STORYFormer Twitter employee feared people were going to die on January 6A former Twitter employee told the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol that activity on the platform raised concerns that there would be deadly violence in Washington on January 6.The former employee, whose voice was obscured in a recording played during Tuesday's hearing, testified about trying and failing to get the company to intervene as former President Donald Trump's extremist supporters used the platform to repeat his statements about the upcoming protests to the 2020 election results.On the night of January 5, the employee testified about slacking a colleague, a message to the effect of, "When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried."The former employee was on a team responsible for platform and content moderation policies during 2020 and 2021.READ FULL STORYOath Keepers attorney used the 'Queer Eye' loft kitchen from Season 3 as her video background before the January 6 committeeOath Keepers attorney Kellye SoRelle.C-SPANTestifying remotely before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, the Oath Keepers' attorney and acting president used a green screen background from the Netflix show "Queer Eye."Erin Ryan, host of Crooked Media's "Hysteria" podcast, tweeted out a screenshot of the remote deposition from Oath Keepers acting president Kellye SoRelle alongside an image from the third season of the streaming series, which Ryan said she found from a reverse Google image search.READ FULL STORYRep. Liz Cheney ends hearing with bombshell: Donald Trump called a witness in the House January 6 investigationFormer President Donald Trump called a witness in the congressional inquiry into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday, prompting House investigators to notify the Justice Department. "After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation. A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call and, instead, alerted their lawyer to the call," said Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, in a bombshell revelation that concluded the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing."Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice," she added. "Let me say one more time: We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously."READ FULL STORYThe January 6 investigators obtained a video of Roger Stone reciting the Proud Boys' 'Fraternity Creed,' the first step for initiation to the extremist groupAn image of Roger Stone is shown on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via APNew details emerged at Tuesday's January 6 committee hearing on the close ties between Roger Stone and extremist groups, including that the longtime Donald Trump confidante was recorded reciting the Proud Boys' so-called "Fraternity Creed." Rep. Jamie Raskin, who co-chaired the public hearing, described reciting the creed as "the first level of initiation" into the far-right group, five members of which are scheduled to be tried on seditious conspiracy charges in December.  "Stone's ties to the Proud Boys go back many years," Raskin said. "He's even taken their so-called "Fraternity Creed," required for the first level of initiation to the group."Video then played showing Stone in a crowded outdoor setting, saying, "Hi, I'm Roger Stone. I'm a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for the creation of the modern world." READ FULL STORYTrump planned to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol on January 6, according to a draft tweetThe House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Tuesday revealed a draft tweet in which President Donald Trump called on his supporters to go to the US Capitol after his speech on January 6, 2021."I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!" Trump wrote in the draft tweet, which is undated.Trump never sent the tweet, but its existence, along with other messages exchanged between rally organizers, offer proof that the march to the Capitol was premeditated, the January 6 committee said.Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida presented the evidence during Tuesday's hearing, and said: "The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather it was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president."READ FULL STORYTrump's ex-campaign manger Brad Parscale said in private texts that Trump is to blame for Capitol rioter's deathIn a series of texts revealed at the 7th hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, President Donald Trump's former campaign manger Brad Parscale suggested in a message to former Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson that Trump's words led to the death of a capitol rioter.Messages show Pierson tried to push back, writing that "it wasn't the rhetoric.""Katrina," Parscale wrote back. "Yes it was."Read Full StoryPat Cipollone suggested Pence should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom for refusing to block the Electoral Collage count certificationA video of Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.Doug Mills/Pool via AP"I think the vice president did the right thing, I think he did the courageous thing," Cipollone said in testimony revealed at the House January 6 committee's seventh public hearing on Tuesday. "I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Pence."Cipollone added that he didn't think Pence had any "legal authority" to do anything other than refuse to give into President Donald Trump's pressure campaign and interfere with the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021.Read Full Story  11 House Republicans met with Trump to strategize overturning the election results on January 6, and 5 of them later asked for pardonsAccording to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, a member of the January 6 committee, several Republicans met at the White House on December 21, 2020, as part of an effort to "disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6."Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani were all at the meeting, along with President Donald Trump.According to White House visitor logs, Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Florida, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Rep-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia all attended the meeting.Read Full StoryFormer Twitter employee tells January 6 committee that Trump received special treatment from TwitterAn evidence tweet is shown on a screen during a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. - The House committee probing the 2021 assault on the US Capitol is examining connections between associates of former US President Donald Trump and far right-wing extremist groups at its seventh hearing on Tuesday.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images"I believe that Twitter relished in the knowledge that they were also the favorite and most used service of the former president and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem," the former Twitter employee told investigators in testimony aired in Tuesday's hearing of the congressional committee investigating January 6.The employee, whose identity was kept secret, was introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin as having worked on Twitter's content moderation team from 2020 to 2021.Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson texted a fellow White House aide 'the west wing is UNHINGED' as Oval Office meeting almost devolved into a brawlCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesAccording to messages released by the House January 6 committee, Hutchinson texted the message to another top aide, Anthony Ornato.It was sent amid the scene of a December 2020 Oval Office meeting as Trump attorney Sidney Powell and White House lawyers clashed over efforts to push Trump's debunked election fraud claims. Read Full Story Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone 'set a new land speed record' trying to break up a meeting between Trump, Michael Flynn, and Overstock's CEO, Sidney Powell saidDemocratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the committee members leading Tuesday's January 6 hearing, said former President Donald Trump, election lawyer Sidney Powell, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, had met to discuss an ongoing effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election.Powell told investigators in previously recorded testimony, however, that the group had "probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes" with Trump before Pat Cipollone, then the White House Counsel, intercepted the meeting."I bet Pat Cipollone set a new land speed record," Powell quipped.Rep. Jamie Raskin says the 'oldest domestic enemy' of US democracy' is 'whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections'Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., left, listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite"The problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in America," Raskin said in his opening statement during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.He mentioned a time during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, when an 1837 racist mob in Alton, Illinois, during which rioters broke into an abolitionist newspaper's office and murdered the paper's editor, Elijah Lovejoy."If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, Lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work," Raskin said.Read Full StoryConvicted Capitol rioter testifying in front of the committee warned that a 'Civil War will ensue' if Trump got robbed in 2020Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty last month to disorderly conduct in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is set to testify in from to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack.His testimony is expected to underscore how Trump summoned supporters to Washington DC on the day Congress was scheduled to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.On December 26, 2020, Ayres posted to Twitter: "If the [deep state] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!" It was posted days after Trump called for a "big protest" in his own tweet.Read Full StoryEx-White House counsel Pat Cipollone was against Trump naming Sidney Powell special counselA video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteIn previously unseen footage from his deposition to the House Select Committee last Friday, Cipollone spoke about Powell being Trump's pick to be special counsel for the Department of Justice to investigate repeatedly disproven wide spread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election."I was vehemently opposed," Cipollone said when asked about Powell being made special counsel. "I didn't think she should've been appointed to anything."Read Full StoryRep. Jamie Raskin says Trump 'electrified and galvanized' his extremist supporters with a tweet calling for a 'big protest'Jamie Raskin listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteRaskin, a Maryland Democrat, referenced a December 19, 2020, tweet from Trump during the House's January 6 committee hearing on Tuesday."Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump's tweet said. "Be there, will be wild!" Raskin said that Trump's tweet spurred on "the dangerous extremists in the Oathkeepers, the Proud Boys and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government.""Here were thousands of enraged Trump followers, thoroughly convinced by the Big Lie who traveled from across the country to join Trump's wild rally to 'stop the steal,'" he added. "With the proper incitement by political leaders, and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the Capitol, confront the vice president in Congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results."Read Full Story  Ivanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost re-election 'probably prior' to a formal Electoral Collage vote in December 2020Ivanka Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesIvanka Trump told the House January 6 