"I am guilty of being an idiot" - a Capitol riot defendant who used stimulus money to get to DC asks judge for leniency ahead of sentencing

"My adrenaline was up and I knew I wasn't supposed to be there but I was in the thick of it by this point," Glenn Wes Lee Croy wrote to the judge. Glen Wes Lee Croy captured on body camera footage from inside the Capitol on January 6. The Department of Justice. A Colorado Capitol riot defendant called himself "an idiot" for participating in the Capitol riot. Glen Wes Lee Croy, 46, wrote an apology to the judge overseeing his case ahead of his sentencing. Croy pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge in August. A Capitol riot defendant who pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge earlier this year struck a conciliatory tone in a personalized letter to the federal judge overseeing his case ahead of his sentencing next month."I am guilty of being an idiot and walking into that building, and again apologize to America and everyone for my role in participating," Glenn Wes Lee Croy, 46, wrote to Chief District Judge Beryl A. Howell.Croy apologized several times in a series of sentencing memorandum documents reviewed by Insider and first reported on by WUSA. The Colorado man detailed the circumstances that led to his decision to travel to Washington, DC, to attend the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally in support of President Donald Trump, including losing his job in the summer of 2020 due to COVID-19.Croy said he began watching more news than he ever had before and became frustrated with the George Floyd protests and coronavirus restrictions. As the election approached, he said he became more and more concerned about the security of the vote.When Trump announced the January 6 rally and invited his supporters to attend, Croy said he used some of his unemployment money and saved-up stimulus money to make the journey from Colorado Springs to the nation's capital. Croy said he followed the crowd throughout the day, eventually ending up inside the Capitol building as police faced off with a mob of rioters. "I regretfully once again followed the crowd like a lemming," he wrote. "My adrenaline was up and I knew I wasn't supposed to be there but I was in the thick of it by this point."In his letter, Croy said he was surprised to learn that a woman - Ashli Babbitt - had been shot during the insurrection, and claimed he had no idea how violent the attack was until he later watched an HBO documentary about the riot.In August, Croy pleaded guilty to one charge of parading inside the Capitol.Federal investigators say Croy was captured on video and in photos throughout the Capitol, posing for pictures inside the rotunda at the same time Capitol police were trying to usher people back outside. In a separate sentencing memo, prosecutors requested two months of jail time for Croy. "He showed no concern for the severity of his actions as he engaged in criminal conduct as if he was on a vacation," prosecutors wrote in legal documents. "Finally, he bragged about and defended his actions to several friends, failing to see the seriousness of his actions." Croy and his lawyers are requesting he receives probation at his sentencing hearing on November 5, citing his role as the sole caretaker for his two sons, one of whom has diabetes. An attorney listed for Croy declined to comment. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

January 6: A Legacy Of Troubling Questions

January 6: A Legacy Of Troubling Questions Authored by Joseph Hannemann via The Epoch Times, The hardened-steel baton made the most disturbing sound as it bounced off Victoria White’s skull. It varied between a hollow click and a deeper snap, depending on where on her head the metal weapon made contact. “Please don’t beat her!” a man in the crowd yelled. It was chaos in the West Terrace tunnel entrance of the U.S. Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021. Outside, thousands who had attended President Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally milled about the terrace, while groups of rioters battled police near the tunnel. An almost demonic cacophony emanated from under the tunnel arch. “I didn’t even touch you,” a woman cried. “I need help! I need help,” a man shouted. “Stand up, dammit!” intoned a police officer in riot gear. “Get out!” boomed another. Then a blood-curdling scream, followed by the ear-splitting sound of an emergency siren. Victoria White appears prone or near-collapse in several parts of a five-minute video. (Screen Captures/Joseph McBride) After repeatedly striking White in the head, the officer in white holstered his baton. Then he made a fist with his bare left hand and punched White in the face. “Oh, no-no-no! Please! Please don’t beat her!” someone shouted, to no effect. After three full-force knuckle shots to White’s head, the officer in white paused. Then he went in for two more blows. He grabbed the hair at the back of her head and pulled it hard. White looked dazed and confused. She wore a blank stare. Another officer reached in with his baton in an apparent attempt to prevent more blows. The officer in white grabbed his colleague’s arm and shoved it back at him. The almost unbelievable violence meted out on the unarmed, 5-foot-4-inch White provides a stark contrast to the often-preached narrative that Jan. 6 was strictly an insurrection carried out by mobs of Trump supporters wanting to overthrow the government. White was a victim of brutality. Her lawyer is preparing a civil suit. Hers is one of the hidden stories of Jan. 6, exposed only after a federal judge ordered that three hours of surveillance