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The Wall Street Journal: Tesla countersues California agency that filed racial discrimination suit against it

Tesla Inc. has countersued the California agency that filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the company, alleging that the government organization violated state law in bringing about the suit......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchSep 22nd, 2022

The Tucker Carlson origin story

Tucker Carlson's journey from prep school provocateur to Fox News flamethrower, according to his friends and former classmates. Tucker Carlson during a CNN National Town Meeting on coverage of the White House sex scandal, on January 28, 1998.Richard Ellis/Getty Images Tucker Carlson is remembered as a provocateur and gleeful contrarian by those who knew him in his early days. His bohemian artist mother abandoned her young family and cut Tucker and his brother out of her will. At a Rhode Island prep school and at Trinity College, classmates remember him as a skilled debater who could both amuse and infuriate his audiences. On Oct. 29, 1984, New York police killed an elderly Black woman named Eleanor Bumpurs in her own home. Bumpers, who lived in a public housing complex in the Bronx, had fallen four months behind on her rent. When officials from the city housing authority tried to evict her, she refused, and they called the police. Five officers responded by storming into her apartment. Bumpurs, who had a history of mental illness, grabbed a butcher knife as two officers pushed her against a wall with their plastic shields and a metal pole. A third officer fired two shots from his 12-gauge shotgun, striking Bumpurs in her hand and chest.Eleanor Bumpurs' death dominated the city's news for two months and led the NYPD to revise its guidelines for responding to emotionally disturbed individuals.At St. George's prep school, some 175 miles away in Rhode Island, the incident deeply haunted Richard Wayner. He was one of the school's few Black students and had grown up in a residential tower not far from where Bumpurs had lived. He earned straight As and was so admired that in 1984 his peers elected him senior prefect, the prep equivalent of student body president, making him the first Black class leader in the school's 125-year history. Harvard soon beckoned.Wayner was frustrated with how the St. George's community seemed to ignore the conversations about racial justice that were happening outside the cloistered confines of Aquidneck Island. It bothered Wayne that almost no one at St. George's seemed to know anything about Bumpurs' killing. "You had your crew, you put your head down, and you tried to get through three or four years of prep school with your psyche intact," Wayner said of those days.As senior prefect, one of the duties was to deliver an address each week at the mandatory Sunday chapel service. One Sunday, perched from the chapel podium, Wayner described the shooting as a sea of white faces stared back at him. He concluded with the words: "Does anyone think that woman deserved to die?"Near the front of the chapel, a single hand went up for a few brief seconds. It was Tucker Carlson.Eleanor Bumpurs was shot and killed by the New York Police Department on October 29, 1984APThen a sophomore, Tucker had a reputation as a gleeful contrarian – an indefatigable debater and verbal jouster who, according to some, could also be a bit of a jerk. "Tucker was just sort of fearless," said Ian Toll, a St. George's alumnus who would go on to be a military historian. "Whether it was a legitimate shooting may have been a point of debate but the fact was that Tucker was an underclassmen and the culture was to defer to the seniors." Wayner himself never saw Tucker's hand go up, and the two kept in touch over the years. (Note on style: Tucker Carlson and the members of his family are referred to here by their first names to avoid confusion.)  Four decades later, glimmers of that prep school provocateur appear on Tucker's Prime Time show on Fox, which garners an average of between 3 to 4 million viewers a night. His furrowed visage and spoiling-for-a-fight demeanor are all too familiar to those who have known him for decades. In the words of Roger Stone, a Republican political operative, frequent guest, and longtime friend of Tucker's: "Tucker Carlson is the single most influential conservative journalist in America… It is his courage and his willingness to talk about issues that no one else is willing to cover that has led to this development."Tucker's name has even been floated as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024. "I mean, I guess if, like, I was the last person on earth, I could do it. But, I mean, it seems pretty unlikely that I would be that guy." he said on the "Ruthless" podcast in June, dismissing this possibility.Tucker's four decades in Washington, and his transition from conservative magazine writer to right-wing television pundit, have been well documented. But less well known are his early years and how they shaped him: his bohemian artist mother, who abandoned her young family and cut Tucker and his brother out of her will; the Rhode Island prep school where he met his future spouse; and his formation into a contrarian debater who could both amuse and infuriate his audience with his attention-getting tactics.Tucker declined to participate in an interview with Insider, saying in a statement. "Your level of interest in the boring details of my life is creepy as hell, and also pathetic," he wrote. "You owe it to yourself and the country to do something useful with your talents. Please reassess."California roots Tucker Carlson's West Coast roots burrow as deep as a giant redwood. He was born in San Francisco in May 1969 as the excesses of the Sixties peaked and the conservative backlash to the counterculture and the Civil Rights movement started to take shape. Tucker's mother, Lisa McNear Lombardi, born in San Francisco in 1945, came from one of the state's storied frontier families. Lisa's mother, Mary Nickel James, was a cattle baron heiress. Her great-great-grandfather had owned 3 million acres of ranchland, making him among the largest landowners west of the Mississippi. Her father Oliver Lombardi was an insurance broker and descendant of Italian-speaking Swiss immigrants. Lisa enrolled at UC Berkeley, where she majored in architecture. She met Richard Carlson, a San Francisco TV journalist from a considerably less prosperous background, while still in college. Lisa and Richard eloped in Reno, Nevada in 1967. The couple didn't notify Lisa's mother, who was traveling in Europe with her new husband at the time. "Family members have been unable to locate them to reveal the nuptials," a gossip item published in the San Francisco Examiner dished.Tucker arrived two years later. A second son, Buckley, was born two years after that. As Richard's career began to flourish, the family moved first to Los Angeles and then, in 1975, to La Jolla, a moneyed, beach-front enclave about 12 miles north of San Diego. When Lisa and Richard divorced a year later, in 1976, Richard got full custody of their sons, then 6 and 4. According to three of Tucker's childhood classmates, Lisa disappeared from her sons' lives. They don't recall Tucker talking about her, or seeing her at school events. Marc Sterne, Tucker's boarding school roommate who went on to be executive producer of the Tony Kornheiser Show, says the two didn't talk much about Tucker's relationship with his mother and he got the impression that Tucker and Richard were exceptionally close. When Sterne's own parents split up that year, he said Tucker was supportive and understanding. Lisa spent the next two decades as an artist – moving first to Los Angeles, where she befriended the painter David Hockney, and later split her time between France and South Carolina with her husband, British painter Michael Vaughan. In 1979, Richard Carlson married Patricia Swanson, heiress to the Swanson frozen foods empire that perfected the frozen Salisbury steak for hassle-free dinners. She soon legally adopted Tucker and Buckley.  When Lisa died in 2011, her estate was initially divided equally between Tucker, his brother Buckley, and Vaughan. But in 2013, Vaughan's daughter from another marriage found a one-page handwritten document in Lisa's art studio in France that left her assets to her surviving husband with an addendum that stated, "I leave my sons Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson and Buckley Swanson Peck Carlson one dollar each." A protracted battle over Lombardi's estate involving Vaughan and the Carlson brothers wound up in probate court. The Carlsons asserted the will was forged but a forensic witness determined that Lisa had written the note. The case eventually went to the California Appellate Court, which allowed the Carlson brothers to keep their shares in 2019."Lisa was basically sort of a hippie and a free spirit," said one attorney who  represented the Vaughan family and recalled having conversations about the case. "She was very liberal and she did not agree with Tucker's politics. But she stuck the will in the book, everyone forgot about it, and then she passed away."In a 2017 interview with The New Yorker, Tucker described the dissolution of his family as a "totally bizarre situation — which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all." Several pieces of art produced by Tucker's mother, Lisa Lombardi, and her then-partner Mo Mcdermott in the home of a California collector.Ted Soqui for InsiderLisa When Lisa left her husband and two young sons, she was escaping suburban family life in favor of the more bohemian existence as an artist. One of Tucker and Buckley's former teachers said their mother's absence "left some sour grapes." "I felt they sided with the father," Rusty Rushton, a former St. George's English teacher said. After the divorce, Lisa returned to Los Angeles and tried to break into the city's thriving contemporary art scene. She befriended Mo McDermott, an LA-based British sculptor, model, and longtime assistant to David Hockney, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A few years before he met Lisa, the scene was captured in Jack Hazan's 1974 groundbreaking documentary "A Bigger Splash," which followed Hockney and his coterie of gay male friends idly lounging around the pool in his Hollywood Hills home."When love goes wrong, there's more than two people who suffer," said McDermott, playing a slightly exaggerated version of himself, in a voiceover in the documentary.Lisa and McDermott became a couple and Lisa won admission into Hockney's entourage. Hockney lived a far more reclusive lifestyle than his pop art compatriot Andy Warhol but some four dozen or so artists, photographers, and writers regularly passed through his properties."She was more like a hippie, arty kind of person. I couldn't ever imagine her being a mother," said Joan Quinn, the then-West Coast editor of Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, who knew Lisa during those years and still owns several of her works. "She was very nervous all the time… She was ill-content."The pair were often seen at Hockney's Hollywood Hills home and at Friday night gallery openings on La Cienega Boulevard. They collaborated on playful, large-scale wood sculptures of animals, vegetables, and trees. A handful of their pieces could be seen around Hockney's hillside ranch."Hockney had me over to meet them. He wanted a gallery to handle their work," said Molly Barnes, who owns a gallery in West Hollywood and gave the pair shows in 1983 and 1984. "They were brilliant and David loved Mo. He thought they were the best artists around.""She was quiet and intellectual and somewhat withdrawn," Barnes said. "She had come from a lot of money and that reflected on her personality. She wasn't a snob in any way but she had the manners of a private school girl and someone who was fighting the establishment."A sculpture by Tucker's mother, Lisa Lombardi, and her then-partner Mo Mcdermott in the home of a California collector.Ted Soqui for InsiderNone of them recall Lisa discussing her two sons. McDermott died in 1988. After his death, Hockney discovered that McDermott had been stealing drawings from him and selling them. Hockney said the betrayal helped bring on a heart attack. "I believe I had a broken heart," Hockney told The Guardian in 1995. (Hockney did not answer multiple inquiries about Lisa or McDermott.)In 1987, Lisa met Vaughan, one of Hockney's peers in the British art scene known as the "Bradford Mafia." They married in February 1989 and for years afterward they lived in homes in the Pyrenees of southwest France and South Carolina's Sea Islands.Lisa continued to make art, primarily oversized, wooden sculptures of everyday household items like peeled lemons and dice, but she exhibited her work infrequently. She died of cancer in 2011, at which point Carlson was a decade into his media career and a regular contributor on Fox News. Richard In contrast to Lisa's privileged upbringing, Richard's childhood was full of loss. Richard's mother was a 15-year-old high school girl who had starved herself during her pregnancy, and he was born with a condition called rickets. Six weeks later, his mother left him at an orphanage in Boston called The Home for Little Wanderers. Richard's father, who was 18, tried to convince her to kidnap the infant and marry him, but she refused. He shot and killed himself two blocks from her home.A Massachusetts couple fostered Richard for two years until he was adopted by a wool broker and his wife, which he described in a 2009 reflection for the Washington Post. His adoptive parents died when he was still a teenager and Richard was sent to the Naval Academy Preparatory School. He later enlisted in the Marines and enrolled in an ROTC program at the University of Mississippi to pay for college.In 1962, Richard developed an itch for journalism while working as a cop in Ocean City, Maryland at the age of 21, and the future NBC political correspondent Catherine Mackin, helped him get a copy boy job at the Los Angeles Times. Richard moved to San Francisco three years later and his career blossomed. He started producing television news features with his friend, Lance Brisson, the son of actress Rosalind Russell. They filmed migrant farm workers in the Imperial Valley living in cardboard abodes in 110 degree weather, traipsed the Sierra Nevada mountains to visit a hermit, and covered the Zodiac Killer and Bay Area riots (during one demonstration in 1966, they sent television feeds from their car where they trapped for four hours  and a crowd roughed up Brisson, which required four stitches under his left eye). Another time, they rented a helicopter in search of a Soviet trawler but they had to jump into the Pacific Ocean when the chopper ran low on fuel near the shore and crashed.In 1969, Richard and Brisson co-wrote an article for Look Magazine that claimed San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto had mafia ties. Alioto sued the magazine's owner for libel and won a $350,000 judgment when a judge determined the article's allegations were made with "actual malice" and "reckless disregard for whether they were true or not." (Richard was not a defendant in the case and has stood by his story. Brisson declined an interview.)Richard moved back to Los Angeles to join KABC's investigative team two years later. One series of stories that delved into a three-wheeled sports car called the Dale and the fraudulent marketing practices of its founder, Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael, won a Peabody award in 1975. The series also outed Carmichael as a transgender woman. (Richard's role in Carmichael's downfall was explored in the HBO documentary "The Lady and the Dale.") Soon after arriving as an anchor for KFMB-TV, San Diego's CBS affiliate, Richard ran a story revealing that tennis pro Renee Richards, who had just won a tournament at the La Jolla Tennis Club, was a transgender woman."I said, 'You can't do this. I am a private person,'" Richards, who years later would advise Caitlyn Jenner about her transition, urged the television journalist to drop his story, according to a 2015 interview. "His reply? 'Dr. Richards, you were a private person until you won that tournament yesterday.'" By the time he left the anchor chair in 1977 to take a public relations job with San Diego Savings and Loan, Richard had soured on journalism. "I have seen a lot of arrogance and hypocrisy in the press and I don't like it," he told San Diego Magazine in 1977. "Television news is insipid, sophomoric, and superficial… There are so many things I think are important and interesting but the media can be counted on to do handstands on that kind of scandal and sexual sensation."Years later, Richard said that he never tried to encourage his eldest son in politics or journalism, but that Tucker had a clear interest in both from an early age. "I never thought he was going to be a reporter or a writer. I never encouraged him to do that," Richard told CSPAN of his eldest son in 2006. "I actually attempted not to encourage him politically, either. I decided those are the things that should be left up to them."A LaJolla, California post card.Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty ImagesA La Jolla childhoodAfter the divorce, Richard and his boys stayed in La Jolla in a house overlooking the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Friends of Tucker's would later say that the trauma of their mother's absence brought the three of them closer together.  "They both really admired their dad. He was a great source of wisdom. He's one of the great raconteurs you'll ever meet. They loved that glow that came from him," said Sterne, Tucker's boarding school roommate. "They both looked up to him, it was clear from my eyes."In an essay included in his book "The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism," Tucker described Richard as a kind parent who imbued family outings with a deeper message.One of Tucker's earliest memories, he writes, was from just after the divorce, when Tucker was seven and Buckley was five: the brothers gripping the edge of a luggage rack on the roof of his family's 1976 Ford Country Squire station wagon, while their father gunned the engine down a dirt road."I've sometimes wondered what car surfing was meant to teach us," Tucker wrote. "Was he trying to instill in us a proper sense of fatalism, the acknowledgement that there is only so much in life you can control? Or was it a lesson about the importance of risk?... Unless you're willing to ride the roof of a speeding station wagon, in other words, you're probably not going to leave your mark on the world."More often, the boys were left unsupervised and found their own trouble. Tucker once took a supermarket shopping cart and raced it down a hill in front of their house with Buckley in its basket. The cart tipped over, leaving Buckley with a bloody nose. He also recalled building makeshift hand grenades with hydrochloric acid and aluminum foil – using a recipe from their father's copy of "The Anarchist Cookbook"  and tossing them onto a nearby golf course."No one I know had a father like mine," Tucker wrote. "My father was funnier and more outrageous, more creative  and less willing to conform, than anyone I knew or have known since. My brother and I had the best time growing up."Richard sent Tucker to La Jolla Country Day, an upscale, largely white private school with a reputation as one of the best in Southern California, for elementary and middle school. In his book, "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution," Tucker described his first grade teacher Marianna Raymond as "a living parody of earth-mother liberalism" who "wore long Indian-print skirts," and sobbed at her desk over the world's unfairness. "As a conservative, I had contempt for the whiny mawkishness of liberals. Stop blubbering and teach us to read. That was my position," he wrote. "Mrs. Raymond never did teach us; my father had to hire a tutor to get me through phonics.""I beg to differ," Raymond countered in an interview, saying that she was also Tucker's tutor during the summer after first grade and was even hired again. "I'm a great teacher. I'm sure he liked me." For her part, she remembered Tucker as a fair-haired tot who was "very sweet" and "very polite." (When The Washington Post reached out her her, she said Carlson's characterization had been "shocking.")  Friends from La Jolla remember that Tucker loved swimming the mile-and-a-half distance between La Jolla Shores Park and La Jolla Cove, jumping off cliffs that jut out into the Pacific Ocean, riffing on the drums, and playing Atari and BB gun games at the mall with his friends. "He was a happy kid. We were young, so we used to go to the beach. We did normal kid stuff," said Richard Borkum, a friend who is now a San Diego-based attorney. When they weren't at the beach or the mall, Borkum and another friend, Javier Susteata, would hang out at the Carlson home listening to The Who, AC/DC, and other classic rock bands. Borkum said the adults at the Carlson household largely left them alone. "I'm Jewish and Javier was Mexican and I'm not sure they were too happy we were going to their house," Borkum said.Another friend, Warren Barrett, remembers jamming with Tucker and going snow camping at Big Bear and snorkeling off Catalina Island with him in middle school."Tucker and I literally ate lunch together every day for two years," Barrett said. "He was completely the opposite of now. He was a cool southern California surfer kid. He was the nicest guy, played drums, and had a bunch of friends. And then something must have happened in his life that turned him into this evil diabolical shithead he is today."LaJolla is a upscale beach community outside of San Diego. Carlson and his family moved their in 1975.Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesSan Diego's next mayorRichard, meanwhile, was exploring a second career in public service. By 1980, he had risen to vice president of a bank headed by Gordon Luce, a California Republican power broker and former Reagan cabinet official. The following year, Richard's public profile got a boost when he tangled with another veteran television journalist, CBS's Mike Wallace. The 60 Minutes star had interviewed Richard for a story about low-income Californians who faced foreclosures from the bank after borrowing money to buy air conditioners without realizing they put their homes up for collateral. Richard had his own film crew tape the interview, and caught Wallace saying that people who had been defrauded were "probably too busy eating their watermelon and tacos." The remark made national headlines and Wallace was forced to apologize.Pete Wilson, the U.S. Senator and former San Diego mayor, encouraged Richard to run for office. In 1984, Richard entered the race to challenge San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock's re-election. "He was a very well-regarded guy," Hedgecock told Insider. "He had an almost Walter Cronkite-like appearance, but because he was in local news he was all about not offending anybody. He didn't have particularly strong views. He was nice looking, articulate, and made good appearances, but what he had to say was not particularly memorable other than he wanted me out of office."Sometimes Tucker tagged along for campaign events. "He would always show up in a sport coat, slacks and a bowtie and I thought that's really nice clothing for someone who is a kid," Hedgecock remembers. He was a very polite young man who didn't say much."Five days before voters went to the polls, Hedgecock went on trial for 15 counts of conspiracy and perjury, an issue that Richard highlighted in his television campaign ads. Richard still lost to Hedgecock 58 to 42 percent despite pouring nearly $800,000 into the race and outspending Hedgecock two to one. (Hedgecock was found guilty of violating campaign finance laws and resigned from office in 1985 but his convictions were overturned on appeal five years later.)People are seen near a beach in La Jolla, California, on April 15, 2020.Gregory Bull/AP PhotoPrep school In the fall of 1983, a teenaged Tucker traded one idyllic beachfront community for another.At 14, Tucker moved across the country to Middletown, Rhode Island, to attend St. George's School. (Buckley would follow him two years later.) The 125-year-old boarding school sits atop a hill overlooking the majestic Atlantic Ocean, and is on the other side of Aquidneck Island where Richard Carlson went to naval school. The private school was known as a repository for children of wealthy East Coast families who were not as academically inclined as those who attended Exeter or Andover. Its campus had dorms named after titans of industry, verdant athletic fields, and a white-sand beach.Senators Claiborne Pell and Prescott Bush graduated, as did Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and poet Ogden Nash. Tucker's class included "Modern Family" actor Julie Bowen; Dede Gardner, the two-time Oscar-winning producer of "12 Years a Slave" and "Moonlight"; and former DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson. Billy Bush – "Extra" host, and cousin to George W. Bush – was three years behind him.Tuition at St. George's cost $13,000 per year in the 1980s (it's now up to $67,000 for boarding school students) and student schedules were tightly regimented with breakfast, classes, athletics, dinner, and study hall encompassing each day. Students were required to take religion classes, and attend chapel twice a week. Faculty and staff would canvass the dorms on Thursdays and Sundays to ensure no one skipped the Episcopal service. Tucker impressed his new chums as an hyper-articulate merrymaker who frequently challenged upperclassmen who enforced dorm rules and the school's liberal faculty members."He was kind of a California surfer kid. He was funny, very intelligent, and genuinely well-liked," said Bryce Traister, who was one year ahead of Tucker and is now a professor at the University of British Columbia. "There were people who didn't like Tucker because they thought he was a bullshitter but he was very charming. He was a rascal and a fast-talker, as full of shit as he is today."Back then Tucker was an iconoclast more in the mold of Ferris Bueller than preppy neocon Alex P. Keaton, even if his wardrobe resembled the "Family Ties" star. Students were required to wear jackets, ties, and khakis, although most came to class disheveled. Tucker wore well-tailored coats and chinos, pairing his outfit with a ribbon-banded watch and colorful bowtie which would later become his signature. "He was always a very sharp dresser. He had a great rack of ties. He always knew how to tie a bowtie but he didn't exclusively wear a bowtie," said Sterne, Tucker's freshman year roommate. "He always had great clothes. It was a lot of Brooks Brothers." Their crew crew held court in each others' dorm rooms at Auchincloss, the freshman hall, kicking around a Hacky Sack and playing soccer, talking about Adolph Huxley, George Orwell, and Hemingway, and dancing to Tom Petty, the Grateful Dead, and U2 on the campus lawn. Televisions weren't allowed so students listened to their Sony Walkman swapping cassette recordings of live concerts. Tucker introduced several bands to his friends."He loved classic rock and he was and still is a big fan of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead," said Sterne, who saw a Dead show with Tucker at RFK Stadium in 1986.Sometimes the clique got slices at Aquidneck Pizza and played arcade games in town, hung out in history instructor William Schenck's office, and smoked pot and Marlborough Red cigarettes on a porch in the main building's common room that faced the ocean, according to multiple sources. When the school administrators banned smoking indoors the following year so they congregated behind the dumpster behind the dining hall. Vodka (often the brand Popov) mixed with Kool-Aid was the drink of choice and students stockpiled bottles under their beds.Tucker was an enthusiastic drinker, half a dozen classmates recall. In his book, "The Long Slide," Tucker credits Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" for enticing him to try drugs in 10th grade, The experience gave him "double vision and a headache." By the time he got to college, Tucker writes, "I switched to beer."By the late 1990s Tucker stopped smoking. He eventually cut alcohol too in 2002 after drinking so much while covering George W. Bush in New Hampshire during the 2000 primary that he accidentally got on the wrong plane, according to a friend.Most of Tucker's fellow students remember him best as a skilled speaker."He was always eager to take the less palatable side of the argument and argue that side," said Mahlon Stewart, who attended prep school and college with Tucker and is now a geriatric specialist at Columbia University. "Back then it was comedic. I thought it was an act.""His confidence was just amazing. He could just put out some positions and be willing to argue anything no matter how outlandish," Keller Kimbrough, a former classmate who's now a professor at the University of Colorado. "We were talking about politics and religion one time Tucker pulled this card out of his wallet and said, 'Well actually I'm an ordained minister, I'm an authority on the subject.' This was a stunt. He could literally play the religion card." "When he got the job at Fox I just thought 'Wow that's perfect for him, that's exactly what he can do.'"Their dorm room discourses were never serious. Tucker would pick a side in a debate between whether the color red or blue were better, and the crowd would erupt whenever he made a good point, friends said.  "Even at age 15 he was verbally dexterous and a great debater," Ian Toll said. "His conservative politics was fully formed even back then. He believed in strong defense and minimal government."His teachers saw a pupil who was primed for law school."Language and speaking came naturally to him. He took pleasure in it," said Rusty Rushton, Tucker's former English teacher. Tucker's politics, though, "seemed fluid to me," Rushton said. "I don't think of him as a deeply ensconced ideologue."He ditched soccer after sophomore year to act in a school theater production of Ayn Rand's courtroom thriller "Night of January 16th" (Julie Bowen starred as the prosecuting attorney. Tucker played a juror). But Tucker found his voice in competitive debate when he eventually joined the school's debate club. The team traveled to other private school campuses to compete against schools like Andover, Exeter, and Roxbury Latin in tournaments."He won some debate and basically did a victory lap afterward and got in the face of all the faculty there," one alum from a rival school who debated against Tucker said. "After defeating the student team, he started challenging the faculty, and said, 'Do any of you want to take me on? Are any of you capable of debating me?'"SusieIn the fall of Tucker's sophomore year, a new headmaster arrived at St. George's, Rev. George Andrews II. Andrews' daughter, Susie – who Tucker would eventually marry – was in Tucker's class. According to school tradition, a rotating group of underclassmen was charged with serving their classmates dinner and, one night in late September, Tucker and Susie had the shift at the same time. "They were sitting at a table at the far end of Queen Hall just leaning in, talking to each other," Sterne recalled. "You could see the sparks flying, which was cool."Susie floated between the school's friend groups easily. When she was seen mingling with Tucker, some questioned what she saw in him."People were saying, 'Come on Susie, why are you dating Tucker?' He's such a loser slacker and she was so sweet," Traister said. The pair started dating at the age of 15 and quickly became inseparable. Tucker gained notoriety on campus for repeatedly sneaking into Susie's room on the second floor of Memorial Schoolhouse, the school's stately administrative office that housed the headmaster's quarters. He had less time for his dumpster buddies now that the couple hung out on the campus lawn, attended chapel and an interdenominational campus ministry organization called FOCUS. His senior yearbook included a photo of Tucker squinting in concern to a classmate, with the caption "What do you mean you told Susie?While Susie was universally liked within the St. George's community, her father was polarizing.Andrews led the school during a turbulent period – it was later revealed – when its choirmaster Franklin Coleman was accused of abusing or having inappropriate conduct with at least 10 male students, according to an independent investigation by the law firm Foley Hoag in 2016. (Two attorneys representing several victims said 40 alumni contacted them with credible accounts of molestation and rape accusations at the hands of St. George's employees between 1974 and 2004 after a 2015 school-issued report detailed 26 accounts of abuse in the 1970s and 1980s. (Coleman was never criminally charged and he has not responded to Insider's attempts to reach him.) Over his eight-year tenure as school music director, from 1980 to 1988, Coleman invited groups of boys to his apartment for private parties. Sometimes he shared alcohol and pot with some of them, gave them back and neck rubs, showed pornographic videos, traveled with them on choral trips and stayed in their hotel rooms, and appeared nude around some of them, the report found. Several of Tucker's classmates and former faculty said they had no reason to believe he would have been aware of the accusations. "There were rumors circulating wildly that Coleman was bad news. The idea was he would cultivate relationships with young men," Ian Toll, a St. George's alum, said. "Anyone who was there at that time would have likely been aware of those rumors."Andrews told Foley Hoag investigators he was not aware of any complaints about Coleman until May 1988 (by then, Tucker had finished his freshman year in college) when school psychiatrist Peter Kosseff wrote a report detailing a firsthand account of misconduct. But Andrews acknowledged to investigators the school could have been aware of "prior questionable conduct" before then, the report said. Andrews fired Coleman in May 1988 after the school confronted Coleman with allegations of misconduct and he did not deny them. According to the investigation, Andrews told students Coleman resigned due to "emotional stress" and that he had the "highest regard and respect for him." On the advice of a school attorney, Andrews did not report the music teacher to child protective services. He also knew that his faculty dean wrote Coleman a letter of recommendation for a job at another school, according to investigators. Andrews left the school a few weeks after Coleman departed. By September 1989, he was named headmaster at St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Florida which he led for 18 years. (Andrews declined to speak about Tucker or his tenure at either school.) St. George's, meanwhile, reached an undisclosed settlement with up to 30 abuse survivors in 2016. Coleman found work as a choir director at Tampa Preparatory School in Tampa Bay, Florida before he retired in 2008. Tucker Carlson attended St. George’s School, a boarding school starting at age 14.Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesTrinity In the fall of 1987, Tucker enrolled at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where Rev. Andrews had also attended.Nearly two-thirds of Trinity's student body back then originated from private schools and many came from wealthy backgrounds. Tuition in 1987 cost $11,700 plus an additional $3,720 for room and board—around $27,839 in today's dollars."When the Gulf War broke out" in 1990, one Trinity alum who knew Tucker recalled, "there was a big plywood sign in front of the student center that read, 'Blood for Oil,' and someone else threw a bucket of paint on it."The posh campus was situated in the middle of Hartford, Connecticut, the state's capital and one of its poorest cities. Discussions about race and inequality were sometimes at the forefront of campus politics, but many students avoided engaging in them entirely."There were issues about whether black students should only date other black students, that kind of thing," said Kathleen Werthman, a classmate of Tucker's who now works at a Florida nonprofit for people with disabilities. "My sophomore year, for new students, they had a speaker talking about racism, and one of the students said, 'I never met a black student, how are you supposed to talk to them?' And the idea that only white people can be racist was challenged too."Susie was at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. His brother remained in Rhode Island and other prep school friends had fanned out across the East Coast. Tucker moved into a four-bedroom dormitory overlooking the main quad. One suitemate, Neil Patel, was an economics major from Massachusetts who played intramural softball. (They would co-found the Daily Caller together two decades years later.) Other roommates played on the varsity soccer team and they formed a tight-knit group."I remember being struck by him. He was the same way he is now," said Rev. Billy Cerveny, a college friend of Tucker's who's now a pastor at Redbird Nashville. "He was a force of nature. He had a sense of presence and gravitas. You might get into an argument with him, but you end up loving the guy."Tucker often went out of his way to amuse his friends. Once during the spring semester, several activists set up a podium and microphone beneath his dorm window to protest the CIA's on-campus recruitment visits. The demonstration was open-mic so Tucker went up to the stage and told the crowd of about 15 people, "I think you're all a bunch of greasy chicken fuckers.""I think people laughed. He did," Cerveny said. "There was always a small collection of people any time there was an issue who tried to stir the pot in that way. Some people were dismissive and other people loved it, thinking 'Oh we're getting a fight here.'"As a sophomore, Tucker and his friends moved into a dingy three-story house on Crescent Street on the edge of the campus. He ditched his tailored jackets, khakis, and bowties for oversized Levi jeans, t-shirts, and untucked oxford shirts. Tucker commandeered a low-ceilinged room above the front porch with so many windows he had to hang up tapestries to keep out the sun. The tiny alcove had barely enough space for an eight-foot futon and several bookshelves Tucker built himself stacked with books he collected. Friends remember Tucker receiving an 8-by-10 manilla envelope that his father sent through the mail once or twice a month containing dozens of articles from newspapers and magazines.One of Tucker's friends, Cerveny, remembered stopping by Richard's home in Washington, D.C. and finding evidence of his hobbies, including the world's second largest collection of walking sticks."His house was filled with rare canes he collected from all over the world," Cerveny said. "The hallways had really amazing rows of canes hung on hooks that were specially made to mount these things on the house. One used to be a functional shotgun, another one was made out of a giraffe. His dad would pull out newspaper clippings of WWII Navy aircraft carriers. It changed the way I thought about a lot of things. I had never seen anything like that. Who collects canes?"During sophomore year, Tucker's friends decided to rush Delta Phi, a well-to-do fraternity also known as St. Elmo's. The Greek scene had a large presence on campus — about 20 percent of men joined them even though Trinity was a liberal arts school — and St. Elmo's had a reputation as freewheeling scamps. Once a year, a St. Elmo's brother would ride his motorcycle naked through the campus cafeteria. (Faculty voted in 1992 to abolish Greek life saying they were sexist and racist, and school administrators instead forced fraternities to become co-ed.)But Tucker refused to come aboard. Some classmates thought it was because he didn't want to be hazed."Tucker was not a joiner like that," Mahlon Stewart said. "He wouldn't have set himself up for whatever humiliation would have been involved. He would not have put up with that." But Cerveny, who pledged the fraternity, said it was a matter of faith."I remember explicitly him saying 'Look, I want to focus on what my faith is about and I thought this would be a big distraction,'" Cerveny said. "But he was very much in the mix with us. When we moved to a fraternity house [on Broad Street], we asked him to live with us."Tucker occasionally dropped in on his friends' fraternity events and occasionally brought Susie when she visited or Buckley when he drifted into town. Other times they hung out at Baker's Cafe on New Britain Avenue. Mostly Tucker stayed in his room."He was basically a hermit. It wasn't like he was going to a ton of parties" one Trinity St. Elmo's brother said. "He was not a part of the organizational effort of throwing big parties, or encouraging me to join the fraternity." Susie, who didn't drink or smoke, was a moderating influence. "Tucker and Susie had their moral compass pointing north even back then," Sterne said. "Tucker's faith was not something he was focused on in his early years but when he met Susie and he became close to her family, that started to blossom and grow in him. Now it's a huge part of his life."By the time his crew moved to another house on Broad Street, they each acquired vintage motorcycles and tinkered with them in their garage. Tucker owned a 1968 flathead Harley Davidson that barely ran and relied on a red Jeep 4X4 to transport friends around town (the Volkswagen van he had freshman year blew up). He smoked Camel unfiltered cigarettes, sipped bourbon, and occasionally brewed beer in the basement, including a batch he named "Coal Porter," according to GQ.When he wasn't reading outside of his courses or tinkering with his carburetor, Tucker took classes in the humanities and ultimately majored in history. Tucker dabbled in other fields including Russian history, Jewish history, Women's Studies, and Religious Studies, sitting in the back of lecture halls with his friends. Ron Kiener, who taught an introductory level course in Judaism, recalled Tucker performing "poorly" but earning a credit. "He did not get a stellar grade from me," Kiener said. "Based on what he says now he surely didn't get very much out of my courses."But Leslie Desmangles, who led courses in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Myth, Rite, and Sacrament, said Tucker was engaged and likely did just enough to pass his courses even if he wasn't very studious or vocal in class discussions."He was interested in understanding the nature of religious belief and studying different cultures and religions but I'm not sure if he had an interest in diversity," Desmangles said. "He was genuinely interested in ritual since a lot of the Episcopal church is highly ritualistic."Tucker's fascination with religion extended to his extracurricular activities too. He and several friends joined Christian Fellowship, a Bible study group that met weekly and helped the school chaplain lead Sunday services. Some members even volunteered with ConnPIRG, a student advocacy group on hunger and environmental issues, and traveled to Washington D.C. to protest the Gulf War. But Tucker steered clear of campus activism. He spent his free time reading and seeing Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, and Sting perform when they came through Connecticut. Sometimes he skipped school to follow his favorite band, the Grateful Dead, on tour.He took an interest in Central American politics too. At the end of freshman year, Tucker and Patel traveled to Nicaragua. "We did not have a place to stay or any set plans," Tucker told the Trinity Tripod, his college paper, in March 1990. "It was very spontaneous. We are both extremely political and we felt that getting to know the country and some of its citizens would give us a better perspective on the situation." In February 1990, Tucker returned with three friends to Managua for 10 days to observe Nicaragua's elections. The National Opposition Union's Violetta Chamoro, which was backed by the U.S. government, defeated the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front Daniel Ortega who had been in power since 1979. A month later Tucker and his classmate Jennifer Barr, who was separately in Nicaragua to observe elections and distribute medical supplies to the Sandinistas, shared their perspectives about their visits to a small crowd at the Faculty Club for the school's Latin America Week. Tucker thought press coverage of the election was too left-leaning and criticized the media for skewing a conservative victory, according to Barr."I don't think it was necessarily true," Barr said. "He was dismissive [about my views]. I did get a sense that he believed in what he was saying, and it was very different from my experience and my understanding of the race."Tucker's stance on U.S. politics at the time was less didactic. As the 1992 presidential election loomed his senior year, Tucker touted the independent candidacy of Ross Perot, a Texas business magnate, to his friends although it did not appear that Tucker was an ardent supporter."Tucker would go on and on about how Ross Perot was the answer to this or that, as a joke, and every one would participate" one St. Elmo's brother said. "He liked the way Ross Perot was basically throwing a wrench into the system. He wasn't a serious Ross Perot proponent. He was cheering on somebody who was screwing up the system."In Tucker's college yearbook, below his tousle-haired, bowtie wearing thumbnail photo, was a list of his extra-curricular activities: "History; Christian Fellowship 1 2 3 4, Jesse Helms Foundation, Dan White Society." Neither of the latter two – named, respectively, after the ultra-conservative North Carolina Senator, and a San Francisco supervisor who assassinated Harvey Milk in 1978 – ever existed. Tucker admired Helms for being a "bull in the china shop" of Congress, one classmate said. Some friends believed Tucker slipped in the off-color references as a lark."It's like a joke you and a friend would put in a series of anagrams that only you and two friends would remember and no one else would," the St. Elmo's friend said. "It's so niche that only someone like Tucker is thinking things like that or would even know the name of the person who killed Harvey Milk. He paid attention to things like that."Others claimed Tucker was the victim of a prank."It would not at all surprise me if one of the other guys in the [fraternity] house filled it in for him, and not just an inside joke, but pegging him with something that he got grief for," another close friend said. Protesters rally against Fox News outside the Fox News headquarters at the News Corporation building, March 13, 2019 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesAn outsider among insidersBy the spring of 1991, Tucker's academic performance had caught up with him. He had accumulated a 1.9 grade point average and may have finished with a 2.1 GPA, according to one faculty member who viewed a copy of his transcript. Tucker would eventually graduate from Trinity a year late. Falling behind was not uncommon. About 80 percent of Trinity students completed their degrees in four years, according to Trinity College records. (A Trinity spokeswoman would not comment on Tucker's transcript due to FERPA laws, which protect student privacy.Tucker's post-collegiate plans fell through too. Tucker applied to the CIA that spring. The spy agency passed."He mentioned that he had applied and they rejected him because of his drug use," another college friend said, while declining to be named. "He was too honest on his application. I also probably should say I don't know whether he was telling the truth or not." Once the school year was over, Tucker and Neil Patel hit the road on a cross-country motorcycle ride. After that: Washington DC.  Tucker's family left Southern California for Georgetown after President Reagan named his father head of Voice of America. In June 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed Richard ambassador to the Seychelles and the Carlson family upgraded to a nicer house in Georgetown with a pool in the basement. That summer, with Tucker's father and stepmother often out of town, the Carlson household was the center of Tucker's social lives, the place they retired to after a night drinking at Georgetown college dive bars like Charing Cross and Third Edition, and pubs like Martin's Tavern and The Tombs, immortalized in St. Elmo's Fire. In August, Tucker and Susie got married in St. George's chapel and held a reception at the Clambake Club of Newport, overlooking the Narragansett Bay. Back in Washington, Tucker's prep school, college, and his father's Washington-based networks began to mesh. Tucker took a $14,000-a-year job as an assistant editor and fact checker of Policy Review, a quarterly journal published at the time by the Heritage Foundation, the nation's leading conservative think tank. For the next three decades, Tucker thrived in the Beltway: He joined The Weekly Standard and wrote for several magazines before appearing on cable news networks as a right-of-center analyst and host at CNN, PBS, and MSNBC. His father embarked on a third career as a television executive where he ran the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and his brother became a political operative and a pollster. By the time Tucker reached the core of the conservative media sphere, a slot on Fox News's primetime opinion lineup, he shed friends from his youth who couldn't grapple with the hard-right turn he veered once he became the face of the network.One friend was not surprised with Tucker's act. In the spring of 2016, during the heat of Donald Trump's presidential campaign against Hilary Clinton and a few months before "Tucker Carlson Tonight" premiered on Fox, Tucker had lunch with his old prep school classmate Richard Wayner who made the speech about Eleanor Bumpurs all those years ago. Wayner believed Tucker's gesture from his pew was never serious. "As a 9th or 10th grader in a chapel full of people in a conversation, he was trying to get attention," Wayner said.The two stayed in touch over the years and Tucker at one point suggested he write a handful of pieces for the Daily Caller, the conservative news and opinion site that Tucker co-founded and ran in the 2010s. As they settled into their table at a Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, the two chatted about Wayner's experience on the board of St. George's (which Susie was about to join) and their respective careers. Tucker was floating around at Fox, and Wayner, now an investor and former Goldman Sachs investment banker, said the conversation drifted toward salaries."He was asking, 'How much do you make on Wall Street' and was like, 'Wow, Wall Street guys make a lot.'" Wayner said. When they left the restaurant and headed back toward the Fox News headquarters, several people recognized Tucker on the street even though he had jettisoned his trademark bowtie years ago. Wayner saw Tucker making the pragmatic decision to follow a business model that has made his conservative media counterparts a lot of money."I don't think he has a mission. I don't think he has a plan," Wayner said. "Where he is right now is about as great as whatever he thought he could be.""Tucker knows better. He does. He can get some attention, money, or both." he added. "To me, that's a shame. Because he knows better." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