committee that she believed her father lost the 2020 presidential election likely before a formal Electoral College vote on December 14, 2020."Was that an important day for you? Did that affect your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end to this administration?" an attorney for the committee asked Ivanka Trump in video taped testimony."I think it was my sentiment, probably prior as well," Ivanka Trump said in response.Read Full StoryPat Cipollone's testimony 'met our expectations," Cheney saysFormer White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesJanuary 6 committee vice chair and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified before the panel — and that his testimony "met our expectations."The House committee then aired several clips of Cipollone's sworn testimony at the start of their seventh hearing on Tuesday.Cipollone told the January 6 committee that he agreed Trump should concede the 2020 election and that he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden fair and square.  Read Full StoryCheney: Trump is 'not an impressionable child'GOP Rep. Liz CheneyAP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)GOP Rep. Liz Cheney pushed back on excuses for former President Donald Trump's actions during the Capitol riot, saying he was not simply misled about his election lies but knew they were false."President Trump is a 76-year-old man," Cheney said as the January 6 committee began its hearing on Tuesday. "He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices."Cheney said evidence shows Trump was warned "over and over" that there was no sign of widespread election fraud."No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion," she said, "and Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind."Read Full StoryJan. 6 committee's next hearing expected to link Trump even more closely to the Capitol attackLawmakers on the House January 6 committee will air the inquiry's findings during a public hearing Thursday.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesFrom its very first hearing, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made a point of connecting former President Donald Trump to the violence of that day.A month later, the House panel is poised to delve even deeper. At its next public hearing, set for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the committee is expected to focus on how the violent pro-Trump mob coalesced on January 6 and the involvement of far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.Committee aides said Monday during a background call with reporters that the panel's seventh hearing would underscore how a single tweet from Trump mobilized his supporters, proving a "pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by Proud Boys.""Big protest in D.C. on January 6th," Trump tweeted on December 19, 2020. "Be there, will be wild!"READ FULL STORYCassidy Hutchinson's testimony jolted the DOJ into focusing on Trump in its Jan 6 investigation, report saysCassidy Hutchinson testifying before the Jan. 6 committee on June 28, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoTestimony by Jan. 6 witness Cassidy Hutchinson sparked debate among top Justice Department officials about Donald Trump's potential criminal culpability for the Capitol riot, The New York Times reported. The June 28 testimony by the former White House aide prompted officials to discuss Trump's actions on January 6, 2021, and questions about potential legal ramifications for the former president, sources told The Times. Present at some of the discussions were Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the report said. Read Full StoryCassidy Hutchinson and Rep. Liz Cheney have forged an 'unlikely bond' amid January 6 testimony process, per reportCassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump White House aide whose explosive January 6 testimony stunned Washington last month, has found a friend and ally in Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has been ostracized from the GOP for criticizing the former president and serving as vice-chair on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, according to The New York Times.The two Republican women — both on the outs with the party's overwhelming Trump faction — have developed an unlikely bond in recent weeks as the January 6 panel riot zeroes in on increasingly damning testimony against former President Donald Trump.The congresswomen admires Hutchinson's dedication to country over personal power, according to The Times. "I have been incredibly moved by young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the Jan. 6 committee," Cheney said in a recent speech at the Reagan Library.Read Full Story A bad day for Steve BannonSteve Bannon asked to delay his mid-July trial by at least three months.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesMonday was not a good day in court for Steve Bannon.The former Trump aide lost on several key pre-trial motions ahead of his upcoming July 18 federal trial on contempt of Congress charges.U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled from the bench that Bannon's defense attorneys couldn't use several of their planned arguments. Nichols also denied Bannon's bid to have the trial date delayed.Insider's Ryan Barber was at the courthouse in Washington, DC, and has more in his dispatch linked below. Read Full Story'That mob on the Mall'An Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana.William Campbell/Corbis via Getty ImagesWe've got a handy preview for you on Tuesday's next big House January 6 hearing, which will focus on the right-wing extremist groups that in the words of Rep. Adam Schiff helped lead "that mob on the Mall." Laura Italiano breaks down the five potential bombshells she'll be looking out for when the panel convenes at 1 pm. Check out what those are here:Read Full Story The most shocking revelations from the January 6 committee's first hearings on the Capitol attackCassidy 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 PhotoThe next January 6 committee hearing is scheduled for July 12, at 10 a.m. ET.Catch up on the biggest revelations from the public hearings thus far.Read Full StoryTeasing new witnesses, Rep. Adam Kinzinger says of Trump and his allies: 'They're all scared. They should be.'Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesIn a series of Sunday tweets, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Donald Trump and his allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are "scared" following last week's testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6 select committee. "This BIPARTISAN committee has been able to find out things that up until recently were denied by the Jan 6th truthers, so they are left with trying to discredit a young woman with more courage than they could muster in a lifetime. Except… that isn't working," Kinzinger tweeted."Cassidy doesn't seek the limelight, but she is compelled with honor. She didn't even have to swear an oath to the constitution like Kevin, Elise, Kristi Noem and others did. But she volunteered to come under oath to tell what she knows. She is a better person than them all. "Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the January 6 panel won't 'stand by' and let 'men who are claiming executive privilege' attack Cassidy Hutchinson's characterCassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, arrives to testify during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6th insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRep. Liz Cheney in an interview that aired on Sunday reaffirmed her confidence in former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and said that the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol wouldn't sit by idly and let her endure anonymous attacks.While sitting down with ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Wyoming Republican expressed confidence in Hutchinson and the credibility of future hearings."What Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure," she said."The Committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege. And so we look forward very much to additional testimony under oath on a whole range of issues," she added.Read Full StoryKinzinger says new witnesses have been coming forward to the Jan. 6 committee since Cassidy Hutchinson's 'inspiring' testimonyRep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesRep. Adam Kinzinger says that more witnesses have come forward since Cassidy Hutchinson's blockbuster testimony during the Jan 6. hearings last week.  "She's been inspiring for a lot of people," Kinzinger said Sunday on CNN's  "State of the Union." "Every day, we get new people that come forward and say, 'hey, I didn't think maybe this piece of the story that I knew was important, but now that you guys are talking' — I do see this plays in here."Hutchinson, an ex-aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed in front of the Jan. 6 committee shocking details of former president Donald Trump's behavior on the day of the Capitol attack, including that he attempted to grab the steering wheel of his SUV and lunged at one of his Secret Service agents, as Insider's Grace Panetta previously reported. "I mean, look, she is going to go down in history," Kinzinger said, referring to the 25-year-old. "People can forget the names of every one of us on the committee. They will not forget her name. And, by the way, she doesn't want that. She doesn't want to be out in the public spotlight."Read Full StoryLiz Cheney says the Jan. 6 committee could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against TrumpU.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 in an interview broadcast on Sunday said that the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol could potentially make multiple criminal referrals, including one against former President Donald Trump.During an interview on ABC's "This Week," Cheney — who serves as the vice-chair of the panel — was asked by correspondent Jonathan Karl if the work conducted by its members has shown that Trump's conduct warrants prosecution."Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that," the Wyoming Republican said. "I think we may well as a committee have a view on that."She continued: "If you just think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat — when the Congress is under threat? It's just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we've found."Read Full StoryDOJ 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 21st, 2022

Adam Neumann is back with a new crypto-climate scheme

The biggest story in tech right now is that investors are cashing in on a lucrative industry with a dubious track record of actually doing any good. Fancy seeing you here. Adam Neumann has resurfaced with a new crypto scheme that aims to tackle the climate crisis, and experts are sharing how to become a digital nomad.I'm Jordan Parker Erb, and I'm here to walk you through it. Let's dive in.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.Rachel Mendelson/Insider1. Adam Neumann is back. This time, the WeWork cofounder is behind Flowcarbon, a company that claims its crypto token will help fund projects aimed at decarbonizing the world and fighting the climate crisis. Flowcarbon plans to sell a cryptocurrency backed by carbon credits called the Goddess Nature Token. And while carbon credits are a lucrative industry, they have a dubious track record of actually doing any good.In short, even as companies were scooping up carbon credits to avoid having to reduce emissions at the source, the credits haven't delivered the promised emissions reductions. Now, investors like Neumann are trying to cash in on the growing market segment, even as its actual benefits remain murky.However, Flowcarbon has already suffered setbacks, as the company decided to "wait for markets to stabilize" before launching its products, as per the Wall Street Journal. Inside the new climate scheme investors like Neumann are cashing in on.In other news:Britta Pedersen/Getty Images; Twitter; Rachel Mendelson/Insider2. Twitter won its