video held by the U.S. Department of Justice be released to White’s attorney. Political Divide Widens The voluminous media coverage in the weeks leading up to the one-year anniversary of Jan. 6 demonstrates the substantial and growing divide between Americans of differing political stripes. The prevailing narrative is that supporters of Trump, whipped into a frenzy by his Jan. 6 speech at the Ellipse, descended on the U.S. Capitol in a violent attempt to upend democracy. A large crowd of Trump supporters—estimates ranged from 30,000 on the low end to 2 million on the high end—crowded the Ellipse to hear the president rail against the 2020 presidential election. Trump contended, along with millions of supporters, that widespread election fraud in key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin had robbed him of a second term and placed Democrat Joe Biden in an illegitimate presidency. The speech started approximately an hour later than scheduled. Well before Trump concluded his remarks, a group of protesters breached a lightly guarded barrier on the Capitol’s pedestrian walkway. They quickly headed for the Capitol building. By the time the throngs of rally-goers made the long walk to the Capitol grounds, the perimeter fencing and security signs indicating the site was restricted had been methodically removed. As tens of thousands of protesters surrounded the Capitol, pockets of violence broke out. Windows were broken, and protesters climbed inside, just after 2 p.m. At other entrances, protesters found doors propped open and proceeded inside like tourists. The circumstances of the worst violence are hotly contested, but the results were real. Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, 35, was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to enter the Speaker’s Lobby. White and others were beaten by police in or near the West Terrace tunnel, attorneys say. Aaron Babbitt with his wife, Ashli, who was killed at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “She loved life,” he said. (Courtesy of Aaron Babbitt) Some 140 police were injured during battles with rioters. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died on Jan. 7, 2021, although his death was eventually determined to be from natural causes. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood and Washington Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith—both of whom were on duty at the Capitol—took their own lives in the weeks after Jan. 6. President Joe Biden described Jan. 6 as the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” The Associated Press asserted it was “the most sustained attack on the seat of American democracy since the War of 1812.” Steven Sund, former U.S. Capitol Police chief, called it “a coordinated violent attack on the United States Capitol by thousands of well-equipped armed insurrectionists.” Many Americans don’t see those words as hyperbole, insisting Trump-fueled mobs fully intended to disrupt the U.S. Congress and overthrow the federal government. Across the political chasm are those who reject that dominant narrative, and assert that while Jan. 6 was many things, it was no insurrection. They view that characterization as a convenient way to suppress the truth. The real Jan. 6 story, they believe, remains hidden on some 14,000 hours of surveillance video from around the Capitol grounds. Portions of that video will undoubtedly be unsealed as some of the more than 725 people arrested for alleged Jan. 6-related crimes go on trial. Whatever the chaos of that infamous day is called, one thing seems clear. The full Jan. 6 story hasn’t been told. One year later, the legacy of Jan. 6 is a trail of troubling questions—the answers to which could rock American politics and deepen the divide between its citizens. Is There Evidence of Treason or Sedition? In response to the violence at the Capitol, the FBI launched one of the most sweeping investigations in its history. Agents pored over cell phone video, social media postings, surveillance video, and police bodycam footage to identify those who were at the Capitol that day. The FBI opened a national tip line and posted videos and photographs of protesters. Tips came from many sources, including neighbors and family members who turned in their relatives. Of the more than 725 people arrested over the past year, no one was charged with treason or sedition. At least 225 defendants were charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding police, including 75 who allegedly used a deadly or dangerous weapon, or caused serious bodily injury to an officer. Two men climb over other protesters and lunge at police officers guarding the entrance to the West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Screen Capture via The Epoch Times) The most common charge issued by federal prosecutors—involving 640 individuals—was for entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds. About 40 percent of all those arrested were charged with impeding or attempting to impede an official proceeding—the certification of the Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential election. Of the 165 people who have pleaded guilty to date, nearly 90 percent of the cases involved misdemeanors. The rest were felonies. Are There Any Investigative Conclusions? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appointed a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 breach and subsequent violence. That group’s work is ongoing. Preliminary findings could be made public by summer. Republican House members are conducting their own probe, but complain that Democrats refuse to cooperate or share records with their GOP colleagues. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Committee on Rules and Administration, issued a report on the Capitol breach that cited a range of intelligence and law enforcement failures that enabled the violence. Among the findings in the Senate report was that neither the FBI nor the Department of Homeland Security issued formal intelligence bulletins about the potential for violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The FBI’s Norfolk field office sent out a situational information report late on Jan. 5, warning of individuals traveling to Washington for “war” at the Capitol, but the agency overall didn’t view as credible online posts calling for violence. Capitol Police didn’t have a department-wide operational plan or staffing plan for the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, the report said. It faulted a lack of training in civil disturbances and a failure to provide basic protective equipment to rank-and-file officers. Who Incited the Capitol Breach and Violence? Independent media and online sleuths sounded alarms about the presence of unindicted individuals among those who first breached the Capitol at about 12:50 p.m. These men played a central role in the breach, encouraged protesters to go to the Capitol, and directed people into the building. Yet they haven’t been arrested, indicted, or identified by the FBI as among the wanted. Who were they? A man—now known to be Ray Epps of Queen Creek, Arizona—was captured on video on Jan. 5, 2021, attempting to recruit Trump supporters to assault the Capitol the next day. “Tomorrow, we need to go into the Capitol,” Epps says, as seen in a video clip. “Into the Capitol!” A man near him says, “What?” and others are heard shouting, “No!” Then the crowd breaks into a chant: “Fed! Fed! Fed! Fed!”—accusing Epps of being a federal agent. Ray Epps seen on Jan. 5, 2021, trying to recruit men to attack the Capitol. They accuse him of being a federal agent. ( at the Hole Productions) Epps gets into verbal sparring with some of the Trump supporters. “You’re counterproductive to our cause,” one young man shouts. Epps shouts back, staying on message: “It doesn’t matter. … That’s not what we’re here for. … You’re getting off the subject. … We’re here for another reason.” Another video shows Epps saying, “Tomorrow—I don’t even like to say it because I’ll be arrested,” prompting a man nearby to reply, “Then let’s not say it.” Epps responds: “I’ll say it. We need to go into the Capitol!” A young man in the crowd, wearing an American flag neck gaiter, replies, “I didn’t see that coming!” On Jan. 6, as crowds milled about the Washington Monument in long lines to get in to watch Trump’s speech, Epps could be heard shouting through a megaphone: “As soon as our president is done speaking, we are going to the Capitol, where our problems are. It’s that direction. Please spread the word!” Epps is seen again in video footage taken at the metal barricades outside the Capitol at 12:50 p.m., as a small crowd chants, “USA! USA!” He whispers something in the ear of a man wearing a backward Make America Great Again cap. A few seconds later, the young man helps push over the barricade as Epps steps back to watch. This first breach of the security perimeter was 20 minutes before Trump finished his speech. Epps is then seen sprinting with the crowd up the steps toward the Capitol. A few days after the Jan. 6 violence, the FBI placed a photo of Epps on a “Seeking Information” poster, asking for the public’s help in identifying those who breached the Capitol. He could be seen in Photograph No. 16. That photo has since been scrubbed from the FBI website. Ray Epps is shown at lower left on an early FBI wanted poster, but his photo has since been scrubbed from the FBI website. ( Machine) On the current list of 1,559 photographs of people the FBI wants to identify, there is no longer a No. 16. The list skips from Photograph No. 15 to Photograph No. 17. Epps hasn’t been arrested or charged. John Guandolo, a former FBI agent and counter-terrorism expert who was on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, said he saw FBI agents dressed as protesters. “For a good portion of the day, I was with law enforcement, FBI, etcetera,” Guandolo said in an interview for the documentary “Capitol Punishment.” “Guys would walk by, and we’d look at each other and be like, ‘Two more right there. Here comes another. There’s another one.’ They were everywhere.” Revolver, an alternative news outlet, identified others around the Capitol grounds who were active participants in the breach but whose photos weren’t included on the FBI’s wanted list. One man, wearing a grey Bulwark jacket, knit cap, and sunglasses, is seen on video rolling up the green plastic fencing around the security perimeter. He pulls up the stakes and removes the “Area Closed” signs. A man in a blue cap with a blue bullhorn is seen in multiple videos atop the media tower erected for the inauguration. Dubbed “Scaffold Commander” by online researchers, he barks out directives and encouragement for 90 minutes. “Don’t just stand there! Keep moving!” “Move forward! Help somebody over the wall!” Once the crowd filled in around the Capitol, Scaffold Commander switched gears. “We’re in! Come on! We gotta fill up the Capitol! Come now, we need help!” Revolver’s video investigation said that whether or not Epps and Scaffold Commander knew each other, their words and actions worked well together. “So we have Scaffold Commander directing the body of the crowd from the tower above, and Ray Epps directing the vanguard front-liners at the police line below,” the Dec. 18 story