Tesla says it"s been dragged into a "turf war" between competing civil rights agencies amid claims of racial discrimination at its flagship factory

Tesla has asked a judge to pause a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by California, saying it's already the subject of a federal investigation. A Model 3 is assembled at Tesla's Fremont, California factory in 2018.Mason Trinca/The Washington Post California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing is suing Tesla over racism claims. Tesla said Monday the agency is fighting a "turf war" with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC also appears to be investigating racism claims from Tesla workers. Tesla says it's been dragged into a "turf war" between competing civil rights agencies amid claims of racial discrimination at its flagship factory.In a court filing Monday, Tesla asked a judge to pause a racial discrimination lawsuit brought against it by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), saying it's already the subject of an investigation by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).The DFEH sued Tesla in February, saying it had received "hundreds" of complaints from workers about racism inside Tesla's Fremont, California factory.In Monday's filing, first reported by Reuters and reviewed by Insider, Tesla accused the DFEH of conducting a "bare bones investigation" before rushing to file its lawsuit against the company to get ahead in a "turf war" with the EEOC. Tesla's lawyers asked the judge to postpone the DFEH's case for 120 days.In the filing, Tesla cited the DFEH's sexual harassment suit against gaming company Activision Blizzard. Tesla said the DFEH tried to block a settlement between Activision and the EEOC because it could have harmed the DFEH's own case against the company.A judge approved a settlement of $18 million between Activision and the EEOC in March.The DFEH and EEOC didn't immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment, which were sent outside usual working hours.The DFEH's case isn't the only racial discrimination case Tesla has been fighting.Last week, a judge upheld a racial discrimination claim of a Black former worker named Owen Diaz, who worked at Tesla's Fremont plant. Diaz was awarded $137 million in damages by a jury in October 2021 but Tesla tried to get his payout brought down to $600,000. The judge last week lowered the damages to $15 million.In another ruling in August 2021, Tesla was ordered to pay more than $1 million to a former worker after losing a racial discrimination suit.Insider's Grace Kay and Áine Cain reported that 46 lawsuits have been filed against Tesla over the last five years, accusing it of a sexist and racist work culture.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 20th, 2022