first battle in its lawsuit with Elon Musk. Musk and Twitter's legal teams squared off in court for the first time yesterday, and a judge agreed to move the case forward on an "expedited" schedule. The case will go to trial in October — a step that could set Twitter up for future wins.3. Amazon banned Plan B sellers from buying ads on its platform days after the Roe v. Wade reversal. After the Supreme Court's decision, Amazon banned some sellers of abortion-inducing drugs and morning-after pills from advertising on the platform, according to an internal document seen by Insider. What we know about the changes.4. Netflix lost nearly 1 million subscribers last quarter. While that number beat its expectation of losing 2 million subscribers, it still marks two consecutive quarters of subscriber losses — a first in the streamer's history. Get the rundown on Netflix's earnings.5. Meet 32 startup founders who are also active startup investors. Founders of startups like Cityblock Health and Deel are still investing in their fellow entrepreneurs, even as they're building their own company. They share what they look for in startup investments.6. Uber will pay over $2 million to disabled riders after charging them with waiting fees. After the DOJ sued Uber over its waiting time fee policy, saying it discriminated against disabled riders, Uber has agreed to pay $2 million — and it could have to pay millions more.7. The digital-nomad lifestyle is more accessible than ever. With advancements in tech and more than 40 countries offering digital-nomad visas, more people are starting a digital-based lifestyle. We spoke with experts who explained how to become someone who can work from anywhere.8. Microsoft Teams could be the next social network. Microsoft is launching Viva Engage, an app within Teams that looks like Facebook (it'll even include Instagram-like Stories) and is meant to encourage social networking while at work. More on Microsoft's new social network.Odds and ends:Monticello/Shutterstock9. A new game in Google Meet helps kill time while you wait for meetings to start. "The Robot Game" is an endless runner game, just like Google Chrome's Dinosaur Game — and the longer you play, the harder and faster it gets. Here's how to play.10. Chevrolet is taking on Ford's Mustang Mach-E with a new electric Blazer. With up to 320 miles of range, the $45,000 electric Blazer is one of several electric models General Motors has coming down the pike — get a look at it here.What we're watching today:Tesla, XM, and others are reporting earnings. Keep up with earnings here.A year ago today, Jeff Bezos flew to space with Blue Origin.Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 20th, 2022

An Arizona man is suing a clinic that provided abortion pills to his ex-wife 4 years ago

A judge allowed the Arizona man to create an estate for the 7-week-old unborn fetus that had been terminated through abortion four years ago. Peter Dazeley/Getty Images Mario Villegas sued a Phoenix clinic for giving his then-wife abortion pills four years ago. In 2019, he filed a petition to become the representative of the terminated seven-week-old embryo, according to ProPublica. "All he wants to do is make sure it doesn't happen to another father," his attorney said. An Arizona man is suing the clinic that gave his ex-wife abortion pills — nearly four years after the termination. Mario Villegas and his then-wife went to get an abortion in July 2018 at a Phoenix, Arizona, clinic, ProPublica reported. The next year, Villegas heard about a man who had sued an Alabama clinic after creating an estate for the terminated six-week-old embryo. He then set out to do something similar, according to ProPublica. He filed a petition to be appointed as the representative to the "Baby Villegas" estate in August 2020, prompting his wife to seek legal aid.J. Stanley Martineau, an Arizona attorney who represents Villegas, argued in court documents that his ex-wife did not give a valid form of consent to the abortion.The clinic did not obtain her "informed consent because they did not tell her of the immediate and long-term medical risks associated with abortion that a reasonable patient would consider material, including the loss of the intense and emotionally satisfying maternal bond and relationship inherent in birthing and raising that child," the lawsuit says. But Villegas's ex-wife signed four consent documents, ProPublica reported, including checking a box that said "I am comfortable with my decision to terminate this pregnancy."Villegas, according to ProPublica, has begun to refer to and consider the terminated embryo as a girl. But Villegas and his then-wife had never learned the sex of the embryo, which was terminated at seven weeks in 2018.In court filings reviewed by ProPublica, the woman said she and her ex-husband had been talking about getting a divorce even at the time of the abortion. "We were not happy together at all," she said in a deposition filing.Her attorney, Louis Silverman, argued in 2021 court filings that the move to petition to become the embryo's representative violated her constitutional right to an abortion. "U.S. Supreme Court precedent has long protected the constitutional right of a woman to obtain an abortion, including that the decision whether to do so belongs to the woman alone — even where her partner, spouse, or ex-spouse disagrees with that decision," Silverman said, according to ProPublica. The Supreme Court last month overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion a constitutional right nationwide, leaving the legality of abortion in the hands of individual states. By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court has essentially made it illegal in at least 22 states to obtain an abortion. Additional restrictions are expected in several other states.Martineau, Villegas' attorney, said he's not interested in winning any financial damages. "All he wants to do is make sure it doesn't happen to another father," Martineau said, per ProPublica.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 16th, 2022