read. “Yet neither one of them has been prosecuted, nor is either presently ‘wanted’ by the FBI.” Revolver founder Darren Beattie took to Twitter to ask Epps to expose who his handlers were. “But now, it is time to think for yourself, Ray. Forget about your boat and your ranch and your grill. If you make the right move and tell the truth, you change everything,” Beattie wrote on Dec. 29. Neither Epps, the FBI, nor federal prosecutors have commented on Epps’s actions that day, on whether he worked for the FBI, or on why he hasn’t been indicted. Epps told an Arizona Republic reporter on Jan. 12, 2021, “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) asked Attorney General Merrick Garland on Oct. 21 to dispel concerns about the Epps videos, but Garland wouldn’t comment. I just played this video for AG Merrick Garland. He refused to comment on how many agents or assets of the federal government were present in the crowd on Jan 5th and 6th and how many entered the Capitol. — Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 21, 2021 “You’ve said this was one of the most sweeping investigations in history,” Massie said during a public hearing. “Have you seen that video, those frames from that video?” Garland began talking about a standing practice of not commenting on investigative specifics, before Massie interrupted him: “How many agents or assets of the federal government were present on January 6th, whether they agitated to go into the Capitol, and if any of them did?” Garland’s reply: “I’m not going to comment on an investigation that’s ongoing.” What Is the Significance of Unindicted Actors? Attorneys who represent Jan. 6 defendants say if Epps or other participants were FBI informants or agents, then it blows a hole in the idea that Trump supporters were solely responsible for violence at the Capitol. Participation by government actors could legally invalidate conspiracy charges, they say. Attorney Jonathon Moseley, who represents Jan. 6 defendant Kelly Meggs of Dunnellon, Florida, a member of the Oath Keepers, issued subpoenas to Epps, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, and other men who played visible roles on Jan. 6. As Meggs’s April trial on conspiracy charges approaches, Moseley wants to know why Epps was at the Trump rally and Capitol, and whether he was working for the government. Moseley said Epps was seen at the first breach of a police line at the pedestrian walkway, about 200 yards from the Capitol building. Video shows Epps as he appears to rush the makeshift barricade erected by police, “then stops short,” Moseley said. Ray Epps at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, shortly before pepper gas is shot into the crowd. “Been a long time,” he says after coughing. “Aah, I love it!” (Screen Capture/Rumble) “It’s like he’s head-faking people to rush with him, but then he never touches it,” he said. “A police officer falls—I think it may be a woman—and his immediate instinct is to go help her, and he thinks better of it and steps back. It really looks like he’s undercover.” Moseley said the involvement of government-paid actors in facilitating or inciting the breach of the Capitol complex would create reasonable doubt in just about any of the Jan. 6 cases. “There are legal consultants who keep emphasizing that, legally, you can’t conspire with the government. So if he’s working directly or indirectly for the government, then people are innocent of the conspiracy,” Moseley said. “It’s a legal rule. If there are 10 people conspiring and one of them is with the government, not only could it be entrapment, but it also may invalidate a conspiracy.” That type of legal issue has been raised in a Michigan case in which a group of men stand accused in federal court of a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat. Defense attorneys recently filed a motion to dismiss the case, contending that government agents and informants concocted the kidnapping plan and pushed to convince the defendants to participate. Are Jan. 6 Detainees Political Prisoners? Third-world banana republics are notorious for terrible prison conditions and brutal treatment of the accused and convicted alike. Some lawyers, family members, and defendants believe the District of Columbia operates a jail that would be at home in any of those countries. The jail is sometimes called “DC-GITMO,” after the U.S.-run terrorist detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The poor accommodations at the D.C. jail have long been the subject of discussion in the nation’s capital. The Washington Post said conditions there were “deplorable,” an ironic descriptor, considering who the jail’s primary occupants are these days. The issue got national attention in 2021 because of repeated allegations of brutal, abusive treatment of men accused of Jan. 6 crimes. A 28-page report issued in late 2021 by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said treatment of Jan. 6 detainees was “inhumane.” (Document Cover/Marjorie Taylor Greene) “American citizens are being tortured right now within five miles of the White House,” said Joseph McBride, a New York attorney who represents a half-dozen Jan. 6 defendants. “America does not punish its citizens pre-trial,” McBride wrote on Twitter. “Authoritarian regimes do.” McBride said his clients have suffered treatment that should never happen in America, all because they supported Trump by being at the U.S. Capitol on that fateful day. During incarceration, they’ve suffered—among other things—severe beatings by guards; the denial of medical attention, including medications for chemotherapy; and refusal of food, McBride said. Christopher Quaglin, charged with assaulting police officers during the riot, suffers from celiac disease, but the jail feeds him only food with gluten, McBride said. He has been refused medical treatment. “Yes, we are extremely concerned that he will die,” McBride wrote on Twitter on Dec. 27. Ted Hull, the superintendent of Northern Neck Regional Jail, where Quaglin is housed, said McBride’s assertions are wrong. Christopher Quaglin with his wife, Moria, who fears her husband could die without medical attention in federal custody. (Courtesy Quaglin Family) “Regardless of Mr. McBride’s fictitious assertions,” Hull told The Epoch Times, “inmate Quaglin is and has been receiving the appropriate dietitian-designed diet consistent with his specific dietary requirements and the appropriate level of medical services consistent with his diagnosis.