The Wall Street Journal: Feds probed Tesla for racial discrimination before California filed suit

A principal U.S. federal agency responsible for enforcing antidiscrimination laws has investigated Tesla Inc., according to a legal filing......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchApr 19th, 2022

A leaked video exemplifies what Black migrants endure in US detention centers

Detainees and immigration lawyers say there is a disturbing and overlooked problem of anti-Black racism in immigration detention. Brandon fled his native Cameroon at the age of 26.Anna Watts for Insider A leaked video obtained by Insider shows guards violently tackling a Black asylum seeker at a  Louisiana detention center. Detainees and immigration lawyers say there is a disturbing and overlooked problem of anti-Black racism in immigration detention. The criminalization of immigration has meant that migrants and asylum seekers are placed in a system with a long history of mistreatment.  In the fall of 2020, Brandon was playing the FIFA 2020 video game in the rec room of the LaSalle Correctional Center in Louisiana, where he had been locked up for five months.  A Salvadoran man, watching the action over Brandon's shoulder, started joking around, covering Brandon's eyes and distracting him from the game. "It was annoying," said Brandon, an asylum seeker from Cameroon. He lifted up his hand to mock punch the Salvadoran. The horseplay never escalated into anything serious, and, after a little while, the Salvadoran left Brandon alone and he finished his game. He lost, 2–1.What neither of them realized was that the mock punch had been caught on LaSalle's video monitors. A few minutes later, guards entered the rec room and approached Brandon. They told him he was being transferred to a new dorm – which meant away from fellow Cameroonians and the other Africans he had befriended. Brandon asked to stay where he was. Being with other Cameroonians was a lifeline for him in detention. "I felt like family with them," he said. Calmly, he continued trying to explain himself. "I never even raised my voice," he said. In a video obtained by Insider, Brandon is seen walking down a hallway and being followed by three guards. As he approaches the camera, one of the guards grabs him by the shoulder and pushes him against the wall. In the next few seconds, they ram his head into the wall, put him in a chokehold, spin him around, throw him to the floor, and pin him down. One of the guards briefly puts his knee on Brandon's neck. With the guards dog-piled on top of him, he felt like he was fighting to survive: "I was struggling to breathe. I couldn't move. I was feeling so weak."Six guards from the LaSalle Detention Center, which is privately run by LaSalle Corrections, kept Brandon pinned to the floor as one of them slapped handcuffs on him. They then yanked him to his feet and pushed him back against the wall. "Why are you treating me like I'm not a human being?" Brandon recalled asking them. After the guards tackled him, Brandon was thrown into a solitary confinement cell, where he remained for three days.Brandon suspected bias was at work when the guard shoved him against the wall. "He was doing it because I was Black and from Africa," Brandon said. LaSalle Corrections did not respond to repeated requests for comment. ICE spokesperson Sarah Loicano also declined to discuss the specifics of Brandon's case but commented: "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not tolerate the mistreatment of anyone in the agency's custody and takes all allegations of abuse seriously," Loicano said. "Allegations of misconduct by ICE employees or contractors are reported to ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and are reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG)." Months later, after two transfers, Brandon was finally released from detention and allowed to continue pressing his asylum case while out on bond. When he opened his package of personal effects, he was surprised to find an unlabeled CD tucked in with the clothes he'd been wearing when he was first taken into custody. It took him a few weeks to find a player, but when he finally did he discovered it was a video of the guards tackling him. He has no idea who had slipped the CD into his things, or why.Less food, longer stays in solitaryBrandon was born in Cameroon, a country in West Africa that, since 2016, has been locked in a bloody civil war between the ruling Francophone party and separatist Anglophones. The government's crackdown, including extrajudicial killings, has led to charges of genocide. At age 26, he fled the country after his mother was killed by government agents, and he was subsequently targeted. "They tried to extinguish my life," he said. "But I never participated in anything like politics." In August of 2019, he crossed the US border at Brownsville, Texas, and told Customs and Border Patrol officials he was seeking asylum. He was promptly handcuffed and taken into custody. Soon thereafter, he was sent to Louisiana, the country's incarceration capital and, more recently, host to a vast network of immigrant detention facilities. According to Brandon, the mistreatment of detained Black people at LaSalle went beyond physical violence. It was more pervasive, more quotidian, more constant than any explosion that could be caught on video. "Officers didn't attend to Black detainees," Brandon explained, trying to capture the extent of the discrimination. "They didn't give us the same privileges," he said. While he saw other detainees occasionally get a little extra food, one or two additional slices of bread, or new razors for shaving, Black detainees were rarely if ever on the receiving end of these gestures.Brandon entered the US in August of 2019 at Brownsville, Texas, and was taken into custody.Anna Watts for InsiderBrandon's story points to a larger problem. The increasing criminalization of immigration has meant that migrants and asylum seekers – men and women who have not been convicted of any crime – are placed in jails and prisons, sometimes for years. They're also subjected to punishing conditions like solitary confinement, medical neglect, unpaid labor, and the kind of excessive force by guards that prison reform advocates have long documented and decried. For advocates, tracking the scope and severity of abuse in the immigration detention system can be daunting. Latinos are ensnared — and sometimes mistreated — at rates higher than any other demographic. But the U.S. immigration system levies particular violence against darker-skinned migrants, no matter their ethnicity. The numbers of migrants from Africa and the Caribbean showing up to or crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has been increasing in the last decade — leading to more detentions for Black migrants and, advocates claim, greater chances of abuses born out of bias. Detainees are frequently kept out of view by being locked up or swiftly deported, and their stories are rarely heard, or come filtered through NGO reports or official complaints to the government."The treatment of Black immigrants is normalized so much, to a point where departments and staff are numb to it," said Allen Morris, an attorney with Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES, an immigrant rights organization based in Texas. Morris said that he's heard of other Black migrants suffering similar racist abuse at LaSalle, where Brandon was detained, but this was the first time he'd seen it captured on video. ("This is just despicable," Morris said after viewing Brandon's video.)A report published this year by Human Rights Watch documented 24 cases of abuse against 18 Cameroonian asylum seekers who were later deported, including "forced fingerprints on documents, pepper spray, painful restraints, and abusive solitary confinement, isolation, or segregation." Current and former Black detainees, as well as advocates and researchers, have responded to the appalling detention conditions and alleged discriminatory treatment by filing official complaints about their mistreatment, as well as reaching out to the media and organizing and staging protests both within and outside of detention centers. Last month, yet another official complaint was filed alleging racist abuse of Black migrants — including frequent use of the N-word and claiming that "Africans have a certain kind of smell" — as well as generalized violence and medical neglect, in New York state. 56 of the detained migrants recently went on hunger strike in protest. And still, the abuse continues. In 2018, Freedom for Immigrants conducted the first national study on hate and bias in U.S. immigration detention centers and documented at least 800 complaints of abuse in 34 different jails and prisons based on race, ethnicity, or nationality. It included the examples of someone detained in southern Texas being called a "monkey" before being thrown into solitary confinement. At an ICE facility in New Jersey, according to a complaint from American Friends Service Committee, a sergeant locked a detained Black migrant in his cell, told him, "You're never going home" —  then added, "White power." In another watchdog report, the Southern Poverty Law Center documented racial slurs and the use of pepper-spray at Florida's Glades County Detention Center. "When it comes to us, the Africans, they have a problem with us," one of the abused detainees said. A peer-reviewed study published in "Punishment and Society" found that Black immigrants were six times more likely than others in ICE detention to be sent to solitary confinement. The study further found that African and Caribbean immigrants represented "24 percent of all people subjected to solitary confinement," even though they made up just 4 percent of those in ICE detention. A report from Freedom for Immigrants looked at ankle shackling in a sample population, and found that 31 percent of those subjected to that treatment were Black even though they made up just 15 percent of the population of that sample.Lawmakers are finally starting to take notice. In January, Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called for a "holistic review of the disparate treatment of Black migrants." 'Eat his dog food'In autumn 2021, Insider sent an informal survey to immigration attorneys and advocates to ask about a wide range of discriminatory and abusive practices. We then spoke with more than two dozen attorneys, advocates, and currently or formerly detained migrants, all of whom described a pattern of widespread bias and discriminatory treatment of Black detainees in U.S. immigration detention centers. Two attorneys echoed Brandon's complaint about not getting enough to eat, and reported that their clients were given insufficient food, or were placed at the back of the line to receive food, for no reason other than that they were Black. Other responses noted that Black detainees sometimes struggled to access basic supplies, such as soap, were subjected to solitary confinement at a high rate, and faced racist and abusive language by guards and other staff."In detention facilities where immigrants are held alongside individuals in criminal custody, Black immigrants are type-cast as being in criminal custody rather than ICE custody," said attorney Romelia Solano, co-founder of the immigrants' rights organization Mariposa Legal.Brandon was held at the LaSalle Correctional Center in Louisiana, Louisiana, which is the country's incarceration capital.Anna Watts for InsiderSolano said that one of her clients, a Black man held at a facility in Kentucky, told her that requests for cleaning supplies and other necessities needed to go through Latino or white inmates because his requests were ignored. That same client was not provided with a mattress and forced to sleep on the floor when the detention center was overcrowded, Solano said.A guard in another detention center called a Black man a dog and told him to "eat his dog food."Another detained Black man, according to his attorney's response to our survey, had a pepper ball thrown in his cell, wasn't allowed to follow his Rastafarian vegan diet, was repeatedly thrown in solitary confinement — once for complaining of a headache — and was regularly subjected to strip searches that kept occurring around visits from his attorney. "After 7 years of practice, I can confidently say that the Black clients I have represented or whose representation I have supervised are consistently subjected to greater degrees of abuse and discrimination," his attorney said.The incarceration capital of the world No state better illustrates the criminalization of immigration detainees, and its collision with longstanding patterns of racism, than Louisiana. It's both the incarceration capital of the world and the solitary confinement capital of the world: 19 percent of prisoners in the state experience some form of solitary confinement, a rate that's four times higher than the national average.It's also been at the forefront of the private prison industry. Across the state, eight new immigration detention centers have been opened in the past three years – all privately run. There are now 11 in total, including the LaSalle Correctional Center where Brandon was detained. Some of these detention centers are operating within state prisons or jails that also detain non-immigrants charged or convicted of crimes.And some of these immigration-only facilities are run by the same staff that used to run the prisons — and the anti-Black bias remains, says ACLU attorney Eunice Cho, who co-authored "Justice Free Zones," an extensive report on conditions in immigration detention centers, "It's just a new phase of mass incarceration of Black folks, whether they are citizens or non-citizens," Cho said."It should not be surprising that Black people continue to suffer disproportionate consequences and treatment in U.S. immigrant detention facilities," said Sami Disu, an adjunct lecturer at the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "The routine abuses of imprisoned Black peoples in the regular criminal justice system is extended to Black immigrants in U.S. detention facilities, whether in custody of CBP or stewards in private detention facilities."While the flourishing of private prisons is often associated with the Trump administration, its history extends to prior administrations, and Biden has given for-profit companies a pass to detain migrants.  Just days into office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to "eliminate the use of privately operated criminal detention facilities," which was welcome news to critics of mass-incarceration. Private prison companies, however, have found ways to circumvent the order and continue operations, and immigration facilities were exempt from the order. Most immigrants today are detained in facilities run by for-profit companies which largely follow the prison model of restrictive and punitive conditions.Since the 2010s, immigration detention has increasingly come to rely on prisons and jails — the brick-and-mortar manifestations of a mass incarceration system that has notoriously and disproportionately targeted Black people. Even as states and the federal government dialed down the number of people held in for-profit prisons, ICE stepped in to contract out and fill recently emptied beds. In Louisiana, after prison reform measures in 2019 led to a drop of 9,000 fewer people in prisons, ICE obtained contracts to detain 6,000 more people in the state. In just Texas and Louisiana, 11 separate facilities in recent years have shifted from prisons or jails to immigration detention centers.Brandon was released from custody In the summer of 2021.Anna Watts for InsiderAnd while the Biden administration has promised to reform and humanize immigration policy, "for the most part they're continuing the detention agenda," said Silky Shah, the executive director of Detention Watch Network. One Black immigrant who spent more than two years in a Louisiana jail and who asked not to be identified because of an ongoing immigration case and a history of retaliation against him, said guards pitted Black and Latino detainees against one another, frequently separating detainees by race. He described how detained Black people were consistently shorted food, passed over for jobs, not given new or clean clothes, subjected to invasive and humiliating body searches, and threatened to be sent to "the hole" — solitary confinement. Though he's been released now for over a year, he continues to have nightmares of his treatment there. "The racial profiling was scary," he said. "I've never experienced racism like that in my life."A 2021 Civil Rights complaint brought by the ACLU and over a dozen partner organizations called for "immediate intervention into the abusive and racially discriminatory pattern of treatment, unlawful conduct, and lack of oversight and accountability" at facilities in five southern states, including Louisiana, that were under the jurisdiction of the New Orleans ICE Field Office.  "Anti-Black racism underlies most of the abuses described in this letter and is an inherent aspect of the US immigration system itself," the report said. At one facility, majority-Black dorms deal with more frequent water shortages, for example.Last May, in Winn Correctional Center — which is operated by LaSalle Corrections, the same company that runs the facility where Brandon was detained — the anti-Black racism reached a pitch, harking back to some of the most vile practices of the Jim Crow South. As detained men were cutting down trees, according to a lawyer who visited the facility, ICE personnel made a joking comment to the effect of "now we can't lynch them." That same attorney reported another incident that occurred when two Cameroonian men asked guards at Winn if they would wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of the guards responded by saying "fuck Black people" and pushed one of the detained men, injuring him enough that he had to use a wheelchair. Last July, the SPLC filed a complaint to the head of the Department of Homeland Security and the attorney general on behalf of four formerly detained people who described the persistent abuse and racial discrimination they faced in Allen Parish Public Safety Complex and Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center, both in Louisiana. They said they suffered severe medical abuse, ridicule, and punishment for expressing their support for Black Lives Matter. Among a host of disturbing complaints, the migrants were also refused water when they asked for it. When one of the Black men was attacked by a group of other detained people, "instead of the attackers, the Black victim was locked up [in solitary] for more than 4 days," according to the complaint. Sarah Decker, staff attorney at RFK Human Rights, described the use of these carceral facilities as part of the "Southern Strategy," referencing Nixon's move to appeal to racist sentiments in the south to turn out white voters: transferring detained immigrants to detention centers in the South, where they face much higher asylum denial rates, are more isolated from attorneys and advocacy groups, and suffer more abuse. Over half of all detained immigrants now are locked up in just four states: Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, and Georgia. Those four states also have some of the strictest immigration judges, granting asylum at rates far below the national average. In the New Orleans immigration court, among five judges, the denial rate averages almost 90 percent, whereas the national average is far lower, at 73 percent.Louisiana has become a "place of no return" for migrants, said Decker. "It's where folks, when they get transferred there, have this really intense fear reaction because they know that not only do they have a lot less likelihood of winning their case, but they're also going to experience really enhanced racism while they're waiting for their case in detention." DHS's own Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties recommended that ICE stop sending immigrants to Louisiana's Winn Correctional Center due to a culture of egregious abuse and "serious concerns expressed about the health and safety of detainees."Abuse 'at all stages of the process'Racism in the U.S. immigration enforcement regime is nothing new. The very first federal immigration laws, passed in the late 19th century, specifically targeted Chinese women. The Chinese Exclusion acts, which effectively barred almost all immigration from Asia, were on the books from the early 1880s until 1943. Until 1952, US law (even if it was not always enforced) held that only a "free white person" could naturalize, or become a U.S. citizen.In the 1980s, after Ellis and Angel Island, the country's first immigration detention centers were used  mostly to lock up Haitian asylum seekers as they fled US-backed dictators regimes. Years before the post-9/11 era, when the US Naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was used to indefinitely detain and torture "enemy combatants," it was established as a detention center for Haitians seeking asylum. "I felt like they saw me like I was an animal from Africa," Brandon said of his time in detention.Anna Watts for InsiderRebekah Wolf, an attorney with the American Immigration Council, who previously managed a legal access program for a detention center in rural New Mexico, calls the modern U.S. detention system "a response to anti-Haitian animus" or "the fear that Black people would come here in boats." To be sure, no person locked in the network of U.S. immigration detention centers — over 200 facilities run largely in the shadows by a mix of government and government-contracted private corporations — has it easy. To be imprisoned, frequently in poor conditions and sometimes for years is one of the poignant cruelties of the increasingly militarized immigration enforcement regime. In the U.S., where more migrants are imprisoned than in any other country in the world, there are certain groups who face particular difficulties. Detained Indigenous people from Central America and elsewhere are often overlooked and left without access to proper interpretation or counsel. Transgender people are brutalized and frequently forced to live, sleep, and even bathe with people not corresponding to their gender. People from countries less represented in the detention system, such as those from South Asia or Eastern Europe, can face serious linguistic and cultural obstacles, as well as isolation. Muslims and Sikhs allege that they are often not offered religiously appropriate diets and are singled out on the basis of their religion.Amid all the systematic and acute cruelties, the treatment of Black migrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America in immigration detention, advocates say, reflects the longstanding societal racism in the United States, and particularly in its carceral system.That bias came into sharp relief last September, when thousands of Haitians crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. Images of Border Patrol agents on horseback whipping and chasing down adults and children seeking asylum were roundly condemned. Critics held it up as a bald-faced example of anti-Black racism. This culminated in one of the largest mass expulsions from the United States in recent history: around 4,000 Haitians were deported from the country in just over one week.The mistreatment of Haitian migrants not only renewed the public's attention to immigration enforcement, but demonstrated who is most negatively affected by the brutality of U.S. immigration enforcement. Part of the reason that Black people suffer disproportionately in immigration detention is that their experience, and they themselves, are largely ignored. "They're not believed," Morris said. "We're not listening to Black immigrants." Anti-Black racism "is so normalized, especially anti-Haitian sentiment, on behalf of career ICE officials," said Wolf. She said a high-ranking ICE detention center official in the state told her that, because Haitians "didn't know how to behave," they needed to be detained under more restrictive circumstances. According to other statistics also compiled by RAICES, among the 10 nationalities with the most asylum decisions from 2012-2017, Haitians had the second-highest denial rate, at 87 percent, despite coming from an extremely politically unstable country beset by persistent violence. In the years before that period, Jamaicans had the highest asylum denial rate. According to the American Bar Association, Somalis also had one of the highest asylum denial rates, as well the highest rates of deportation over the same time period. Between June 2018 and June 2020, the average bond paid by RAICES to get immigrants out of detention was $10,500. But bonds paid for Haitian immigrants averaged $16,700, or 54 percent higher than for other immigrants. Overall, Black immigrants from various countries pay significantly higher bond prices, the researchers found.An American flag blows in the wind near where Brandon is living.Anna Watts for Insider'They saw me like I was an animal from Africa'In the summer of 2021, Brandon was released from detention. With Black people disproportionately being denied asylum, he knows the odds are stacked against him, but he is still fighting for his claim.His next court hearing isn't for another 18 months. During the wait, he is living with a cousin and spending his time helping around the house. Despite repeated requests, he has yet to receive his work permit. Though he is free, for now, his memory of what happened to him still stings. At the same time, the anxiety of what may happen if he is deported, makes it hard to exercise and enjoy that freedom. Back in Cameroon, the repression against anyone labeled a political dissident continues, with stories of denied and deported asylum seekers being imprisoned and tortured. Knowing that others like him were being detained, disappeared, or killed, he headed for refuge in the U.S. "My mind and my head was on one thing: my freedom," he said. That's not what he found. "I felt like they saw me like I was an animal from Africa."On January 14, 2021, five officers in Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana, in an episode hauntingly similar to what happened to Brandon, attacked Cameroonian asylum seeker Acheleke Fuanya "without provocation," according to a complaint filed in U.S. federal court. The complaint says that "the officers surrounded Mr. Fuanya, tripped him to the ground, and kneeled on his neck." The government has not yet responded to the complaint, and ICE spokesperson Sarah Loicano declined to comment on pending litigation.Fuanya said it felt like "they were trying to break every part of my body." As he pleaded for his life and struggled to breathe, the officers "continued to choke him until they grabbed his fingers and forcibly fingerprinted him," according to the complaint, allegedly trying to forcibly deport him. ICE has deported dozens of Cameroonian asylum seekers over the past year in similar ways, even resorting to using a medical restraining device called The Wrap, to threaten and punish asylum seekers during their long deportation flights. Fuanya said the officers' assault against him was rooted in racism. "They way they would talk to you," he explained. "'You people are Black, you are from Africa,'" ICE officers would say to them, according to Fuanya, "like you were shit, like you were nothing."Additional reporting from Sophia Diez-Zhang.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 26th, 2022

On the Tesla production line: Dozens of former employees say they faced catcalls, groping, slurs, and harassment on the job

Forty-six lawsuits allege employees were targeted, harassed, and in some cases physically assaulted based on their gender and race. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images; iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider In 46 lawsuits, former and current employees allege they were targeted and harassed based on gender and race. Tesla has pushed back and filed to move the majority of the cases to private arbitration. Seven experts told Insider the number of lawsuits should be a cause for concern for the carmaker. Alisa Blickman said her coworkers rated women, took photos of a female colleague's back-side, and made comments like, "I'd like to bend her over and spread her cheeks." Alex Corella said his colleagues called him "homophobic slurs" and joked that he performed oral sex on his supervisor. Terrance Dobbins said workers told him he worked at the "KFC and watermelon patch." They also made "sexually and racially offensive statements," including jokes about "pegging," he said.And Jessica Brooks said "catcalls" and groping got so bad on the job that she started stacking boxes around her workstation "to discourage men from coming and whistling at and ogling her."These are just a handful of accounts from more than 40 lawsuits filed against Tesla by former and current employees in the past five years alleging the company fosters a sexist and racist work culture. Tesla is currently attempting to push three of the cases, and many others, into private arbitration. Dobbins' case was moved into arbitration in September. Tesla founder Elon Musk built the electric-car maker as part of his utopian vision for the future. The company's cars save lives, Musk has said, and he's set out to revolutionize manufacturing, describing an "alien dreadnought" dream factory, where all parts of the carmaking process are automated. But for now, Tesla must rely on its army of workers, some of whom say these futuristic dreams are stifled in a "Jim Crow Era," "frat house" environment that allows discrimination to fester.Together, the lawsuits paint a picture of a workplace where slurs, groping, and threats were commonplace, and where the human-resources department regularly failed to address workers' concerns. In some cases, employees who turned to management for help said they were reprimanded or terminated, according to the lawsuits."After almost three years of experiencing all the harassment, it robs your sense of security — it almost dehumanizes you," Jessica Barraza, who filed a lawsuit against Tesla in November saying she was sexually harassed on a "near-daily" basis, told The Washington Post. (Insider attempted to contact all of the former employees cited in this story, and they either declined to comment or did not respond.) Tesla has filed to push the case into private arbitration.Musk did not respond to requests for comment. "Tesla believes that the appropriate place to respond is before the tribunal that will hear the actual facts and evidence, not in the press," Tesla said in a statement to Insider, declining to comment on individual cases.In the vast majority of the lawsuits, the carmaker has fought back and pushed for private arbitration. At least three cases have been dismissed and three more have been settled in court. Most others have been moved to private arbitration or are pending a hearing on Tesla's motion to compel arbitration. Meanwhile, Tesla said in October that it is actively working to "ensure that every employee feels that they can bring their whole self to work."While Tesla has largely been successful in deflecting the lawsuits and preventing settlement details from being publicized over the past five years, there are signs of cracks in its armor. The company lost two high-profile discrimination cases — one in court and one in private arbitration — last year, and it's now facing government scrutiny.An aerial view of the Tesla factory in Fremont, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesA flurry of lawsuits at FremontTesla's sprawling 5.3-million-square-foot factory in Fremont, California, is the company's largest manufacturing hub, where it produces hundreds of thousands of electric cars each year that sell for $46,990 to over $130,000. More than 10,000 employees work at the plant and face ambitious production targets as Tesla pushes to scale production by roughly 50% a year.In 2021, the Fremont factory cranked out 8,550 cars per week — more vehicles than any other automotive production plant in North America, according to a report from Bloomberg. Tesla is planning to ramp up production in the coming year with new factories, and the Fremont hub is designed to serve as the model for its future plants.As Tesla's output and workforce have grown, so have the number of lawsuits it faces from its workers. More sexual-harassment and racial-discrimination lawsuits appear to have been filed against Tesla in 2021 than any year since it was founded 18 years ago, according to an Insider review of 46 lawsuits against Tesla, over 60% of which involve the factory. In many of these cases, women and people of color said they faced racist and sexist behavior. Seven legal and labor experts told Insider that the sheer number of lawsuits against Tesla should be a cause for concern for the carmaker. "It's an astounding number for a factory with 10,000 workers," said Lisa Bloom, a California lawyer who has advised high-profile clients including Harvey Weinstein and taken on cases against Donald Trump, Bill O'Reilly, and Jeffrey Epstein. Bloom also told Insider she's had conversations with a Tesla customer considering legal action against the company. "Most people who are victims of verbal or physical abuse are hesitant to come forward," she said. "These kinds of lawsuits point to a deeper endemic problem and are likely the tip of the iceberg."Deborah Gordon, a Detroit lawyer who has worked on sexual-harassment lawsuits against companies in the United Auto Workers union, told Insider that automotive factories typically face up to a handful of sexual harassment and racial-discrimination cases per year. In an analysis of seven automotive manufacturing plants in the US that have similar workforce populations and production levels to Tesla's Fremont factory — including Toyota's facility in Georgetown, Kentucky (9,000 workers), BMW's in Spartanburg, South Carolina (11,000 workers), Nissan's in Smyrna, Tennessee (7,000 workers), Ford's in Kansas City, Missouri (7,000 workers), Hyundai's in Montgomery Alabama (3,000 workers), Stellantis' in Sterling Heights, Michigan (6,800 workers), and General Motors' in Spring Hill, Tennessee (3,200 workers) — Insider found a range of zero to 10 racial discrimination and sexual harassment cases filed against each facility across county, state, and federal courts over the past five years. Like Tesla, all six companies require employees to sign mandatory arbitration clauses, which could keep cases out of public view.Tesla pushed back on Bloom's characterization of the number as "astounding" in a statement to Insider, saying competitors have been "sued for discrimination many more times than Tesla over the last five years.""The claim that Tesla faces an unusual volume of suits is inaccurate and misleading," the spokesperson said."Your attempt to analyze at the plant level is not a fair comparison, given that the Fremont factory is not only the largest auto assembly plant in the nation, but also has the largest US workforce," Tesla added. "Comparing assembly plants with only a few thousand workers in states such as Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee to Tesla's Fremont factory – located in a jurisdiction with one of the highest rates of litigation – does not make sense. Based on these differences alone, a fair review of publicly available data does not support the assertions of your experts," Tesla added.A GM spokesperson told Insider in a statement that Tesla's comment on competitors' case numbers is also "inaccurate and misleading" and that "GM has zero tolerance for workplace harassment and discrimination in any form."A Toyota spokesperson told Insider, "not a single employee has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment or racial/gender discrimination" at the company's largest US facility in Georgetown, Kentucky over the past five years. A Stellantis spokesperson said, "There is absolutely no truth to Tesla's comments about the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant or any other plant within Stellantis' manufacturing footprint." Ford, BMW, Nissan, and Hyundai did not respond to a request for comment on the number of racial discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits that have been filed against them. While GM, Ford, and Stellantis are unionized in the US, Tesla's workforce is not, and Musk himself has had scathing words for UAW and unions in general — a factor Gordon said could be contributing to the worker complaints."The UAW is very active in addressing these types of issues," Gordon said. "They simply do not tolerate it. Verbal harassment is fairly common in a factory setting, but a union adds a layer of protection for workers. It allows grievances to be heard and readily addressed."Men represent 79% of Tesla's total workforce and 83% of leadership, the carmaker said in a 2020 report. Vicki Schultz, a labor expert at Yale Law School, told Insider that a lack of diversity in a company's workforce is a major "risk factor" for sexual harassment."The dominant group will use sexual or racial harassment to show others that they don't belong," Schultz said.Tesla has said it is a "majority-minority" company. People of color make up about 60% of the company's total workforce, according to Tesla's latest diversity report. But while Black workers make up 10% of the US workforce, they hold only 4% of roles at the director level or higher. Tesla has not provided specific demographics for the Fremont factory.Some supervisors harassed workers, lawsuits sayMichala Curran said that during her first week at Tesla, her supervisor told her to "shake her ass," become an exotic dancer, and tried to slap her backside."I just felt scared not knowing who to run to," Curran, a former production associate in the paint department, told The Washington Post. "Knowing there's nothing but males around me — not knowing if they might have the same mind-set of the supervisor."Curran is one of 24 women who have sued Tesla in the past five years alleging that they were sexually harassed, groped, or physically assaulted, and in some cases denied pay raises and promotions. Most of the plaintiffs formerly worked at the Fremont factory. Over two dozen former employees' lawsuits said their supervisors harassed them. Tesla has filed a motion to compel Curran's case into private arbitration and the decision is pending a court hearing in May. The remaining 23 cases have been moved to private arbitration or are pending a hearing on Tesla's motion to compel arbitration.Some workers' lawsuits described supervisors' behavior as threatening. Kristin Ortiz, a sales representative, said her supervisor would stalk her, invite her to change clothes in front of him, call her "the eye candy of the store" and on one occasion "kissed her on the cheek," according to a lawsuit. Erica Cloud said in a separate suit that her manager's behavior caused her to "fear for her safety," as he would "hug and massage her" and refer to his penis, saying he is "big down there." Cloud reported the behavior to HR and within several months was no longer required to work with the manager, according to her suit. Another former employee, Dominique Keeton, alleged in a lawsuit that her direct supervisor sent her text messages saying that he wanted to be "intimate" with her and "regularly used racial slurs and white-power language to degrade, belittle, ridicule, and dehumanize her." Ortiz, Cloud, and Keeton's cases have been moved into private arbitration.Over a dozen employees' lawsuits said their supervisors threatened their employment, and in seven cases fired them, after they rejected sexual advances or reported racist and sexist behavior to the company.A Tesla Model 3 is assembled at the Fremont, California, factory.Mason Trinca/The Washington PostBlickman, an assembly-line worker, said in a suit that her supervisor threatened to send her to "one of the least desirable working areas" when she was not responsive to his "sexual advances," which included "daily" back rubs and statements like, "I hear you don't like to scream loud enough."Under federal and state civil-rights laws, employers are required to take reasonable steps to prevent workplace harassment. If a company has no way for employees to report harassment or does nothing to stop the harassment once it's reported, for example, it can be held liable in court. It's also illegal for a company to fire an employee just because they reported being harassed.Tesla HR ignored complaints, some workers saidSome Tesla workers said they tried to turn to the company's HR department for help but were ignored or reprimanded. Eden Mederos said in a lawsuit that Tesla workers at her service station in California often joked the company's HR function was nonexistent. She said she struggled to find contact information for the department after experiencing what she called "near-daily" harassment from coworkers, including her supervisor. After she reported it, the company held a meeting where she said the supervisor called her a "liar" and an HR rep called her accusations "aggressive," according to her suit. Mederos' attorney, David Lowe, told Insider the case has been moved to another county court and he anticipates Tesla will push for the case to be moved to private arbitration.Of 46 lawsuits Insider reviewed, plaintiffs in 13 cases said that verbal, written, or emailed reports sent to HR resulted in either no action or minimal follow-up. Twenty-two former employees said they were fired after reaching out to HR.DeWitt Lambert's attorney, Lawrence Organ, told Insider that Lambert presented HR with a video in which another worker called him the N-word 22 times and detailed how he would "chop up parts of his body." Lambert said he faced retaliation after reporting the incident and that HR "failed to investigate and reprimand the harassers." The same video also failed to convince a private arbitrator, who said a case could not be made against Tesla for allowing employees to use the N-word when Lambert used it himself, Organ told Insider."I feel like everything was taken away from me," Lambert told The New York Times. "I got everything snatched from up under me since I complained about it."Tesla's legal counsel argued that Lambert's filing involved "misplaced claims of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation" and that the dispute should be settled in arbitration, where it was ultimately dismissed.A February lawsuit and three-year investigation into Tesla's HR practices by a California civil-rights regulator found that the company's human-resources department was "under-staffed and inadequately trained" with the ratio of HR workers to personnel 1-to-740. For comparison, the Society of Human Resources Management, the profession's leading member association, estimates that companies in the US average over two HR employees per every 100 full-time workers. Tesla has said it is working to improve training for its employees."We recently rolled out an additional training program that reinforces Tesla's requirement that all employees must treat each other with respect and reminds employees about the numerous ways they can report concerns, including anonymously," Tesla said on its website.Some former employees said Tesla HR personnel were hostile toward them. Malaisha Bivens said in a lawsuit that she met with an unidentified person she assumed was an HR representative after she reported that a fellow employee touched her inappropriately. This person "threatened" her in a "harsh tone," and said "she would be fired if she was lying about the incident," according to Bivens' lawsuit. HR did not follow up about an investigation into her complaint, her lawsuit said. The case has been moved to private arbitration.Another former employee, Kaylen Barker, said in a lawsuit that Tesla human resources asked her to sign a statement saying she was "insubordinate" after she reported that a coworker referred to her using the N-word and a sexist insult while also calling her "stupid" and "dumb" before throwing a "hot tool" at her. Tesla has yet to submit a response to the case."At a big company the expectation is that the HR department has a significant responsibility to ensure the law is not being broken," Gordon said. "Based on my experience, HR departments are not completely neutral, but usually at major companies they make a concerted effort to make sure rules are followed."Tesla's HR team appeared to take action against harassers in a small fraction of the lawsuits reviewed by Insider. Only four cases cited instances in which alleged harassers faced repercussions, including termination and being reassigned to another department, after physical altercations, according to the complaints.The CEO set the tone, some workers say Musk is known for his hands-on approach in guiding Tesla. In 2018, the CEO said he would sleep on the factory floor and work over 120 hours a week.Musk's leadership style led several workers who filed lawsuits to believe that he knew about what they called a "hostile work environment" at the Fremont factory."We've had multiple witnesses that can speak to Musk's presence at the factory, at least during the time of Lambert and Diaz's cases," said Organ, who represents several former workers in cases against Tesla. "It would be very hard to believe that he doesn't know about the behavior at the factory, and yet it doesn't seem like there's been a clear message from Musk that this conduct is not tolerated."Of the cases Organ has worked on, one has been dismissed, one is ongoing, and two have won against Tesla — one in court and the other in private arbitration.Four claimants said they contacted Musk directly about their complaints, while two more alleged his behavior on Twitter indirectly contributed toward their harassment.Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Delaware.Matt Rourke/AP PhotoMarcus Vaughn, a former employee, said he was one of multiple Black employees who contacted Musk regarding "repeated instances of race-based harassment" in 2017. Vaughn and more than 100 other former Tesla workers who are Black sued the company in a class action. In response, Musk sent an email to Fremont factory workers addressing harassment at Tesla, according to Vaughn's suit."Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of [a] historically less represented group," Musk wrote in the email, according to the suit. "Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case you should apologize. In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology."The class action suit was dismissed in 2021. The automaker's counsel successfully argued "that the court should deny class certification because Tesla policy and practice is that Tesla employees are bound by the Tesla arbitration agreement."Vaughn's case is ongoing in Alameda County Court. Tesla has repeatedly pushed to move the case into private arbitration and has said the suit "fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against" Tesla. Organ claims Vaughn never signed the carmaker's mandatory arbitration agreement and the continued motions to compel arbitration are an "effort to stall."Musk is also known for his active online presence, in particular his Twitter persona — which ranks among the most-followed accounts on the site. The Tesla CEO's tweets frequently spawn headlines and in some cases scrutiny from financial regulators. Two female Tesla ex-employees pointed to instances in which they said Musk's behavior on Twitter contributed indirectly to their harassment, including recent tweets from the CEO in which he made a joke about creating a college with the acronym "TITS," and dubbed his Tesla car models "S3XY." Opening 'the floodgates'Tesla's mandatory-arbitration clause, which requires most employees to bring their claims in private arbitration instead of public court, makes it difficult to know the details of all allegations against the company. In September, Bloomberg reported that almost 90 employment-related private arbitration complaints had been filed against Tesla since 2016. The company won 11 of those cases and lost only one. Most were settled, withdrawn, or dismissed, according to Bloomberg. Melvin Berry, a former employee, is the only known person to win a discrimination case against Tesla in arbitration. He secured a $1 million settlement in August after a private arbitrator determined the company failed to stop Berry's supervisors from calling him the N-word. The carmaker denied the allegations in Berry's case, saying Tesla "is absolutely against any form of discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment of any kind." Tesla has not appealed the case.Then, in October, a San Francisco federal jury ruled that Tesla must pay over $137 million in punitive damages to a former Tesla contractor, Owen Diaz. Diaz said his supervisor helped create a hostile work environment for Black workers by distributing racist sketches at work.The company is in the process of challenging the verdict, saying the award "bears no relationship to the actual evidence at trial." Helen Rella, a New York labor lawyer, told Insider a successful lawsuit, especially a landmark case like Diaz's, could "open the floodgates" — an issue that Tesla board members have expressed concern over in the past."Just because there is more than one complaint against a company it does not necessarily indicate that the complaints are justified, but it certainly provides the opportunity for more workers to come forward," Rella said. "Once a lawyer has one employee who's willing to sue, it's much easier to find more."Tesla also alluded to this, telling Insider that many of the lawsuits "have been brought by a handful of plaintiffs' lawyers who actively solicit Tesla workers in an effort to enrich themselves, and then often plant the same sensationalized, unadjudicated allegations to get yet more clients for self-enrichment."Organ told Insider meanwhile that over 950 former and current Tesla employees have reached out to him with racial-discrimination claims against the carmaker.Meanwhile, Tesla faces another looming legal battle.In February, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the company over allegations of systemic racial discrimination and harassment at its Fremont factory. The civil-rights agency said it had received "hundreds of complaints from workers."Tesla called the lawsuit an attack against "the last remaining automobile manufacturer in California," and said that it "always disciplined and terminated employees who engage in misconduct, including those who use racial slurs or harass others in different ways.""Tesla's brand, purportedly highlighting a socially conscious future, masks the reality of a company that profits from an army of production workers, many of whom are people of color, working under egregious conditions," California said in its complaint. "Even after years of complaints, Tesla has continued to deflect and evade responsibility."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 23rd, 2022

Social Justice Slams Into Europe, Part 2: In Scotland, They"ll Take the Woke Road