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) toured the D.C. jail with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) in November, then issued a 28-page report titled “Unusually Cruel.” The report said the conditions for the Jan. 6 detainees were “inhumane.” Couy Griffin, the founder of Cowboys for Trump who attended the Jan. 6 Trump rally and was on the Capitol grounds, never went inside the Capitol building. He was charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building. He was arrested and jailed, but eventually released while awaiting trial. “I spent the next nine days in that cell in total solitary confinement. No shower, no phone, no attorney,” Griffin said in the film “Capitol Punishment.” The guards, he said, often chanted “F Trump! F Trump!” and called him an “[expletive] white cracker.” He complained about his treatment to the deputy warden, who he said told him, “The only job these guards have is to keep your chest moving up and down.” Richard Barnett of Gravette, Arkansas, faced seven charges for his alleged actions on Jan. 6, including sitting in the office chair of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, captured in a now-iconic news photograph. One day during his four-month detention, Barnett experienced tightness in his chest and arm pain. He called for help, but the guard who responded only mocked and laughed at him. Barnett then called out to a female staff member, who said she would get help. “Richard [lay] there for a significant period of time—certainly enough for him to die,” read McBride’s report on jail conditions, which he sent to Amnesty International. After being given a medical checkup and returned to his cell, Barnett fell asleep. A guard began pounding on the glass door to his cell, jolting him awake so quickly he stood up and then fainted, hitting his head on the sink. Now bleeding from a head wound, Barnett screamed for an hour before help came, the report said. One day, Barnett’s cell door opened, and some nine officers entered, cuffing his wrists and shackling his legs. Guards violently shook him back and forth, lifted him off his feet by the shackles, and slammed him headfirst into the concrete floor, according to McBride’s report, a copy of which was also sent to the American Civil Liberties Union. The U.S. Marshals Service conducted a surprise inspection of the D.C. jail facilities in October and interviewed 300 detainees. Conditions at the jail “do not meet the minimum standards of confinement,” the Marshals report said. As a result, the Marshals Service removed all of its detainees and transferred them to facilities in the federal Bureau of Prisons. This didn’t include the Jan. 6 detainees. Emery Nelson, spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons, said the agency doesn’t comment on “anecdotal allegations” or provide information about individual inmates. “The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is committed to accommodating the needs of federal offenders and ensuring the safety and security of all inmates in our population, our staff, and the public,” Nelson said. “The BOP takes seriously our duty to protect the individuals entrusted in our care.” Who Died at the Capitol on Jan. 6? One person was killed at the hands of U.S. Capitol Police, and police action might have contributed to the death of two others, but the four other deaths related to Jan. 6 were either from natural causes or suicides. Ashli Babbitt was shot in the left shoulder and killed as she crawled through a broken window at the entry to the Speaker’s Lobby. Ashli’s husband, Aaron Babbitt, said a careful examination of video footage from the hallway indicates Ashli was upset with rioters who smashed glass in the double doors. He thinks she panicked and sought escape through the window, only to be shot by Lt. Michael Byrd as a result. She was unarmed and presented no threat to anyone, Aaron Babbitt said. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd aims his Glock 22 at the window where Ashli Babbitt was about to appear. (CapitolPunishmentTheMovie/Bark at the Hole Productions) Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Georgia, died in or near the West Terrace tunnel at the Capitol. McBride says surveillance video shows Boyland was beaten by a police officer as she lay on the ground. The D.C. medical examiner ruled the death accidental: intoxication from a prescription medication. Kevin Greeson, 51, of Georgia, died on the Capitol grounds of a heart attack brought on by cardiovascular disease, the medical examiner ruled. Benjamin Phillips, 50, of Pennsylvania, died of atherosclerosis, heart disease characterized by fatty plaques that build up in the arteries, the medical examiner ruled. Of the three police officers who died in the weeks following Jan. 6, Sicknick died from natural causes, and Liebengood and Smith died from suicide. Did Democrats Weaponize Jan. 6? Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), ranking member of the Committee on House Administration, accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats of “weaponizing events of January 6th against their political adversaries.” Davis sent a letter to Pelosi on Jan. 3, 2022, complaining that House Democrats repeatedly obstructed attempts by Republican lawmakers to investigate security vulnerabilities at the U.S. Capitol before and during Jan. 6 violence. The obstruction came through denial of House records and ignoring repeated requests for documents, Davis wrote. “Unfortunately, over the past twelve months, House Democrats have been more interested in exploiting the events of January 6th for political purposes than in conducting basic oversight of the security vulnerabilities exposed that day,” Davis wrote. Specifically, lawmakers want to know about a request that former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said he made to then-House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving prior to Jan. 6 for “the assistance of the National Guard,” Davis wrote. Sund reported that Irving was “concerned about the ‘optics’ of a National Guard presence at the Capitol.” During violence on Jan. 6, when Sund asked about getting authorization for the National Guard, Irving responded that he “needed to run it up the chain of command,” the letter said. Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testifies at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Senate Rules and Administration committees joint hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 23, 2021. (Erin Scott/Pool/AFP via Getty Images) In February 2021 testimony before the U.S. Senate, Irving denied Sund’s claims. Republican lawmakers then requested access to Irving’s communications to substantiate that denial. Davis said he wrote to House General Counsel Douglas Letter to request those records, but Letter never replied. “Both the Sergeant at Arms and the chief administration officer failed to produce any documents to Republicans pursuant to our requests,” Davis wrote, “suggesting that these House officers may be providing documents only to Democrats on a partisan basis.” Davis said Republicans want to know why Sund’s Jan. 4, 2021, request for National Guard support on Jan. 6 was denied, and whether Pelosi or her staff ordered the refusal. They also want to know what conversations occurred during Capitol violence on Jan. 6, when Sund again asked for National Guard help. Finally, they want to know why the select committee on Jan. 6, appointed by Pelosi, won’t examine the speaker’s role “in ensuring the proper House security preparations,” the letter said. When asked whether the speaker had responded to Davis, Henry Connelly, Pelosi’s communications director, referred The Epoch Times to a statement issued by House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.). “The Ranking Member’s letter is pure revisionist fiction. The Chief Administrative Officer and House Sergeant at Arms have already notified Ranking Member Davis they are complying with preservation requests and will fully cooperate with various law enforcement investigations and bonafide congressional inquiries,” Lofgren said in the statement. From the inception of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, Republican leadership discounted its work because Pelosi rejected two of the five Republicans chosen by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for the probe. McCarthy then withdrew his picks. Pelosi appointed Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to serve on the nine-member panel. The select committee could issue at least an interim report by mid-2022 and a final report in the fall, committee sources told several media outlets. Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in December that there was no set schedule for public hearings to release the group’s findings. The Epoch Times asked the Department of Justice for comment on the presence of federal agents on Jan. 6, but didn’t receive a reply by press time. The Epoch Times contacted Epps through his business for comment, but didn’t receive a reply by press time. Tyler Durden Thu, 01/06/2022 - 16:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 6th, 2022

After Elizabeth Holmes" conviction on 4 fraud-related charges, experts weigh in on the possibility of prison time, appeal, and retrial for the Theranos founder

Holmes faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence for each of four fraud-related counts she was convicted of in federal court and could even be re-tried. Brittany Hosea-Small/Reuters Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of 4 of 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy on Monday. The Theranos founder faces up to 80 years in prison and could face trial again for 3 counts on which jurors failed to reach a verdict. Experts weigh in on what sentence Holmes may get, whether she'll be re-tried, and if she'll try to appeal her conviction. On Monday, Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of failed blood-testing startup Theranos was convicted of four fraud-related charges in federal court after a trial lasting four months. Jurors found Holmes guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud investors.She was found not guilty on four other conspiracy and wire fraud charges, and jurors failed to reach a verdict on the remaining three charges against her.Of course, this isn't the end of the road for Holmes' case. Insider asked legal experts their opinion on what's next for