Social Justice Slams Into Europe, Part 2: In Scotland, They'll Take the Woke Road Authored by Richard Bernstein, submitted by RealClearInvestigations, Read Part 1 here... The online class on gender, feminism, and the law was underway when Lisa Keogh, a 29-year-old student and mother of two, introduced a note of unwoke contention into the discussion. “We were talking about equal rights for women, and I said I don't believe a trans woman is really a woman,” said Keogh, then attending Abertay University Law School here. “I said that my definition of a woman is someone with a vagina.” Keogh, disagreeing with another point of view expressed in the same meeting, also voiced the apparently retrograde opinion that not all men are rapists. Lisa Keogh, law student who endured investigation: “I said that my definition of a woman is someone with a vagina.” In response, some students accused Keogh of “making offensive comments and behaving in a disrespectful manner during class discussion.” Abertay undertook a formal investigation, claiming, as a university spokesman told the media, that the school was “legally obliged to investigate all complaints.”  After two months and two sessions before the investigating committee, Keogh was exonerated. Still, her supporters say her ordeal took its toll — and sent a chilling message to other students about the risk of expressing opinions that contradict the tenets of the campus radical left. “The process is the punishment,” Stuart Waiton, a sociology and criminology lecturer at Abertay, told me over lunch in Dundee. Keogh has filed suit against the university for the stress, anxiety, and the loss of sleep while also claiming the process has hurt her chances of getting a job. “I'm quite a controversial figure,” Keogh said. “Somebody in a law firm told me, 'We can't even be seen publicly agreeing with what you said.’ A friend told me, 'There's no point in you even looking for work in Dundee.'” Instead, Keogh said, she's considering going elsewhere in Scotland where, she hopes, her notoriety won't follow her. Scotland illustrates how American-style “wokeness,” complete with its identity-politics, victim-culture assumptions and lexicon, has seeped across the Atlantic to Europe. While the U.S. media has given broad coverage to the rise of far-right anti-immigrant parties in countries like France, Germany, Hungary and Poland, it has paid less attention to the emergence of a mirror-image phenomenon on the left, which demands an orthodoxy of opinion and punishes dissenting ideas, like those expressed by Keogh.  But wokeness is a hot topic in Europe. As in Scotland, its flare-ups and the arguments about it take place mostly in elite circles, the universities, and the press. It usually surfaces in incidents, sometimes so small and geographically scattered as to seem isolated and unimportant. Nevertheless, they have a cumulative effect. They show the contagious, globalized power of a rising leftist ideology whose adherents are convinced of their own assumptions – chiefly the supposedly pervasive evils of white-dominated societies, the vulnerability of minority groups disadvantaged by the structures of oppressive power, and on the need to protect those groups from insult and slight, even unintended. And taxpayers are underwriting it. Earlier this year, the European Commission, the main administrative body of the 27-member European Union, created a Gender Equality Strategy aimed at “eliminating the inequalities between the sexes and the socio-economic intersectionality of inequality throughout research and innovation.” The effort is to be funded by a program called Horizon Europe with a budget of more than $100 billion for 2021-2027. “Sexual equality and openness to the question of inclusion are our priorities,” a Horizon mission statement says.  To further that mission, Horizon Europe requires that any governmental or private entity applying for a grant present as part of the application a “Gender Equality Plan” that, among other things, shows the hiring of “equality officers” to help “tackle unconscious gender bias among staff, leaders and decision makers.” “Don't think that woke ideology is a delirium limited to certain American universities,” the right-of-center French magazine Causeur wrote of these requirements, noting the deployment of a vocabulary that seems to come straight from the gender and sexuality studies departments of U.S. academe. In Europe, the magazine continued, these assumptions are based on an “imaginary sexism, ideological submission, and coercion in the academic world.” Each country seems to have its woke eruptions, and in many places they have prompted spirited counterreactions. In Germany over the course of this year, some 600 people, mostly university professors, have become members of a Scientific Freedom Network, the stated purpose of which is “to help victims of cancel culture” — that phrase “cancel culture” having entered the German vocabulary in its original English form. “More and more academics feel they are restricted in the research questions they can address without feeling any fear of being professionally sidelined,” Sandra Kostner, a specialist on migration at the Schwãbisch Gmünd University of Education who founded the group earlier this year, told me in a Zoom conversation. “I wrote an article two years ago expressing the idea that something is going wrong at German universities,” she continued. “Within a day or so I got about 800 emails agreeing with me, but in many cases, the last sentence was 'This is just between the two of us.' There were university presidents and vice presidents saying, 'Please don't tell anybody what I've told you.'” Some of the incidents cited by members of the new group seem almost trivial when taken individually, but reflect a widespread and growing trend. For instance, a report on the Freedom Network describes an incident in Cologne when a professor asked a dark-skinned student and German citizen where she was from. The student took the question as an insult, stemming from “institutional racism,” and complained about it both to the local government and on social media, where she got 50,000 responses. Commenting on the incident, Kostner pointed out that up until a decade or so ago, teachers were encouraged “to ask the questions about one's origins because it was a sign of politeness, signaling interest.” But now, under the pressure of the new victim-culture ideology, such questions are seen “as a denial of belonging, even as a sign of racism.” Behind this shift, the report on the incident noted, is the view of the West as first and foremost having “a history of colonialism, racism, misogyny, and white domination,” all of which has, until the new awakening came along, been “obscured by Eurocentrism and patriarchal rule.” A 2021 survey of a thousand academics carried out by the Allensbach Institute, a leading German social research organization, found that 40% of respondents feel restricted by formal or informal political correctness rules, mostly due to gender guidelines. This compares to 32% two years ago. More than half of respondents in the arts and social sciences said they feel restricted in the topics they can research, compared to 35% two years ago. “Only representatives of certain groups are allowed to talk about certain topics,” the German journalist Thomas Thiel wrote in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, “and the value of a statement is based on the origin of a speaker, not on the plausibility of the argument.” As the complaint about Lisa Keogh and the subsequent investigation shows, no corner of Europe is immune from these kinds of incidents, seemingly isolated and yet illustrating the spread and influence of a rising victim-culture ideology.  Earlier this year in Edinburgh, the government-funded James Gillespie High School made national headlines when it dropped the American classics “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Of Mice and Men” from its reading lists, saying that “Mockingbird” was flawed because of its “white savior” theme (a white lawyer defends a falsely accused black man) and that John Steinbeck’s novel was flawed because none of the main characters were people of color. British newspapers quoted Allan Crosbie, the English Department head at James Gillespie, telling a school meeting, “Those novels are dated and problematical in terms of decolonizing the curriculum.” Replacing the books removed from reading lists, Crosbie said, would be “The Hate U Give” by the American writer Angie Thomas, which tells the story of an unarmed black teenager shot dead by a white policeman. (An email sent to James Gillespie High School asking for an interview went unanswered.)  St. Stephen’s University, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the United Kingdom, now requires matriculating students to pass a test in “sustainability, diversity, consent, and good academic practice.” The test asks, for example, whether a student agrees or disagrees with the statement, “Acknowledging your personal guilt is a useful starting point in overcoming unconscious bias.” The embrace of such ideas might seem strange in a nation like Scotland with its homogeneous population — 96% white; only 4% African, Caribbean, Asian, or mixed — and its Scottish Enlightenment heritage. The stomping ground of classical “Great Books” figures like David Hume and Adam Smith wouldn't seem to present fertile ground for critical race theory or Black Lives Matter. In contrast with the U.S. – or European countries with long colonial pasts such as France, Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom — Scotland has no history of domestic slavery and very little of the kind of racial tensions or racial obsessions that are central to American history. Yet Scottish “wokeness” exemplifies the broad appeal of a globalized demand that the West in general engage in an apologetic self-examination, one predicated on the idea of some previously unacknowledged fault lying at the heart of Western civilization, and only at the heart of Western civilization. “Nothing is more Western,” the French essayist and novelist Pascal Bruckner has written on this phenomenon, “than hatred of the West.” The spread of “woke” ideas in this sense also demonstrates a negative power of the American example and its globalization. America, in this view, being the most powerful Western country, is therefore the one with the gravest intrinsic fault. “When Black Lives Matter happened in America, it was almost as if the incident that incited it happened here, Stuart Waiton, the Abertay lecturer, told me. “It wasn't a British policeman who killed a black man. The killing didn't happen here. And yet, everyone became a participant in BLM. People formed racial awareness groups. There were massive demonstrations. If it's happening in America, it will probably happen in Scotland as well.” Pyramid themes: types of racism according to a government body advising Scotland's public schools Consider Education Scotland, a governmental entity that provides advice to the country's centralized public school system and has in recent times created and promoted a program aimed at “decolonizing the curriculum” through “anti-racist education.” A booklet titled “Promoting and Developing Race Equality and Anti-Racism Education” describes “race” as “a concept that tried to justify exploitation, domination, and violence against people who were deemed non-white” and “made it easier for Britain to downplay the brutality of slavery and colonization.” But if there's mention of British colonialism as a kind of original sin, the program is certainly heavily influenced by similar “diversity and inclusion” programs formulated in the United States.  Another booklet posted on the Education Scotland website, titled “Anti-Racist Praxis,” is written by Titilayo Farukuoye, who, according to the booklet's introduction, “aspires to dismantle oppressive structures and to transcend race and gender constructs.” It lays out a full anti-racist program, with, for example, instructions to teachers on how to handle “white fragility.” “Teachers will,” the booklet says: Define white fragility Identify white fragility Practice overcoming white fragility Practice how to centre the person who has experienced harm. But perhaps the greatest acrimony arising out of a “woke” ideology, illustrated by the case of Lisa Keogh, has another powerful American echo. It has to do with trans rights, and the battle over gender definition, much of it spurred by leglislation being considered by the Scottish parliament that would reform the UK's Gender Recognition Act of 2004, which enabled people throughout Great Britain to legally change their gender.  The reform would make the process much easier, essentially by what's called “self-identification,” enabling people to change their gender without the need for a medical diagnosis. Worried that men could simply declare themselves to be women and thereby gain access to such women's spaces as girls’ sports teams, bathrooms, and shelters, some people, including some leading Scottish feminists, either outright opposed the change or at least urged a discussion of it. The reaction from the transgender lobby has been swift and harsh. An example is an ongoing incident that started three years ago when Ann Henderson, only the second woman in 170 years to be elected rector of the University of Edinburgh, another of Scotland's renowned institutions of higher learning, retweeted a message from a feminist group that opposes the move to allow people to identify their own gender. Harassment for what she called “repeated, unfounded accusations” continued for her entire three-year term; it was led by student groups, against which, Henderson says, she got very little support from the university. Ann Henderson, university rector: Harassed for years for retweeting a message from a feminist group that opposes Scotland's move to allow people to identify their own gender. The acrimony over trans rights has a political dimension in Scotland, where the majority group in the Scottish parliament, the Scottish National Party, has avidly supported the proposed reform, to the point of excluding party members who expressed doubts. The most widely known such case involves Joan McAlpine, a former member of the parliament with impeccable feminist credentials. But because of her dissenting ideas about trans self-identification, McAlpine was placed so far down on the SNP's election list that she was effectively removed from office. Among her offenses was her opposition to adding a “non-binary” option to the British census form, on the grounds that it would weaken protections for women. Earlier this year, she was uninvited from a meeting on climate change because, as the organizers of the meeting put it, “We do not believe her views on transgender rights align with our views on equality.” “It's been incredibly toxic,” Mandy Rhodes, the editor of Holyrood, a biweekly publication focused on Scottish politics, told me at a meeting in her office in Edinburgh. “I've been a campaigning journalist my whole career, over three decades, always focused on equality and social justice issues, but I find myself in the ridiculous position of being accused of being anti-trans and siding with the right-wing press when all I've really done is understand that human rights can conflict with each other and we always need to question and explore the consequences, however unintended, of that." Recently, a senior police officer in Scotland caused a stir when he said that the police could record a suspected rapist as a woman in cases involving “a person born male but who identifies as female and does not have a gender recognition certificate.” “This would potentially mean that a woman who has been raped would have to address her alleged assailant as ‘she,’” Rhodes said. “In Scots law, rape can only be committed by someone with a penis, and so the absurdity and potential harms to women victims of sexual assault have been exposed by this line of discussion, where proponents of self-identification for trans people basically have to defend the rights of rapists against the rights of women who have been raped.” Some critics of Scottish wokeness in general identify it as part of a broad cultural shift toward what they call a therapeutic society, as opposed to a society of individual agency, with a strong emphasis on the idea that vulnerable groups need state protection. A couple of years ago, the courts required the government to scrap a planned program by which every child in Scotland under 18 years of age would be assigned a “named person” who would have responsibility for that child's welfare, which its critics construed as an effort to take authority out of the hands of parents and give it to the government. “More and more we feel like we're living in a one-party regime ruled over by a bunch of managers and where what's been decided is now in process and you have to comply with it,” Penny Lewis, a lecturer in the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Dundee, told me. “It's not people in jackboots marching down the street,” she continued.  “It's all wrapped up in this ideology of caring.”  According to Lewis and others who share her views, the Scottish government, led by the SNP, sees itself as a kind of world leader in bringing about a kind of therapeutic state. “The SNP barely existed before the referendum on independence,” she said, referring to the 2014 vote that defeated a move for Scottish independence from Great Britain. “A lot of them actually have very limited political experience, so it's easier for them to take these supposedly virtuous ideas off the shelf, than it is to figure out what to do in a country that's got serious problems.” “The new authoritarianism isn't about authorities imposing their will, but protecting supposedly vulnerable groups,” Waiton said.  And if there are no truly vulnerable groups desperately in need of state protection, it's necessary to invent them.  “We've moved from people as a social subject to people as the vulnerable subject,” Waiton said, “and if you think people are vulnerable, then they have to be protected.” Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 07:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 22nd, 2022

Weiss: We Got Here Because Of Cowardice, We Get Out With Courage

Weiss: We Got Here Because Of Cowardice, We Get Out With Courage Authored by Bari Weiss via Commentary.org, A lot of people want to convince you that you need a Ph.D. or a law degree or dozens of hours of free time to read dense texts about critical theory to understand the woke movement and its worldview. You do not. You simply need to believe your own eyes and ears.  Let me offer the briefest overview of the core beliefs of the Woke Revolution, which are abundantly clear to anyone willing to look past the hashtags and the jargon. It begins by stipulating that the forces of justice and progress are in a war against backwardness and tyranny. And in a war, the normal rules of the game must be suspended. Indeed, this ideology would argue that those rules are not just obstacles to justice, but tools of oppression. They are the master’s tools.  And the master’s tools cannot dismantle the master’s house. So the tools themselves are not just replaced but repudiated. And in so doing, persuasion—the purpose of argument—is replaced with public shaming. Moral complexity is replaced with moral certainty. Facts are replaced with feelings. Ideas are replaced with identity. Forgiveness is replaced with punishment. Debate is replaced with de-platforming. Diversity is replaced with homogeneity of thought. Inclusion, with exclusion. In this ideology, speech is violence. But violence, when carried out by the right people in pursuit of a just cause, is not violence at all. In this ideology, bullying is wrong, unless you are bullying the right people, in which case it’s very, very good. In this ideology, education is not about teaching people how to think, it’s about reeducating them in what to think. In this ideology, the need to feel safe trumps the need to speak truthfully.  In this ideology, if you do not tweet the right tweet or share the right slogan, your whole life can be ruined. Just ask Tiffany Riley, a Vermont school principal who was fired—fired—because she said she supports black lives but not the organization Black Lives Matter. In this ideology, the past cannot be understood on its own terms, but must be judged through the morals and mores of the present. It is why statues of Grant and Washington are being torn down. And it is why William Peris, a UCLA lecturer and an Air Force veteran, was investigated for reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” out loud in class. In this ideology, intentions don’t matter. That is why Emmanuel Cafferty, a Hispanic utility worker at San Diego Gas and Electric, was fired for making what someone said he thought was a white-supremacist hand gesture—when in fact he was cracking his knuckles out of his car window. In this ideology, the equality of opportunity is replaced with equality of outcome as a measure of fairness. If everyone doesn’t finish the race at the same time, the course must have been defective. Thus, the argument to get rid of the SAT. Or the admissions tests for public schools like Stuyvesant in New York or Lowell in San Francisco.  In this ideology, you are guilty for the sins of your fathers. In other words: You are not you. You are only a mere avatar of your race or your religion or your class. That is why third-graders in Cupertino, California, were asked to rate themselves in terms of their power and privilege. In third grade.  In this system, we are all placed neatly on a spectrum of “privileged” to “oppressed.” We are ranked somewhere on this spectrum in different categories: race, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Then we are given an overall score, based on the sum of these rankings. Having privilege means that your character and your ideas are tainted. This is why, one high-schooler in New York tells me, students in his school are told, “If you are white and male, you are second in line to speak.” This is considered a normal and necessary redistribution of power. Racism has been redefined. It is no longer about discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin. Racism is any system that allows for disparate outcomes between racial groups. If disparity is present, as the high priest of this ideology, Ibram X. Kendi, has explained, racism is present. According to this totalizing new view, we are all either racist or anti-racist. To be a Good Person and not a Bad Person, you must be an “anti-racist.” There is no neutrality. There is no such thing as “not racist.”  Most important: In this revolution, skeptics of any part of this radical ideology are recast as heretics. Those who do not abide by every single aspect of its creed are tarnished as bigots, subjected to boycotts and their work to political litmus tests. The Enlightenment, as the critic Edward Rothstein has put it, has been replaced by the exorcism.  What we call “cancel culture” is really the justice system of this revolution. And the goal of the cancellations is not merely to punish the person being cancelled. The goal is to send a message to everyone else: Step out of line and you are next.  It has worked. A recent CATO study found that 62 percent of Americans are afraid to voice their true views. Nearly a quarter of American academics endorse ousting a colleague for having a wrong opinion about hot-button issues such as immigration or gender differences. And nearly 70 percent of students favor reporting professors if the professor says something that students find offensive, according to a Challey Institute for Global Innovation survey. Why are so many, especially so many young people, drawn to this ideology? It’s not because they are dumb. Or because they are snowflakes, or whatever Fox talking points would have you believe. All of this has taken place against the backdrop of major changes in American life—the tearing apart of our social fabric; the loss of religion and the decline of civic organizations; the opioid crisis; the collapse of American industries; the rise of big tech; successive financial crises; a toxic public discourse; crushing student debt. An epidemic of loneliness. A crisis of meaning. A pandemic of distrust. It has taken place against the backdrop of the American dream’s decline into what feels like a punchline, the inequalities of our supposedly fair, liberal meritocracy clearly rigged in favor of some people and against others. And so on. “I became converted because I was ripe for it and lived in a disintegrating society thrusting for faith.” That was Arthur Koestler writing in 1949 about his love affair with Communism. The same might be said of this new revolutionary faith. And like other religions at their inception, this one has lit on fire the souls of true believers, eager to burn down anything or anyone that stands in its way.  If you have ever tried to build something, even something small, you know how hard it is. It takes time. It takes tremendous effort. But tearing things down? That’s quick work.  The Woke Revolution has been exceptionally effective. It has successfully captured the most important sense-making institutions of American life: our newspapers. Our magazines. Our Hollywood studios. Our publishing houses. Many of our tech companies. And, increasingly, corporate America.  Just as in China under Chairman Mao, the seeds of our own cultural revolution can be traced to the academy, the first of our institutions to be overtaken by it. And our schools—public, private, parochial—are increasingly the recruiting grounds for this ideological army.  A few stories are worth recounting: David Peterson is an art professor at Skidmore College in upstate New York. He stood accused in the fevered summer of 2020 of “engaging in hateful conduct that threatens Black Skidmore students.” What was that hateful conduct? David and his wife, Andrea, went to watch a rally for police officers. “Given the painful events that continue to unfold across this nation, I guess we just felt compelled to see first-hand how all of this was playing out in our own community,” he told the Skidmore student newspaper. David and his wife stayed for 20 minutes on the edge of the event. They held no signs, participated in no chants. They just watched. Then they left for dinner. For the crime of listening, David Peterson’s class was boycotted. A sign appeared on his classroom door: “STOP. By entering this class you are crossing a campus-wide picket line and breaking the boycott against Professor David Peterson. This is not a safe environment for marginalized students.” Then the university opened an investigation into accusations of bias in the classroom. Across the country from Skidmore, at the University of Southern California, a man named Greg Patton is a professor of business communication. In 2020, Patton was teaching a class on “filler words”—such as “um” and “like” and so forth for his master’s-level course on communication for management. It turns out that the Chinese word for “like” sounds like the n-word. Students wrote the school’s staff and administration accusing their professor of “negligence and disregard.” They added: “We are burdened to fight with our existence in society, in the workplace, and in America. We should not be made to fight for our sense of peace and mental well-being” at school. In a normal, reality-based world, there is only one response to such a claim: You misheard. But that was not the response. This was: “It is simply unacceptable for faculty to use words in class that can marginalize, hurt and harm the psychological safety of our students,” the dean, Geoffrey Garrett wrote. “Understandably, this caused great pain and upset among students, and for that I am deeply sorry.”  This rot hasn’t been contained to higher education. At a mandatory training earlier this year in the San Diego Unified School District, Bettina Love, an education professor who believes that children learn better from teachers of the same race, accused white teachers of “spirit murdering black and brown children” and urged them to undergo “antiracist therapy for White educators.”  San Francisco’s public schools didn’t manage to open their schools during the pandemic, but the board decided to rename 44 schools—including those named for George Washington and John Muir—before suspending the plan. Meantime, one of the board members declared merit “racist” and “Trumpian.”  A recent educational program for sixth to eighth grade teachers called “a pathway to equitable math instruction”—funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—was recently sent to Oregon teachers by the state’s Department of Education. The program’s literature informs teachers that white supremacy shows up in math instruction when “rigor is expressed only in difficulty,” and “contrived word problems are valued over the math in students’ lived experiences.”  Serious education is the antidote to such ignorance. Frederick Douglass said, “Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light only by which men can be free.” Soaring words that feel as if they are a report from a distant galaxy. Education is increasingly where debate, dissent, and discovery go to die. It’s also very bad for kids.  For those deemed “privileged,” it creates a hostile environment where kids are too intimidated to participate. For those deemed “oppressed,” it inculcates an extraordinarily pessimistic view of the world, where students are trained to perceive malice and bigotry in everything they see. They are denied the dignity of equal standards and expectations. They are denied the belief in their own agency and ability to succeed. As Zaid Jilani had put it: “You cannot have power without responsibility. Denying minorities responsibility for their own actions, both good and bad, will only deny us the power we rightly deserve.” How did we get here? There are a lot of factors that are relevant to the answer: institutional decay; the tech revolution and the monopolies it created; the arrogance of our elites; poverty; the death of trust. And all of these must be examined, because without them we would have neither the far right nor the cultural revolutionaries now clamoring at America’s gates.  But there is one word we should linger on, because every moment of radical victory turned on it. The word is cowardice. The revolution has been met with almost no resistance by those who have the title CEO or leader or president or principal in front of their names. The refusal of the adults in the room to speak the truth, their refusal to say no to efforts to undermine the mission of their institutions, their fear of being called a bad name and that fear trumping their responsibility—that is how we got here. Allan Bloom had the radicals of the 1960s in mind when he wrote that “a few students discovered that pompous teachers who catechized them about academic freedom could, with a little shove, be made into dancing bears.” Now, a half-century later, those dancing bears hold named chairs at every important elite, sense-making institution in the country.  As Douglas Murray has put it: “The problem is not that the sacrificial victim is selected. The problem is that the people who destroy his reputation are permitted to do so by the complicity, silence and slinking away of everybody else.” Each surely thought: These protestors have some merit! This institution, this university, this school, hasn’t lived up to all of its principles at all times! We have been racist! We have been sexist! We haven’t always been enlightened! I’ll give a bit and we’ll find a way to compromise. This turned out to be as naive as Robespierre thinking that he could avoid the guillotine.  Think about each of the anecdotes I’ve shared here and all the rest you already know. All that had to change for the entire story to turn out differently was for the person in charge, the person tasked with being a steward for the newspaper or the magazine or the college or the school district or the private high school or the kindergarten, to say: No. If cowardice is the thing that has allowed for all of this, the force that stops this cultural revolution can also be summed up by one word: courage. And courage often comes from people you would not expect. Consider Maud Maron. Maron is a lifelong liberal who has always walked the walk. She was an escort for Planned Parenthood; a law-school research assistant to Kathleen Cleaver, the former Black Panther; and a poll watcher for John Kerry in Pennsylvania during the 2004 presidential election. In 2016, she was a regular contributor to Bernie Sanders’s campaign. Maron dedicated her career to Legal Aid: “For me, being a public defender is more than a job,” she told me. “It’s who I am.” But things took a turn when, this past year, Maron spoke out passionately and publicly about the illiberalism that has gripped the New York City public schools attended by her four children.  “I am very open about what I stand for,” she told me. “I am pro-integration. I am pro-diversity. And also I reject the narrative that white parents are to blame for the failures of our school system. I object to the mayor’s proposal to get rid of specialized admissions tests to schools like Stuyvesant. And I believe that racial essentialism is racist and should not be taught in school.” What followed this apparent thought crime was a 21st-century witch hunt. Maron was smeared publicly by her colleagues. They called her “racist, and openly so.” They said, “We’re ashamed that she works for the Legal Aid Society.”  Most people would have walked away and quietly found a new job. Not Maud Maron. This summer, she filed suit against the organization, claiming that she was forced out of Legal Aid because of her political views and her race, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  “The reason they went after me is that I have a different point of view,” she said. “These ideologues have tried to ruin my name and my career, and they are going after other good people. Not enough people stand up and say: It is totally wrong to do this to a person. And this is not going to stop unless people stand up to it.” That’s courage. Courage also looks like Paul Rossi, the math teacher at Grace Church High School in New York who raised questions about this ideology at a mandatory, whites-only student and faculty Zoom meeting. A few days later, all the school’s advisers were required to read a public reprimand of his conduct out loud to every student in the school. Unwilling to disavow his beliefs, Rossi blew the whistle: “I know that by attaching my name to this I’m risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology. But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent.” That’s courage.  Courage is Xi Van Fleet, a Virginia mom who endured Mao’s Cultural Revolution as a child and spoke up to the Loudoun County School Board at a public meeting in June. “You are training our children to loathe our country and our history,” she said in front of the school board. “Growing up in Mao’s China, all of this feels very familiar…. The only difference is that they used class instead of race.” Gordon Klein, a professor at UCLA, recently filed suit against his own university. Why? A student asked him to grade black students with “greater leniency.” He refused, given that such a racial preference would violate UCLA’s anti-discrimination policies (and maybe even the law). But the people in charge of UCLA’s Anderson School launched a racial-discrimination complaint into him. They denounced him, banned him from campus, appointed a monitor to look at his emails, and suspended him. He eventually was reinstated—because he had done absolutely nothing wrong—but not before his reputation and career were severely damaged. “I don’t want to see anyone else’s life destroyed as they attempted to do to me,” Klein told me. “Few have the intestinal fortitude to fight cancel culture. I do. This is about sending a message to every petty tyrant out there.” Courage is Peter Boghossian. He recently resigned his post at Portland State University, writing in a letter to his provost: “The university transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a social justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender and victimhood and whose only output was grievance and division…. I feel morally obligated to make this choice. For ten years, I have taught my students the importance of living by your principles. One of mine is to defend our system of liberal education from those who seek to destroy it. Who would I be if I didn’t?” Who would I be if I didn’t? George Orwell said that “the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” In an age of lies, telling the truth is high risk. It comes with a cost. But it is our moral obligation. It is our duty to resist the crowd in this age of mob thinking. It is our duty to think freely in an age of conformity. It is our duty to speak truth in an age of lies.  This bravery isn’t the last or only step in opposing this revolution—it’s just the first. After that must come honest assessments of why America was vulnerable to start with, and an aggressive commitment to rebuilding the economy and society in ways that once again offer life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the greatest number of Americans. But let’s start with a little courage. Courage means, first off, the unqualified rejection of lies. Do not speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. And do not genially accept the lies told to you. If possible, be vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Courage can be contagious, and your example may serve as a means of transmission. When you’re told that traits such as industriousness and punctuality are the legacy of white supremacy, don’t hesitate to reject it. When you’re told that statues of figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass are offensive, explain that they are national heroes. When you’re told that “nothing has changed” in this country for minorities, don’t dishonor the memory of civil-rights pioneers by agreeing. And when you’re told that America was founded in order to perpetuate slavery, don’t take part in rewriting the country’s history. America is imperfect. I always knew it, as we all do—and the past few years have rocked my faith like no others in my lifetime. But America and we Americans are far from irredeemable.  The motto of Frederick Douglass’s anti-slavery paper, the North Star—“The Right is of no Sex—Truth is of no Color—God is the Father of us all, and all we are brethren”—must remain all of ours. We can still feel the pull of that electric cord Lincoln talked about 163 years ago—the one “in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.” Every day I hear from people who are living in fear in the freest society humankind has ever known. Dissidents in a democracy, practicing doublespeak. That is what is happening right now. What happens five, 10, 20 years from now if we don’t speak up and defend the ideas that have made all of our lives possible? Liberty. Equality. Freedom. Dignity. These are ideas worth fighting for. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/17/2021 - 23:05.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 18th, 2021