Holmes, including whether she may go to prison or be put on trial again for the three hung verdicts.Here's what they said:Will Holmes go to prison? Each of the four counts Holmes was convicted of carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence. Though it's unlikely she'll get 20 years, she probably won't walk either."I'd be very surprised if she doesn't serve time," says Jennifer Kennedy Park, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton whose work focuses on white-collar defense. "When a very large company with a lot of market cap implodes as a result of fraud, people spend time in prison."The fact that her trial commanded so much attention doesn't help Holmes either."High-profile defendants sometimes have a tougher time staying out of prison because judges know the case is being watched," says Stephen Miller, co-chair of the White-Collar Defense & Investigations practice at Cozen O'Connor. "There's a bit of general deterrence at work where the judge says, 'If I let this person walk, then maybe I suggest they didn't do anything wrong.'"Could she face another trial?Jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict on three charges against Holmes, so prosecutors could retry her on those counts. But that probably won't happen."I think the prosecutors would exercise their discretion not to retry, given the amount of resources that have been invested and given they've gotten a guilty verdict on four charges and she could be sentenced to 20 years for each of those counts," says Park.Will she try to appeal her conviction?Holmes will likely appeal the verdict soon, but that process could take years.In the meantime, Park says, "She will likely make a motion for bail pending appeal, basically saying, 'I should not have to start serving my prison sentence because I have good arguments on appeal.'"As jurors begin speaking out about the trial, Holmes' defense team will be looking for evidence of possible juror misconduct that could help appeal her conviction, Park says.What affects sentencing?Federal guidelines suggest sentences for crimes based on several factors, but judges don't have to follow them. Sentencing may be swayed by "the judge's view on how brazen the lies were, what came out of the trial, and whether there was any good faith in what she was doing," says Miller.Park expects the guidelines will produce a "pretty high" range for Holmes. Factors like Holmes' position as CEO and the amount of money investors lost could increase her sentence.On the flip side, her allegations of abuse against former Theranos president and COO Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani could possibly tip the scales downward."Her emotional state at the time she committed the crime is a relevant mitigating factor, including her testimony that she was in an abusive relationship," said Park. "I think we'll see that while the abuse story didn't play out particularly heavily during closing arguments, it will in her sentencing arguments."Holmes' youth and past prominence may also work in her favor."I think it's going to be very important that she's young and she's incredibly capable; she presented very well, and she was able to convince very experienced people along the way on the science and competence," said Miller. "You would imagine one of her arguments will be that there's a lot of good she can do in the world once she pays her debt to society."Holmes' attorneys will also likely point out "the trauma of separating a young child from their mother" in arguing for more lenient sentencing.If Holmes gets prison time, the judge will decide at sentencing whether she will serve that time consecutively or concurrently, though Park notes the latter is more likely.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 6th, 2022

Merrick Garland"s speech on the eve of the January 6 riot anniversary was the perfect response to critics who want faster action against Trumpworld, legal experts said

Trump didn't merit a mention during Merrick Garland's January 6 speech. But ex-prosecutors still praised the DOJ boss for striking the right notes. Attorney General Merrick Garland quickly won praise for his speech on the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images Attorney General Merrick Garland urged patience for the January 6 investigation in a public address. Former prosecutors said the speech hit the mark ahead of the anniversary of the Capitol riot. Garland said perpetrators "at any level" would be held accountable for the "unprecedented" attack. The pressure was on Attorney General Merrick Garland.For months, Garland has faced criticism that the Justice Department has so far only prosecuted the proverbial low-hanging fruit — the members of the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 — without going after former President Donald Trump and his inner circle.On the eve of the first anniversary of January 6, Garland met that frustration head-on, legal experts said. Without naming Trump, Garland urged patience and said the Justice Department "remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy." "We will follow the facts wherever they lead," Garland said.Former federal prosecutors praised Garland's speech as going far enough to address the appetite for holding Trump and his inner circle accountable for their role in the Capitol attack."This is the speech he needed to give," Joyce Vance, a former US attorney in the Obama administration, told Insider on Wednesday. "In the restrained language prosecutors use, he's committed to follow the evidence wherever it leads. That's what we want — not a promise to prosecute, a promise to follow the evidence and the law." On