Tesla was ordered to pay $137 million to a Black man who said he was subjected to racist abuse while working as an elevator operator at the company

Owen Diaz, who worked at Tesla's Fremont factory as a contractor, said colleagues told him to "go back to Africa," per CNBC. Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Jae C. Hong/AP Tesla must pay $137 million to a former contracted worker who brought a racial harassment case, a jury ruled. Owen Diaz worked at Tesla's Fremont factory as an elevator operator in 2015. Diaz said colleagues told him to "go back to Africa," and that he suffered sleepless nights. See more stories on Insider's business page. A San Francisco federal court jury on Monday ruled that Tesla must pay $137 million to a Black man who said he endured racist abuse while working at the company's Fremont, California, plant as an elevator operator.Owen Diaz was hired at the factory via an agency in 2015. Per CNBC, he told the court that colleagues would verbally abuse him and other Black workers, for example telling him to "go back to Africa." He also said racist graffiti was scrawled in the bathrooms, per CNBC.Diaz told the court that he suffered "sleepless nights" and weight loss after he lost his appetite, per Bloomberg, which first reported the decision. "Some days I would just sit on my stairs and cry," he told the jury, per Bloomberg.The jury awarded $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional distress, per the reports.David Oppenheimer, a clinical professor of law at Berkeley Law, told Bloomberg that he believed it was the "largest verdict in an individual race discrimination in employment case."In reaction to the verdict on Monday, Tesla's VP of people, Valerie Capers Workman, published a blog post arguing that the facts of the case didn't justify the verdict.For example, she said that Diaz encouraged his son and daughter to work at Tesla with him - in court, Tesla attorney Tracey Kennedy said Diaz's account "simply doesn't make sense" in light of this encouragement, as reported by Bloomberg.Workman wrote that Tesla recognized "that in 2015 and 2016 we were not perfect. We're still not perfect. But we have come a long way from 5 years ago." Since then, Tesla had added an employee relations team that investigates employee complaints, as well as a diversity, equity, and inclusion team, she wrote."We acknowledge that we still have work to do to ensure that every employee feels that they can bring their whole self to work at Tesla," Workman wrote. "And as I posted in July, we will continue to remind everyone who enters the Tesla workplace that any discriminatory slurs - no matter the intent or who is using them - will not be tolerated."Diaz's attorneys told CNBC that Diaz was only able to bring his lawsuit publicly because he hadn't signed a mandatory arbitration agreement. Arbitration agreements force employees to bring complaints privately outside of court.In an interview with The Daily Beast after the jury's verdict was announced, Diaz said Tesla CEO Elon Musk hadn't contacted him. "Elon has not called me, sent me a letter, a text, sky writing, or sent up one of them spaceships to say I'm sorry," he said.Diaz told The Daily Beast he was considering using some of the money he was awarded to start his own business and then hire former prisoners and people experiencing homelessness. Tesla did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment on the verdict in Diaz's case.Diaz is not the only Black worker to file a racial harassment suit against Tesla.Tesla was ordered to pay $1 million to a Black former employee called Melvin Berry in August 2021. Berry started working at Tesla in 2015, but said he resigned a year later. Berry said supervisors called him the N-word, and that he saw racist graffiti in the workplace.In July, Protocol obtained sworn testimonies from Black workers at Tesla describing experiences of alleged racial harassment and abuse. The testimonies were filed in March 2021 as part of a lawsuit first filed in 2017.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 5th, 2021

An organization linked to Stacey Abrams lost a lawsuit to increase voter turnout after a judge found no evidence Georgia"s voting systems are racially discriminatory

Fair Fight Action argued that Georgia's Exact Match absentee voting system constituted racial discrimination but a federal judge disagreed. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks to the media during a press conference, May 24, 2022Joe Raedle/Getty Images A judge ruled against a voting rights lawsuit filed by a group founded by Stacey Abrams. Judge Steve Jones wrote that Georgia's Exact Match absentee voting system did not constitute racial discrimination. Abrams' gubernatorial race opponent, Gov. Brain Kemp, praised the ruling. A Stacey Abrams backed-organization lost a federal lawsuit Friday night after a judge ruled Georgia's election process did not violate the US Constitution or the 1965 Voting Rights Act.In 2018, weeks after Abrams lost her bid for governor to Brian Kemp, Fair Fight Action, Inc. — a group founded by Abrams — filed a suit alleging there were "serious and unconstitutional flaws in Georgia's [voting] process" and argued that Georgia's voting requirements violated the VRA, as well as the 1st, 14th, and 15th Amendments.US District Court Judge Steve Jones ruled in favor of Defendant Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, writing in his 288-page decision that although "Georgia's election system is not perfect, the challenged practices violate neither the constitution" or the VRA. Raffensperger celebrated the ruling, saying in a statement it was a "win for all Georgia election officials who dedicate their lives to safe, secure and accessible elections."The overarching argument in the case was whether or not Georgia's Exact Match absentee voting system constituted racial discrimination. The system made it a requirement for names and addresses between voter identification and voter registration forms to be exactly the same or the absentee ballots would be suspended.Prior to the 2018 election, 50,000 absentee ballots, 70% of which belonged to Black voters, were suspended because of the Exact Match system, according to the Washington Post. Jones wrote Fair Fight Action did not provide "direct evidence of a voter who was unable to vote" as a result of the system."Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to show that the Exact Match MIDR and Citizenship Verification laws and policies were enacted with a racially discriminatory intent or purpose," Jones wrote.Abrams is once again running for Georgia governor against Kemp and has raised $49 million so far for her campaign while Kemp has raised $25 million. A Fox News poll shows Kemp leading against Abrams by 7 percentage points.Kemp praised the ruling in a statement to the Associated Press, and accused Abrams of "hoping to wrongfully weaponize the legal system to further her own political goals."Abrams told the AP the ruling was "not the preferred outcome" but that "the conduct of this trial and preceding cases and legislative actions represent a hard-won victory for voters who endured long lines, burdensome date of birth requirements and exact match laws that disproportionately impact Black and Brown voters."Abrams also let voters know on Twitter that she would "expand the right to vote" if she won her race for governor.—Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) October 1, 2022 Representatives for Abrams and Kemp did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 1st, 2022

Online Platforms Like Twitter Are Missing a Brutal Wave of Hate Speech in Japan

Zainichi Koreans, Japan's most vilified minority, live in fear of online hate translating into real world violence Immediately after Shinzo Abe was assassinated by a gunman on July 8, a rumor quickly spread on Japanese social media. It falsely claimed that the suspect was a “Zainichi Korean.” The term generally applies to descendants of Korean people who emigrated to Japan between 1910 and 1945—a period when Japan occupied Korea. They are the most targeted minority in Japan and suffer from virulent online abuse. Last summer, online hate turned into real life violence. A 22-year-old man allegedly set fire to and destroyed seven buildings in Utoro—the ethnic Korean district of Uji, a city of some 185,000 on Japan’s main island Honshu. Although there were no casualties, the attack horrified Zainichi Koreans across the country. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] On August 30, he was sentenced to four years in prison. The suspect said that the purpose of the attack was to make Koreans afraid to live in Japan. According to media reports, he was radicalized by reading anti-Korean comments that had been posted by readers of Yahoo! News Japan and one of his motives was to earn notoriety among those users. Yahoo! News Japan reportedly has just 70 content moderators to police an estimated 10.5 million comments each month. It is the most popular news site in the country, and articles about the Utoro incident attracted a torrent of hateful comments and disinformation about Zainichi Koreans. Read More: Reddit Failing to Control Hate Speech In Its Global Forums In a written statement to TIME, the platform said it uses “AI and [moderators] to properly eliminate some malicious users and posts” and that it has cooperated with government agencies to do so. But many of those posts remain on the site today. Around the world, and on every continent, major tech platforms have attempted to strike a balance between allowing people to speak freely while protecting others from users who post hateful content. To do so, they’ve implemented content moderation practices that are often inadequate or particularly hard on moderators—even despite warnings from users and employees who moderate content. Japan is no exception. But in Japan, unlike the U.S. and other countries, online problems may fester out of sight. Japan’s digital culture receives little attention from the international media and researchers beyond high-profile pop culture phenomena like anime and video games. Matt Alt, a Tokyo-based writer, says this is in part because deciphering Japanese online discourse requires a high degree of Japanese literacy. Within the country, what happens online tends to stay online, says Alt: “There is sort of a barrier between online happenings and mass media in Japan. More so than the West.” Jinhee Lee—NurPhoto/Getty Images The aftermath of damage remains on the arson site in Utoro Zainichi Korean settlement in Uji, eight months after the arson attack, on April 30, 2022 in Kyoto. A 22-year-old Japanese man is under arrest in connection with the incident. How hate speech spreads in Japan Japanese far-right netizens called “netto-uyoku” flock to Yahoo! News Japan and other platforms like Twitter and Japanese Wikipedia that allow anonymity. They use the sites to spread historical revisionism and stoke xenophobic views of Korea and China. Twitter has over 45 million Japanese users, making Japan its second largest market. It has a policy that “prohibits statements of exclusion based on race or ethnicity,” according to a Twitter spokesperson, who specifically added that “statements of exclusion or violence towards the Zainichi Koreans will be subject to enforcement.” But Zainichi Koreans are frequent targets of abuse on the site, where they are derided as “cockroaches,” “cancer,” “illegal immigrants,” and “chon” (a highly derogatory term), while being told to “go back to your country.” The last attack is particularly painful, given that the ancestors of many Zainichi Koreans were forcibly sent as laborers to Japan during the colonial era. One Zainichi Korean described it to TIME as “the murder of the soul.” Meanwhile, with one billion monthly page views, Japanese Wikipedia is the most visited edition of Wikipedia after English. It has played a crucial role in whitewashing war crimes committed by Imperial Japan in China and Korea. The Zainichi Korean page contains many misleading claims and reinforces a stereotype of Zainichi Koreans as criminals. One of Wikipedia’s volunteer editors said in an email to TIME that “Japanese Wikipedia has been hijacked by netto-uyoku.” The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, dismisses the claim. It said in a statement to TIME that it had investigated historical revisionism on Japanese Wikipedia and found “some presence of right-wing users who have possibly attempted to control the content on certain pages” but the abuse didn’t seem frequent or sufficient enough to enforce a ban. The foundation subsequently added that its “volunteers have included more relevant, verified historical context in [disputed] articles,” although much disinformation remains. Read More: Facebook Accused of ‘Whitewashing’ a Human Rights Report on India Daisuke Tsuji, an associate professor at Osaka University, who has collected data on netto-uyoku for over a decade, says “Only about 2% of internet users in Japan are netto-uyoku.” But their viewpoints are over-represented on the internet, partly because they are among the few Japanese willing to talk about politics, he says. “Unlike in the U.S. or U.K., Japanese don’t really talk about politics in daily conversation. Even on the Internet, it’s a small segment of the population that engages in political discussions.” Furthermore, the Japanese tendency to avoid conflict is also reflected on social media. In an analysis of Twitter in Japan, researchers found that plenty of progressives were on the site, but they weren’t discussing the same topics as netto-uyoku. Since liberals aren’t actively engaged in creating counter narratives, the viewpoints of netto-uyoku are rarely challenged. Such cultural factors, plus the normalizing of hate on the Internet, have enabled netto-uyoku to create the impression that their views are more mainstream than they actually are. Their words have the potential to harm hundreds of thousands. There are at least 300,000 people in Japan who are categorized as “special permanent residents,” almost all of whom are Zainichi Koreans—and many thousands more may consider themselves part of this group because of their heritage. What’s happening to Zainichi Koreans isn’t unique, of course. Minority communities are targeted online all over the world, as a reflection of what happens offline, says Ariadna Matamoros-Fernandez, who studies digital media at Queensland University of Technology. But most major social media platforms struggle to understand how hate is articulated in non-U.S. contexts, she says. The problem is exacerbated in countries without a proper legal framework to protect minorities. Activists in Japan have been pushing for anti-discrimination laws. Japan passed the Hate Speech Act in 2016, but activists say it didn’t go far enough because it prescribes no penalties. They also say that the lack of explicit government condemnation emboldens those perpetrating ethnic hate. Richard Atrero de Guzman—NurPhoto/Getty Images Anti-racist groups (L) try to block Japanese nationalists from marching on the street during a rally demanding an end to hate speech in Kawasaki, Japan, on July 16, 2017. Scuffles erupted when right-wing activists marched with their slogans, flags, and racist speech, forcing police to intervene. Scant protection for Japan’s minorities Frustrated by the lack of official action, some Zainichi Koreans, and Japanese people with Zainichi heritage, are mounting legal fights to stop the cycle of discrimination, even though lawsuits in Japan are uncommon. In 2014, Osaka-born Zainichi writer Sinhae Lee, sued Zaitokukai, a far-right hate group known for staging anti-Korean rallies, for harassment both online and offline. Lee estimated that she was receiving about 5,000 racially and sexually abusive tweets per day, but after she filed the case she says she got as many as 20,000 daily. She says Zainichi Korean women are especially targeted because “we’re at the bottom of the bottom of society.” She won the case in 2017, but it took a toll: Lee has suffered from weight loss, insomnia, and stress-related hearing loss. The harassment on Twitter hasn’t stopped, but when she reports these posts to Twitter, she’s told that they don’t violate Twitter’s rules. Last December Natsuki Yasuda, a well-known photojournalist, filed a lawsuit against two anonymous Twitter users who posted discriminatory comments about her late father, who was a Zainichi Korean. Her suit came in the wake of another, by Choi Kang I-ja, who sued a man who repeatedly harassed her on his blog and Twitter. She also received a death threat at work and has been wearing a protective vest, fearing for her life. The area around her workplace, the Sakuramoto district of Kawasaki City in the Greater Tokyo area, is where many Zainichi Koreans live. It’s also a popular site of anti-Korean hate rallies, and its residents have been threatened with violence. Read More: 4 Ways for Fix Social Media That Don’t Cost $44 Billion “Platforms need to enforce their own guidelines against hate speech,“ says Hajime Kanbara, a human rights lawyer, who represents both Yasuda and Choi. He says that American companies like Twitter make filing a lawsuit against anonymous users difficult because they withhold user identities. “I want them to respond more flexibly to user disclosure,” he says. (Japan now has a law, the Provider Liability Limitation Act, that allows victims of online defamation to request disclosure of the sender’s details). In June of this year, the Japanese parliament passed legislation that makes “online insults” punishable by up to a year in prison. But precisely what it covers is vague, and activists and lawyers worry that the measure will be used to protect powerful people in the establishment, while having little effect on countering hate speech. “It’s very hard for victims to file a complaint or go to civil court,” says Sinhae Lee. Rather than placing the burden on the victims, she says that the platforms, the government, and society should do more. Last summer’s arson attack in Uji could be a signal of what’s to come, unless the government and the platforms take action, says Kanbara, who warns of “a hate crime with numerous casualties.” Zainichi Koreans are now fearing the worst......»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 1st, 2022

Tech Companies Are Missing a Brutal Wave of Hate Speech in Japan

Zainichi Koreans, Japan's most vilified minority, live in fear of online hate translating into real world violence Immediately after Shinzo Abe was assassinated by a gunman on July 8, a rumor quickly spread on Japanese social media. It falsely claimed that the suspect was a “Zainichi Korean.” The term generally applies to descendants of Korean people who emigrated to Japan between 1910 and 1945—a period when Japan occupied Korea. They are the most targeted minority in Japan and suffer from virulent online abuse. Last summer, online hate turned into real life violence. A 22-year-old man allegedly set fire to and destroyed seven buildings in Utoro—the ethnic Korean district of Uji, a city of some 185,000 on Japan’s main island Honshu. Although there were no casualties, the attack horrified Zainichi Koreans across the country. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] On August 30, he was sentenced to four years in prison. The suspect said that the purpose of the attack was to make Koreans afraid to live in Japan. According to media reports, he was radicalized by reading anti-Korean comments that had been posted by readers of Yahoo! News Japan and one of his motives was to earn notoriety among those users. Yahoo! News Japan reportedly has just 70 content moderators to police an estimated 10.5 million comments each month. It is the most popular news site in the country, and articles about the Utoro incident attracted a torrent of hateful comments and disinformation about Zainichi Koreans. Read More: Reddit Failing to Control Hate Speech In Its Global Forums In a written statement to TIME, the platform said it uses “AI and [moderators] to properly eliminate some malicious users and posts” and that it has cooperated with government agencies to do so. But many of those posts remain on the site today. Around the world, and on every continent, major tech platforms have attempted to strike a balance between allowing people to speak freely while protecting others from users who post hateful content. To do so, they’ve implemented content moderation practices that are often inadequate or particularly hard on moderators—even despite warnings from users and employees who moderate content. Japan is no exception. But in Japan, unlike the U.S. and other countries, online problems may fester out of sight. Japan’s digital culture receives little attention from the international media and researchers beyond high-profile pop culture phenomena like anime and video games. Matt Alt, a Tokyo-based writer, says this is in part because deciphering Japanese online discourse requires a high degree of Japanese literacy. Within the country, what happens online tends to stay online, says Alt: “There is sort of a barrier between online happenings and mass media in Japan. More so than the West.” Jinhee Lee—NurPhoto/Getty Images The aftermath of damage remains on the arson site in Utoro Zainichi Korean settlement in Uji, eight months after the arson attack, on April 30, 2022 in Kyoto. A 22-year-old Japanese man is under arrest in connection with the incident. How hate speech spreads in Japan Japanese far-right netizens called “netto-uyoku” flock to Yahoo! News Japan and other platforms like Twitter and Japanese Wikipedia that allow anonymity. They use the sites to spread historical revisionism and stoke xenophobic views of Korea and China. Twitter has over 45 million Japanese users, making Japan its second largest market. It has a policy that “prohibits statements of exclusion based on race or ethnicity,” according to a Twitter spokesperson, who specifically added that “statements of exclusion or violence towards the Zainichi Koreans will be subject to enforcement.” But Zainichi Koreans are frequent targets of abuse on the site, where they are derided as “cockroaches,” “cancer,” “illegal immigrants,” and “chon” (a highly derogatory term), while being told to “go back to your country.” The last attack is particularly painful, given that the ancestors of many Zainichi Koreans were forcibly sent as laborers to Japan during the colonial era. One Zainichi Korean described it to TIME as “the murder of the soul.” Meanwhile, with one billion monthly page views, Japanese Wikipedia is the most visited edition of Wikipedia after English. It has played a crucial role in whitewashing war crimes committed by Imperial Japan in China and Korea. The Zainichi Korean page contains many misleading claims and reinforces a stereotype of Zainichi Koreans as criminals. One of Wikipedia’s volunteer editors said in an email to TIME that “Japanese Wikipedia has been hijacked by netto-uyoku.” The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, dismisses the claim. It said in a statement to TIME that it had investigated historical revisionism on Japanese Wikipedia and found “some presence of right-wing users who have possibly attempted to control the content on certain pages” but the abuse didn’t seem frequent or sufficient enough to enforce a ban. The foundation subsequently added that its “volunteers have included more relevant, verified historical context in [disputed] articles,” although much disinformation remains. Read More: Facebook Accused of ‘Whitewashing’ a Human Rights Report on India Daisuke Tsuji, an associate professor at Osaka University, who has collected data on netto-uyoku for over a decade, says “Only about 2% of internet users in Japan are netto-uyoku.” But their viewpoints are over-represented on the internet, partly because they are among the few Japanese willing to talk about politics, he says. “Unlike in the U.S. or U.K., Japanese don’t really talk about politics in daily conversation. Even on the Internet, it’s a small segment of the population that engages in political discussions.” Furthermore, the Japanese tendency to avoid conflict is also reflected on social media. In an analysis of Twitter in Japan, researchers found that plenty of progressives were on the site, but they weren’t discussing the same topics as netto-uyoku. Since liberals aren’t actively engaged in creating counter narratives, the viewpoints of netto-uyoku are rarely challenged. Such cultural factors, plus the normalizing of hate on the Internet, have enabled netto-uyoku to create the impression that their views are more mainstream than they actually are. Their words have the potential to harm hundreds of thousands. There are at least 300,000 people in Japan who are categorized as “special permanent residents,” almost all of whom are Zainichi Koreans—and many thousands more may consider themselves part of this group because of their heritage. What’s happening to Zainichi Koreans isn’t unique, of course. Minority communities are targeted online all over the world, as a reflection of what happens offline, says Ariadna Matamoros-Fernandez, who studies digital media at Queensland University of Technology. But most major social media platforms struggle to understand how hate is articulated in non-U.S. contexts, she says. The problem is exacerbated in countries without a proper legal framework to protect minorities. Activists in Japan have been pushing for anti-discrimination laws. Japan passed the Hate Speech Act in 2016, but activists say it didn’t go far enough because it prescribes no penalties. They also say that the lack of explicit government condemnation emboldens those perpetrating ethnic hate. Richard Atrero de Guzman—NurPhoto/Getty Images Anti-racist groups (L) try to block Japanese nationalists from marching on the street during a rally demanding an end to hate speech in Kawasaki, Japan, on July 16, 2017. Scuffles erupted when right-wing activists marched with their slogans, flags, and racist speech, forcing police to intervene. Scant protection for Japan’s minorities Frustrated by the lack of official action, some Zainichi Koreans, and Japanese people with Zainichi heritage, are mounting legal fights to stop the cycle of discrimination, even though lawsuits in Japan are uncommon. In 2014, Osaka-born Zainichi writer Sinhae Lee, sued Zaitokukai, a far-right hate group known for staging anti-Korean rallies, for harassment both online and offline. Lee estimated that she was receiving about 5,000 racially and sexually abusive tweets per day, but after she filed the case she says she got as many as 20,000 daily. She says Zainichi Korean women are especially targeted because “we’re at the bottom of the bottom of society.” She won the case in 2017, but it took a toll: Lee has suffered from weight loss, insomnia, and stress-related hearing loss. The harassment on Twitter hasn’t stopped, but when she reports these posts to Twitter, she’s told that they don’t violate Twitter’s rules. Last December Natsuki Yasuda, a well-known photojournalist, filed a lawsuit against two anonymous Twitter users who posted discriminatory comments about her late father, who was a Zainichi Korean. Her suit came in the wake of another, by Choi Kang I-ja, who sued a man who repeatedly harassed her on his blog and Twitter. She also received a death threat at work and has been wearing a protective vest, fearing for her life. The area around her workplace, the Sakuramoto district of Kawasaki City in the Greater Tokyo area, is where many Zainichi Koreans live. It’s also a popular site of anti-Korean hate rallies, and its residents have been threatened with violence. Read More: 4 Ways for Fix Social Media That Don’t Cost $44 Billion “Platforms need to enforce their own guidelines against hate speech,“ says Hajime Kanbara, a human rights lawyer, who represents both Yasuda and Choi. He says that American companies like Twitter make filing a lawsuit against anonymous users difficult because they withhold user identities. “I want them to respond more flexibly to user disclosure,” he says. (Japan now has a law, the Provider Liability Limitation Act, that allows victims of online defamation to request disclosure of the sender’s details). In June of this year, the Japanese parliament passed legislation that makes “online insults” punishable by up to a year in prison. But precisely what it covers is vague, and activists and lawyers worry that the measure will be used to protect powerful people in the establishment, while having little effect on countering hate speech. “It’s very hard for victims to file a complaint or go to civil court,” says Sinhae Lee. Rather than placing the burden on the victims, she says that the platforms, the government, and society should do more. Last summer’s arson attack in Uji could be a signal of what’s to come, unless the government and the platforms take action, says Kanbara, who warns of “a hate crime with numerous casualties.” Zainichi Koreans are now fearing the worst......»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 1st, 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

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

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

Planned Parenthood CEO Discusses The Post-Roe Fight For Abortion Access–And The “Opportunity To Reimagine… Something Better”

When the Supreme Court released its decision overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24, Alexis McGill Johnson was ready. As president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, she had been warning of this outcome long before a leaked draft of the Court’s opinion was published in May. The reproductive rights movement had been working to prevent… When the Supreme Court released its decision overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24, Alexis McGill Johnson was ready. As president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, she had been warning of this outcome long before a leaked draft of the Court’s opinion was published in May. The reproductive rights movement had been working to prevent this moment for years. And yet, McGill Johnson still found it devastating. Access to abortion quickly changed in about half the country, as providers, patients, lawyers, activists, and state officials scrambled to interpret confusing, overlapping laws–some of which hadn’t been in effect for decades or were written a century ago. In the weeks since, advocates have filed suit in a number of states, aiming to block laws that restrict abortion. The Biden administration has taken some steps to protect access to medication abortion and to abortions in life-saving situations, but the federal government is limited in what it can do. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The new fight over abortion is largely at the state and local levels. And that’s where much of McGill Johnson’s focus is trained. Planned Parenthood is working to help people travel across state lines to access abortion and moving resources to places where the procedure is still legal. The organization, along with groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights, is waging battles in state courts to delay or strike down as many anti-abortion laws as it can. It is also trying to convince voters to pay close attention to state and local elections, where abortion policy will be decided for the foreseeable future. But ultimately, this is a “generational fight,” and winning back a national right to abortion will be a long-term project, McGill Johnson says. Born just months before the Supreme Court issued its decision in Roe, McGill Johnson, 49, has lived most of her life with the national right to abortion. She spent years as a social justice activist and political scientist, served on the Planned Parenthood board, and was running the Perception Institute, a research group she co-founded to study racial bias and discrimination, when Planned Parenthood tapped her to take over after it ousted its former leader in 2019. The organization made her permanent head of both Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nonprofit that is the nation’s largest abortion provider, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, its political arm, in 2020, just in time for a fresh round of high stakes political fights. TIME recently spoke with her about how a broad patchwork of anti-abortion laws are playing out around the country, what she would like to see President Biden do to protect abortion access, and the economic impact of overturning Roe. (For coverage of the future of work, visit TIME.com/charter and sign up for the free Charter newsletter.) The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. It’s been three weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe. Now each state has different laws and policies on abortion, and it seems like every day things are changing. What does this rapidly shifting landscape mean for Planned Parenthood’s clinics and staff around the country? The moment has been devastating. It is confusing. It is complicated. Just in the last three weeks, 12 states have moved to ban abortion or banned abortion. And we expect more to do so in the coming days, weeks, and months as states rush to open up their legislative seasons. So what that looks like on the ground is people who are waking up who are pregnant who no longer wish to be, calling health centers trying to figure out whether or not they can get the abortion care that they need in state and what the additional restrictions are, because even in some of the states where abortion is still legal, there are other restrictions on top that complicate the provision of care. I’ve traveled to North Carolina, South Carolina and Michigan. I’m headed to Indiana in a little bit. It’s been heartbreaking to be on the ground and talking to providers at our affiliates, who are either overwhelmed with the increased volume in their health centers because they are doing everything they can to meet the patient needs. And particularly for those who are traveling out of state knowing that they have such a finite time to be seen before they need to get back. And it’s also overwhelming for the providers who have the ability to provide care–but no longer legally–who are just being denied the opportunity to treat their patients. And it is no question the beginning of what will overwhelmingly be a public health care crisis. In some places, abortion clinics closed. But in other places, they’ve changed their operations out of fear of violating these laws. For example, Planned Parenthood of Montana stopped providing abortion pills to some out-of-state patients because it said it was worried about neighboring states’ abortion bans. How do you think about risk when evaluating what services you can provide under the new laws? Each affiliate is independently affiliated with Planned Parenthood and so they make their own decisions with respect to their risk tolerance. But I think what you are seeing is, in addition to the abortion bans, additional restrictions being introduced around things like the right to travel, the criminalization of medication abortion over state lines, or the kind of civil suits that are consistent with the Texas bounty hunter provisions in SB 8. And so, each affiliate, each health center is trying to identify ways to protect their patients and their providers and the workforce so that they can continue providing the care they can in state. And when you have the AG in Texas suing the HHS Secretary for forcing them to provide abortion care in the instance of protecting the life of the mother, it makes it very challenging to consider what the risk ultimately will be. And I think that’s the hardest part about this period, is the unknowable risks, and making sure that providers and our affiliates get the clearest guidance not only from us as an organization, but also from the Administration about where they will put the weight of and power of the Department of Justice and HHS and enforcing the right to access care up where they can. You brought up the Texas suit. The state recently sued the Biden administration’s Health and Human Services Department over guidance it issued telling hospitals they must provide abortions in emergency situations. What was your reaction to seeing Texas’ suit? There was a patient in Texas who had an intended pregnancy that was no longer viable and the hospital administrators, the insurance providers did not want to give her the abortion care that she needed, until she essentially started showing signs of sepsis. And so I think what the Secretary is doing here and saying here is underscoring the impact on health care broadly and on the lives of patients in Texas now. And I think what the [Texas] AG is doing is putting their agenda to ban abortion at the expense of the lives of women and others in the state. In addition to the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, there’s been an influx of conservative justices onto the federal courts over the last several years. Does the Texas suit make you concerned that other efforts to protect abortion access could prompt lawsuits that would get heard before conservative judges who might make decisions that further curtail access? We have to explore every single avenue to fight back and that means litigation even when the courts aren’t favorable, it means mobilization even when the seats have been gerrymandered in many states. I think the point here isn’t to worry about which court will take it. It is to also demonstrate to the public, which by and large supports access to abortion, that lawmakers and the judiciary are far out of step with where the residents of many of these states are. I think it’s just important at every turn to demonstrate who is fighting for freedom, who is trying to protect access to health care, who is trying to protect the very fabric of trust that is the currency of a relationship between a provider and a patient, and who is trying to scare people and shame people and stigmatize people from getting the care that they’re asking for. And so yes, I’m very concerned about the limited pathways, but I’m also very concerned that we try everything that we possibly can in order to demonstrate that we are not going back. (For coverage of the future of work, visit TIME.com/charter and sign up for the free Charter newsletter.) How do you view the Biden administration’s response to overturning Roe so far? The administration has to do everything they can to protect access to abortion and other reproductive health services in this country. I think that they have put forth some initial very important steps around access to medication abortion, as well as the work that the Department of Justice is also looking at with the Reproductive Rights Task Force to address and monitor some of these right to travel laws. There is more that the administration can do around supporting travel, around declaring a public health emergency, around strengthening the information around medication abortion and fighting disinformation. So the conversations that we have with the administration are focused on the experiences that patients are having every day in trying to seek access to care, and sharing stories that providers are sharing about the concerns that they and their staff are having around being targeted for providing the care in particular ways. Those are the stories that should inform the policy and the additional work that will come from the administration. I wanted to ask about the situation in Ohio where a man was charged with raping a 10-year-old and the abortion provider has received intense scrutiny despite abortion being legal in Indiana. What concerns do the calls for investigations into the doctor raise for you? It’s just another example of how extreme anti-abortion politicians are. They created this abortion access crisis and they’re so hell-bent on their agenda to make it inaccessible, that they’re actively putting people’s health and lives at risk. The fact that this doctor has been outed on Fox News, her name and photo, the fact that a National Right to Life official said that they thought the 10-year-old should have been forced to give birth, is demonstrating that they will go to any lengths to shame and create fear and terror for providers and patients themselves. And so to come back to the Biden administration, I think that these are the concerns that we have to make sure the administration understands and is helping to address. Figuring out how to support and protect people who now have to travel across state lines, ensuring that providers are not facing these terroristic threats around their license and fear for their own safety. But it’s an example of how extreme the politicians have been in trying to use their power and control to control our bodies. Some Democrats have been discouraged that even with their party in charge at the federal level, Roe was still overturned. How do you think about Planned Parenthood’s political strategy and motivating people to vote in November? I would say the Democrats have been acting. We’ve seen [multiple] votes on the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation that would protect people’s right to access abortion. We’ve seen the House pass that legislation and we have a very divided Senate. As for the motivation: For the last 49 years, we have relied on the Supreme Court as our backstop to hold up this constitutional right. And I think what voters need to understand now is just how critical state and local elections are, how critical state supreme courts are, how critical governors are as a backstop for protecting access. And that maps on to our Action Fund’s electoral strategy. We want to make sure that we are protecting governors where we can, that we are expanding the majority in the U.S. Senate, and fighting in key state houses to protect access to care. And despite what you may have heard, everyone I hear from has actually gotten quite energized. Abortion is polling at the highest levels in terms of of motivation and enthusiasm for turnout, and so I think that’s going to continue because the impact is being felt immediately and will continue to be felt over the next few months. And I think that’s probably why you’re seeing a lot of folks who oppose access to abortion, many GOP candidates, who aren’t talking about it because they know they don’t have the answers. You mentioned the impact of all these changes is already being felt. As abortion clinics close and people who have worked there are unsure about their own futures, how do you make sure Planned Parenthood and the broader reproductive rights movement feel sustained to push back? Planned Parenthood is over 100 years old, and its formation is grounded in resistance and its goal to provide the best sexual and reproductive health care possible. That is going to continue. Planned Parenthood provides access to contraception, to STI testing, to breast cancer screening, to gender affirming care, to behavioral health and mental health. And that work is going to become even more important, particularly in places that have lost access to to abortion, because we have been a critical part of the public health infrastructure. Writ large, the movement has always been under the assumption that this is a long fight. It’s been a long fight to hold and sustain what we have had under Roe and also recognize the fact that Roe was not enough. And I think now that we are in a world where we are no longer defending Roe, we have actually an opportunity to reimagine and reconstruct something better. And I think that is the animating idea that is bringing the movement into full focus around what is possible to create and settling in that it is going to be a very long road to restore our rights, to get back into the Constitution, and to continue to be able to provide the best and most comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care imaginable. Businesses have been trying to figure out how they should respond to the Supreme Court ruling as well. What do you want companies to be thinking about as they decide how they are going to navigate this new landscape of abortion? I think they have to be looking at it through the lens of their workforce, I think they have to be looking at it through the lens of their consumers and stakeholders, as well as the communities and states they’re operating in, because it’s incredibly important for them to be providing the benefits. No company, and quite frankly no lawmaker, should want a resident to be held hostage in their state and not be allowed to cross state lines to get access to care, and they should facilitate that and cover it. And if they choose to locate in a ban state, I think they also should be using their voice to talk about the impact of loss of access to abortion for their communities and for their workforce. I believe the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has found that the impact to the economy is upwards of $105 billion [per year]. And so thinking about also what it means to do business in states that no longer have access to care, how that will impact their workforce and morale and their responsibility to the communities that they are in. Last, I’d say that companies play a very big role in our political system. They often give donations to both sides of houses and to consider whether or not funding some of these incredibly extreme lawmakers is the best way to demonstrate their support to their workforce or the communities that they’re serving. Given that it took conservatives nearly 50 years to overturn Roe, and now you’re in some ways starting this new era, how far in the future are you looking as you try to restore access to abortion going forward? I think the fundamental question for our movement right now is, who are we going to be now that we are no longer defending Roe? This is a generational fight, and the work that we are doing right now, not only to rebuild and strengthen an infrastructure to provide abortion in the states where we can, is important, but we have to acknowledge that we shouldn’t be looking to the future state being one in which you constantly have to travel for access to abortion care. And that means fighting state by state. It means coordinating, connecting with movements that are also experiencing the same potential loss, the guarantees that we have come to understand have been guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. It means aligning and being very systematic in building power across the states. Most of these states, the majority of people support access to abortion care. The only reason we are here is because the people in power have gerrymandered themselves in power. And it’s our job to unpack them and to leverage direct democracy to fight back—and that will take a while. Share The Leadership Brief by clicking here......»»

Category: topSource: timeJul 17th, 2022

Jan. 6 live: Witness Trump tried to call is a White House support staffer, reports say

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 Rep. Cheney said at Tuesday's Jan 6. hearing that Trump tried to contact a witness. CNN reported that this was a White House staffer who hadn't appeared publicly but is able to corroborate testimony. The Tuesday session focused on Trump's role in galvanizing far-right groups that stormed the Capitol. Jan. 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: dealsSource: nytJul 16th, 2022

Walmart hit with lawsuit, accused of firing a Florida mom who claims managers harassed her and denied lactation accommodations

A former Walmart employee is suing the company for failing to meet her needs as a new mother and eventually terminating her. Walmart.AP A Florida woman alleges she was forced to pump breast milk in front of male coworkers. Her request for accommodations were denied by Walmart, according to the lawsuit. Another woman filed a similar suit against Walmart in February. A Florida woman is suing Walmart for discrimination after her termination in 2021, saying that as a new mom, she was harassed and her lactation needs were ignored leading up to the firing, according to the lawsuit.Kyla Alegata is accusing Walmart of failing to provide reasonable accommodations for her to pump milk during work in a July suit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).The lawsuit, which describes Alegata as an "excellent worker," says the woman started in 2019 as a deli and bakery clerk at the DeFuniak Springs location, about 65 miles from Panama City. But it claims she began getting "harassed" by her managers  after giving birth in 2020, the Miami Herald reports. Alegata's lawsuit alleges that managers began harassing her when she tried to take breaks to pump breast milk, and made her wait up to an hour before they unlocked the room designated for lactation. It says she was constantly interrupted and claims that at times Alegata would have to share the space with male coworkers while she pumped.After submitting a request for pregnancy-related accommodations via a doctor's note, she was denied and told Walmart "does not accept doctor's notes," the lawsuit says.She was fired in January 2021 just two days after pointing out that denying her request violated  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, according to the Miami Herald. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin," according to the EEOC, which enforces federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on those factors as well as pregnancy, transgender status, and sexual orientation.Randy Hargrove, a Walmart spokesperson, provided McClatchy News with a statement. "We support our associates by providing accommodations every day and believe store management provided (the woman) with the necessary breaks to express milk in a secure, clean and private area," it said.He added that Walmart fired Alegata "for excessive absences that were unrelated to any breaks or protected activity," according to the Miami Herald.Along with the EEOC, she is seeking damages in the form of back pay, front pay, and attorney fees, and a trial by jury. The Defuniak Springs Walmart was subject to another EEOC lawsuit in 2021 after the store was accused of continuing to allow a male employee to "sexually harass at least three female employees." The suit claimed the store fired a woman just four days after she complained about his behavior, according to a press release.The EEOC filed a suit against the retail giant in February 2022 accusing it of providing an Iowa woman with "an unsanitary storage closet to express her breast milk" and failing to promote her because she had a newborn, a release from the agency says.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 14th, 2022

Meet Hunter Biden, the often scandal-plagued middle child of President Joe Biden

Hunter was the subject of a widely discredited story by the New York Post that fired up Republicans and raised concerns among some US intelligence. Hunter Biden.Paul Morigi/Getty Images for World Food Program USA Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden's middle child, was at the center of a dubious New York post article based on purported juicy emails and photos found on a laptop sent to the outlet by Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney.  Hunter Biden was previously mentioned by Trump in the first presidential debate for his business dealings, including his connections with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings and profiting in China while his father was vice president. Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, Hunter Biden's entanglement in the administration's contact with Ukraine proved to be controversial, but it remains to be seen how this may impact his father's bid for the presidency. Here's how he rose through the ranks of Washington. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden's middle child, was the subject of a dubious story published by the New York Post that aired unverified claims about juicy emails and embarrassing images it said were found on the younger Biden's laptop. The story was widely discredited, but not before it raised questions among lawmakers and US intelligence about a possible Russian disinformation effort ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Biden's son was also a major topic amid chaotic discourse during the first Trump-Biden debate, Trump mentioned his business dealings, including his connections with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings and profiting in China while his father was vice president. Hunter was previously at the center of Trump's Ukraine scandal that launched an impeachment inquiry.Before being referenced by Trump, he took the spotlight in an emotional speech with younger sister Ashley Biden on the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention.The 52-year-old's personal life has created tension as it has played out amid his father's political life for years, and is now coming into sharper focus. The controversies escalated on November 20, 2019, when DNA results confirmed he fathered a child with a different woman while dating Hallie Biden, his brother's widow. While he dismissed the claims by the child's mother, Lunden Alexis Roberts, earlier in the year, court filings now assert that he accepts the child is his.See how Hunter Biden rose through the ranks of Washington, found himself involved in Trump's latest scandal, and discovered he was a father again in 2019.Joe Biden's sons have been well-known fixtures in his public life since they were children.Sen. Joseph Biden takes the oath of office from the US Senate's secretary, Frank Valeo, with his father-in-law Robert Hunter and son Joseph Beau Biden at his side, in Beau's hospital room.Bettmann / Contributor via Getty ImagesJoe Biden was sworn into office for a Delaware Senate seat in a Wilmington, Delaware, hospital where his two young sons, Hunter and his brother Beau, were taken after being severely injured in a car accident that killed Biden's wife and baby daughter, Naomi, in 1972.The senator's daily 90-minute train commute to Washington, DC, and back to Delaware to care for his sons earned him the nickname "Amtrak Joe."Biden later married Jill Jacobs, Hunter and Beau's stepmother, in 1977. The brothers' half-sister, Ashley, was born on June 8, 1981.Hunter Biden followed in his father's political footsteps and worked his way up in Washington.Sen. Joe Biden with his family after announcing his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty ImageHunter Biden studied at Georgetown University and graduated in 1992. It was while earning his undergraduate history degree that he began to differ from his teetotaler father as he began to ramp up his social drinking habit into smoking Marlboro Reds and occasionally using cocaine, according to a 2019 interview with The New Yorker.After graduation, he spent a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, working in Portland, Oregon, before graduating from Yale Law School in 1996. In 1997, Hunter Biden returned to the family's roots in Wilmington, Delaware, where he began a career that immediately caused conflict-of-interest questions.A view of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Railroad Station, an Amtrak train station, July 21, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty ImagesHunter Biden bought a historic estate in Wilmington in 1997, where he lived with his wife, young daughters, and brother Beau. He assumed a role as an executive vice president at MBNA bank but later said he disliked the stiff corporate culture."If you forgot to wear your MBNA lapel pin, someone would stop you in the halls," he later told The New Yorker.His role at the bank raised eyebrows as MBNA was known as a massive donor to several of Joe Biden's campaigns over the years, but he stayed with the company for nearly five years.In 1998, he reached out to William Oldaker, a Washington, DC-based lawyer who had worked on Joe Biden's 1987 presidential campaign about getting a job in President Bill Clinton's administration, according to The New Yorker.Hunter Biden flexed his connections and rose up the ranks in the Washington scene.Former President Bill Clinton.Time Life Pictures/White House/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesOldaker connected Hunter Biden with Commerce Secretary William Daley, who had worked with Joe Biden and bonded with Hunter over being from political families, according to The New Yorker.Hunter Biden was then appointed to the department by President Bill Clinton and served from 1998 to 2001 as a director in the Department of Commerce focusing on e-commerce-policy issues.Hunter Biden moved his young family to a tony Washington, DC, neighborhood for the role, where he began to establish himself as a DC player, even though he later revealed his salary barely covered the family's house, the children's schooling, and the living expenses that kept them in pace with high DC society. From 2001 to 2008, he worked at Oldaker, Biden, and Belair LLP, a federal lobbyist firm he cofounded but resigned from to preserve the optics of his father's campaign.Getty/Chip SomodevillaCNN reported that Hunter Biden resigned from the firm when then-Sen. Barack Obama, who said he would refuse donations from lobbyists, asked Joe Biden to join his presidential ticket.Hunter Biden later told The New Yorker that no one from the Obama campaign had directly told him to break his lobbying ties but that he knew "the writing was on the wall," so he resigned from the firm and from an unpaid seat on the Amtrak board in preparation for the election."I wanted my father to have a clean slate," Hunter Biden told the outlet. "I didn't want to limit him in any way."As his father found his place at the top of Washington, Hunter Biden launched several new business efforts that raised eyebrows.Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with Hunter Biden at a campaign stop in Dubuque, Iowa.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesIn September 2008, Hunter Biden launched a consulting firm, Seneca Global Advisors, and in June 2009, Hunter cofounded the private-equity firm Rosemont Seneca Partners. The New Yorker said that through his companies and his partners, Hunter Biden established various business connections to figures in China and Russia. His blooming international business relationships came to a head when his father adopted policy priorities to crack down on corruption in Ukraine, but he was not accused of any formal wrongdoing. Into adulthood, Hunter Biden became known for his tumultuous personal life.Beau Biden, Hunter Biden, and Ashley Biden while Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Convention on September 6, 2012.Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesHunter Biden's tumultuous personal life became tabloid fodder during and after his father's time with the administration. He sparked confusion when he, then 44 years old, enlisted in the Navy Reserves in 2012, less than two years before reports broke that the Reserve discharged him in 2014 after he tested positive for cocaine.Hunter Biden eventually confirmed the news and said in a statement that it was "the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy's decision. With the love and support of my family, I'm moving forward."After tragedy struck the family through 46-year-old Beau Biden's death from cancer in 2015, Hunter Biden's personal life remained in the headlines. After he divorced his first wife and the mother of his three daughters, Kathleen, the Biden family acknowledged he was dating Hallie Biden, Beau's widow.Hunter Biden raised eyebrows with a candid New Yorker interview in which he said he spent the aftermath of his brother's death on a bender that included him buying crack from homeless people. He also said that he and Hallie Biden discovered they were "sharing a very specific grief" and spent a lot of time together in 2016 before they became a couple.The couple apparently tried to keep the relationship secret, but the former vice president found out when Page Six called him for comment on a story on the relationship, after which he and Jill Biden issued a supportive statement."We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness," the statement said. "They have mine and Jill's full and complete support and we are happy for them."It's unclear when Hunter and Hallie Biden stopped dating, but their breakup was reported in early May, shortly before TMZ reported the "secret" wedding between Hunter Biden and the South African model Melissa Cohen, which happened on May 16.Despite his personal affairs, Hunter Biden's biggest public troubles came from questions into his business dealings.Joe Biden, right, and his son Hunter Biden.Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USAIn May 2014, Hunter Biden signed on as a board member of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest gas-production company. He found the company through his business contacts at a controversial time, and as part of the board's anti-corruption efforts, he recommended the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, where he was "a counsel."A press release announced upon Hunter Biden's hiring said he was in charge of the company's international legal relations with different companies, but he later denied that characterization.The appointment caused concerns as it came at a tense time between the White House and Russia over Ukraine and its energy dependence, sparking criticism that Hunter Biden's role with the energy giant was a blatant conflict of interest.But the Bidens dismissed the controversy, telling media outlets that Hunter Biden is a private citizen and his business interests don't represent or affect the views of the government.The controversy was revived nearly five years later.Rudy Giuliani and President Donald Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesWithin one month of his term on the board expiring, a bombshell New York Times story published on May 1 detailed Joe and Hunter Biden's ties to Ukraine and said the former vice president had successfully gotten a Ukrainian prosecutor removed from office.The move raised questions about a possible conflict of interest and if Joe Biden was trying to shield his son from an investigation into the company, whose founder faced multiple investigations into allegations of tax evasion and money laundering.The former vice president was reported to be just one part of a larger push coming from former President Obama's administration for the Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be removed over concerns of corruption in his office. Joe Biden has since publicly detailed his threat to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees from the country if Shokin wasn't fired.However, it's since been reported that there was not an active investigation into Hunter Biden when the former vice president made the push for Shokin's firing, and Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine's prosecutor general, later said that he had no evidence of wrongdoing against either Biden.Despite the absence of proven wrongdoing by the Bidens, the back-and-forth has been used by the Trump administration to obscure Rudy Giuliani's communications with Ukraine that were made public earlier this year and the growing concern that Trump actively collaborated with a foreign power to gain political leverage.Read more: The Joe and Hunter Biden Ukraine investigation, explainedAs Trump ramped up his hits against the Bidens, House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.Family members gather for a road naming ceremony with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, centre, his son Hunter Biden, left, and his sister Valerie Biden Owens.APOn September 24, House Democrats announced they were opening an impeachment inquiry amid revelations about Trump's conduct with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the former vice president and his son.A bombshell whistleblower complaint revealed days earlier put a finer point on the administration's contact with Ukraine, as the report alleged Trump had acted inappropriately in pushing for a foreign power to take aim at the Bidens, specifically in a July 25 phone conversation between the leaders.The call reportedly came just days after Trump withheld nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine. A memo released by the White House about the specifics of the call quotes Trump urging Zelensky to launch an investigation and instructing him to speak with US Attorney General William Barr and Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer.Another damning detail from the call was identified when Zelensky promised Trump that "the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person" and "will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue."As support ramped up among the public and lawmakers for impeachment proceedings, Trump and Giuliani lashed out at Democrats and media reports.On October 4, Ukraine's top prosecutor, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, announced that authorities were reviewing past investigations into Burisma as part of a larger probe that will take a second pass at several previous investigations by the agency that was plagued by corruption concerns.Then, on his father's 77th birthday, and in the middle of the impeachment hearing, a DNA test confirmed Biden fathered a baby with another woman while he was dating his brother's widow.Hunter Biden in 2012.Pablo Martinez Monsivais / APOn November 20, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported DNA tests had confirmed "with scientific certainty," that Biden was the father of a baby with a woman named Lunden Alexis Roberts.Despite the timing of the news, Roberts told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in June that she didn't want to cause a media spectacle, nor for the news to interfere with Joe Biden's presidential campaign.She filed for a paternity test and child support in May. In August, Biden denied the child was his, and asked the courts to dismiss Roberts' complaint, The Daily Beast Reported.Since the baby's DNA has been confirmed, Biden hasn't commented publicly. But according to the court filing, he isn't expected to challenge the results or the process.The court filing also pointed to the fact the Biden family is protected by the US Secret Service, indicating Biden's child might need the same protections.Hunter Biden delivered a speech on August 20, on the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention, endorsing his father's candidacy for the presidential election.Hunter Biden addresses the virtual Democratic National ConventionHandout/DNCC/Getty ImagesAshley and Hunter Biden delivered an emotional speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, where his father accepted the nomination for the Democratic presidential nominee."He's been a great father," Hunter Biden said. "And we think he'll be a great president," his sister followed. The two addressed the death of their older brother Beau, who introduced their father at the 2008 and 2012 conventions.—ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2020Hunter was at the center of controversy again when the New York Post on October 14 published unverified claims about shady emails and embarrassing images that were said to be found on his laptop.World Food Program USA Board Chairman Hunter Biden speaks on stage at the organization's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony on April 12, 2016, in Washington, DC.Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USAThe story claimed the Post had found a "smoking-gun email" detailing Hunter's contact with a Ukrainian official about meeting with his father. However, the article contained a number of red flags, including its sources behind these claims, and was immediately questioned by more reputable outlets.But Republicans rallied behind the story as evidence of Biden's wrongdoing with his Ukrainian contacts. President Donald Trump used the story to claim discrimination against conservatives by Big Tech after Facebook and Twitter tamped down the story's spread.Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told The New York Times that he gave the New York Post a copy of a hard drive that led to its story on Hunter Biden because other news outlets would "spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out."After the story was widely discredited, more than 50 former intelligence officials said in an open letter they were "deeply suspicious" that Russia could have been involved in the story, as the article's publishing had "all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."NBC News reported shortly after the story was published that the FBI was investigating, but John Ratcliffe, Trump's director of National Intelligence, told Fox Business Network "there is no intelligence that supports" the claim that the laptop and emails are "part of a Russian disinformation campaign."Then, in December 2020, Biden made a public announcement via his attorney that his taxes are under investigation by federal prosecutors in Delaware.Hunter Biden, second son of U.S. President Joe Biden.Drew Angerer/Getty Images"I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately," he said in a statement.The investigation into the younger Biden's tax affairs began in 2018 but was temporarily halted because of Justice Department rules barring prosecutors from taking actions that could influence the outcome of the election. The federal probe is primarily related to his business dealings in China and is "looking at everything from taxes to potential violations of money laundering laws," CNN's Evan Perez told Jake Tapper. In May, Hunter Biden had help from Hollywood entertainment attorney Kevin Morris to pay off $2 million in overdue taxes. The investigation into his tax affairs is still ongoing. Hunter landed the Biden administration in hot waters once again, when in July 2021, the White House brokered a deal with the Georges Bergès Gallery in New York City to protect itself from ethical issues from Hunter selling artwork for as much as $500,000.Hunter Biden and Dr. Bob Arnot attend the T&C Philanthropy Summit with screening of "Generosity Of Eye" at Lincoln Center with Town & Country on May 28, 2014 in New York City.Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Town & CountryHunter had his artwork displayed and auctioned at the gallery in the fall of 2021. Prices ranged from $75,000 to $500,000, according to a statement from Bergès, who represents him. Some of Hunter's artwork is only display on his artist page on the Georges Bergès Gallery site.Although the White House took steps to mitigate risks of ethical issues being raised over the sales, such as asking the gallery reject any suspicious offers and keeping the identities of bidders under wraps, some ethics officials expressed concern. "Because we don't know who is paying for this art and we don't know for sure that [Hunter Biden] knows, we have no way of monitoring whether people are buying access to the White House," Walter Shaub, who headed the Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017, told The Washington Post. Richard Painter, the chief ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush, told The Post: "The whole thing is a really bad idea."The initial reaction a lot of people are going to have is that he's capitalizing on being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money. I mean, those are awfully high prices."When asked in a podcast interview how he responds to critics who say his art is overpriced, Hunter responded, "Other than 'f--- 'em'?" Later in the interview, he told hosts Nate Freeman and Benjamin Godsill that he may be "the most famous artist in the MAGA world." The public was given an inside peek into Hunter Biden's 24 year-long marriage with ex-wife Kathleen Buhle when she spoke out on the downward spiral in their relationship and financial woes in her memoir, "If We Break: A Memoir of Marriage, Addiction, and Healing," released in June 2022.Kathleen Biden, now Buhle, and Hunter Biden, at the World Food Program USA's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for World Food Program USAIn the memoir, Buhle describes learning about her ex-husband Hunter Biden's affair with their sister-in-law, Hallie Biden, after her husband and Hunter's brother Beau's death. "Not only had I not been crazy, but it was so much worse than I could have imagined," she wrote. "I was shocked, but not heartbroken. Heartbreak had already flattened my self-esteem that past year."In an interview with ABC News' Good Morning America, she talked about the financial woes that also came with her marriage to Hunter. Buhle said she "ceded control" of her family's finances to Hunter because she "liked the nice things" but "didn't think about the cost.""I liked the nice things. And I didn't want to think about the cost at which they were coming," Buhle said. "Writing this book really helped me to understand how unfair that was to Hunter, and how unhealthy that was for me," she told ABC's Amy Robach. In regards to the federal investigation against her ex-husband, Buhler said that even if she were asked to testify, she wouldn't be able to. "I have buried my head in the sand. I really hope that's a lesson that women hear: understand your finances, take responsibility for them," she said. And in a more recent development to Hunter Biden's laptop scandal, the Washington Examiner reported in June that they located the password to a password-protected phone backup found on a copy of his abandoned laptop.WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: WFP USA Board Chair Hunter Biden speaks during the World Food Program USA's 2016 McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at the Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.Kris Connor/WireImage/Getty ImagesThe conservative media outlet claimed that a password-protected iPhone XS backup was found on a copy of his abandoned laptop, and that the iPhone was saved to Hunter Biden's computer on Feb. 6, 2019. According to the Examiner, Konstantinos "Gus" Dimitrelos, a commissioned cyber forensics expert, located the password to the iPhone backup during his examination of the hard drive.The story contains screeshots of Hunter's text-exchange with someone named "Eva," his primary point of contact for the Russian-linked escort agency UberGFE, and Cash App wires from "Joseph R Biden Jr." In response to this recent development, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Ranking Member Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) called on federal law enforcement authorities to investigate potential criminal behavior by Hunter Biden, citing the story by the Washington Examiner. "These findings of potentially criminal behavior must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement entities according to the highest ethical standards. Yet, due to your agencies' continued failure to provide Congress with answers to its legitimate oversight questions, we have serious concerns about your review of this matter as well as the ongoing Hunter Biden criminal case," they state in the letter. Hunter's latest iPhone also fell victim to an alleged hack when his private information was posted on 4chan's main political forum.VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 14: United States vice-president Joe Biden (L) and his son Hunter Biden (R) attend a women's ice hockey preliminary game between United States and China at UBC Thunderbird Arena on February 14, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesA user on 4chan, an anonymous imageboard website, claimed to have hacked into the iCloud of Hunter's latest iPhone.The Daily Dot reported that the user said they gained access to "voice mails, videos, voice recordings, pictures etc of Joe," and that they'd compromised an iPad belonging to him as well. Users went through the data in an attempt to find whatever they could, which some allege include additional photos of Hunter using drugs, having sex with women, and contucting lurid searches on porn sites, according to the Daily Dot's story. The Secret Service said it is aware of the potential hack. "At this time we are not in a position to make public comments on potential investigative actions but I can assure you the Secret Service along with other federal law enforcement partners are aware of the social media posts and claims referencing Mr. Biden," spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement to NBC News. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJul 14th, 2022

Tesla was hit with yet more lawsuits alleging racism and sexual harassment at its Fremont factory

One suit was filed by a group of 15 Black workers, who allege they were subjected to racial discrimination. The other was filed by a lesbian woman who charged that she was sexual harassed while at the company......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJul 1st, 2022

California Judge Strikes Down Law Forcing Companies To Appoint Women To Corporate Boards

California Judge Strikes Down Law Forcing Companies To Appoint Women To Corporate Boards Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times, A California judge struck down as unconstitutional the state’s law forcing publicly held corporations headquartered in California to meet a quota of board members who self-identify as women or face fines. Los Angeles County-based California Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis ruled (pdf) May 13 in Crest v. Padilla that the state law known as SB 826 that compelled corporate boards to seat up to three female-identifying directors ran afoul of the constitutional right to equal treatment. The goal of SB 826 “was to achieve general equity or parity; its goal was not to boost California’s economy, not to improve opportunities for women in the workplace nor not to protect California taxpayers, public employees, pensions and retirees,” the judge wrote. “Putting more women on boards demonstrated that the Legislature’s actual purpose was gender-balancing, not remedying discrimination,” Duffy-Lewis wrote. “There is no compelling governmental interest in remedying discrimination in the board selection process because neither the Legislature nor Defendant could identify any specific, purposeful, intentional and unlawful discrimination to be remedied,” she wrote. Tom Fitton, president of good-government group Judicial Watch, which represented the plaintiffs in court, welcomed the decision by Duffy-Lewis. “The Court eviscerated California’s unconstitutional gender quota mandate,” Fitton said in a statement. “Thankfully, California courts have upheld the core American value of equal protection under the law.” Fitton noted that this was the second recent California court decision finding that quotas for corporate boards are unconstitutional. In that case, also cited as Crest v. Padilla, Los Angeles County-based California Superior Court Judge Terry A. Green ruled (pdf) April 1 that the law “violates the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution on its face.” “The statute treats similarly situated individuals—qualified potential corporate board members—differently based on their membership (or lack thereof) in certain listed racial, sexual orientation, and gender identity groups. It requires that a certain specific number of board seats be reserved for members of the groups on the list—and necessarily excludes members of other groups from those seats,” Green wrote. California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who was defending the law in court, “has not identified a compelling interest to justify this classification,” the judge added. ‘Racial Justice’ Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a public interest law firm, is also pursuing similar litigation in federal court in California. Its lawsuit, National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) v. Weber, was filed on Nov. 22, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The NCPPR, a pro-free market research and shareholder advocacy organization, argues that another law, AB 979, perpetuates discrimination by treating people based on their immutable characteristics, and not as individuals. AB 979 requires the affected corporations to meet an additional quota for board members based on race and sexual orientation. When signing AB 979 into law on Sept. 30, 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said he did so to advance “racial justice.” PLF client and shareholder activist Creighton Meland is challenging SB 826 in federal court. The state tried to have the case dismissed but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit unanimously determined that a shareholder of a California company has standing to sue over the law. The case is ongoing. PLF attorney Daniel Ortner said Judicial Watch’s victory over SB 826 bodes well for his firm’s clients’ lawsuits. “I am optimistic,” Ortner told The Epoch Times. “The rationales California are offering don’t hold up, ultimately. The evidence they have doesn’t justify the use of sex quotas.” “We’re going to keep moving forward,” Ortner said. “Really, we were hoping to set a federal precedent because that’ll dissuade other states from following suit,” the attorney continued. “It’s been our goal from the start to get a federal judge to say that these laws violate the federal Constitution so that other states are not following California’s lead.” The Epoch Times has reached out to Weber for comment. Tyler Durden Tue, 05/17/2022 - 07:23.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 17th, 2022