social media, Garland's speech drew applause even from a former federal prosecutor who has gained a wide following calling for Trump to be prosecuted — and venting about the lack of visible steps from the Justice Department.Responding to a key portion of Garland's speech, in which he said perpetrators "at any level would be prosecuted, the former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said: "Amen, Mr. Attorney General."This being America in 2022, Garland's speech didn't satisfy everyone. That was evident by the streams of internet commentary from those watching his remarks live who wondered what's taking Garland's DOJ so long to get to the bottom of the Capitol insurrection. Indeed, another former Justice Department official who requested anonymity to speak candidly disagreed with others who say Garland struck the perfect tone."Bold talk indeed," this former DOJ official said. "Many have already been prosecuted," but it's "getting close to the time where DOJ needs to fish or cut bait."The former official added: "We're still waiting on DOJ to prosecute the easy ones, where people simply ignored a congressional subpoena."Garland delivered roughly 30 minutes of remarks from DOJ's main headquarters in Washington, DC, speaking in front of a live audience that included FBI Director Chris Wray and several top department deputies. There, the former federal appellate judge and one-time Supreme Court nominee urged Americans to be patient with respect to who ultimately will be held accountable for the riots at the US Capitol that a year ago interrupted the official congressional certification of Joe Biden's presidential victory. "In circumstances like those of January 6th, a full accounting does not suddenly materialize," Garland said. "To ensure that all those criminally responsible are held accountable, we must collect the evidence."Garland's speech earned praise from Sen. Dick Durbin, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesSen. Dick Durbin called the speech a 'critical step'In recent weeks, House investigators have grown increasingly vocal about Trump's potential criminal culpability stemming from January 6. For one, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has spoken about the former president while making what appeared to be a direct reference to a criminal statute that has been used to prosecute hundreds of suspects in the January 6 attack: "corruptly obstructing an official proceeding."  On Capitol Hill, some Democrats wanted to hear stronger language like that from the attorney general."I think Merrick Garland has been extremely weak, and I think there should be a lot more of the organizers of Jan. 6 that should be arrested by now," Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat, said on CNN several hours before Garland's address."Actions speak louder than words. Americans need to have faith in the process, but Garland needs to show urgency and prove that their faith is well-placed," a Democratic aide told Insider.Garland did get praise following his speech from Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Durbin said Garland's remarks marked a "critical step" in the ongoing reckoning with the January 6 attack."It is crucial that we send a strong, clear message to the nation — and to the world — that those who incite violence against their fellow Americans will be held accountable," he said.Garland twice described the storming of the Capitol as "unprecedented," adding, "We follow the physical evidence. We follow the digital evidence. We follow the money. But most important, we follow the facts — not an agenda or an assumption." He later gave a nod to the intense interest in the Justice Department's response — and how its communications to date have fallen flat at times with those hankering for accountability."We understand that there are questions about how long the investigation will take, and about what exactly we are doing. Our answer is, and will continue to be, the same answer we would give with respect to any ongoing investigation: as long as it takes and whatever it takes for justice to be done — consistent with the facts and the law," Garland said. "I understand that this may not be the answer some are looking for," he said. "But we will and we must speak through our work. Anything else jeopardizes the viability of our investigations and the civil liberties of our citizens."With that remark and others, former prosecutors said, Garland threaded the needle: He affirmed the Justice Department's commitment to mounting a fulsome investigation without running the risk of tainting any future prosecution. On cable news, which spent countless hours during the Trump administration noting the pressure that DOJ was under from the Republican president, analysis of Garland's speech came quickly. Commentators in particular seized on Garland's remark that federal investigators were committed to holding accountable people "at any level" — read, Trump — who were responsible for the Capitol attack."I think that's about as close as you're ever going to get this attorney general to say, 'Yes, we are considering more complicated charges against individuals who may not have stepped on the Capitol grounds that day but might have been responsible for getting others there or planning those events,'" said Andrew McCabe, the former deputy FBI director and now a CNN legal analyst who frequently came under attack while serving in government during the Trump administration. "I thought to me, that was the most interesting thing he had to say about January 6."McCabe's CNN colleague, chief political correspondent Dana Bash, said Garland's message was that Americans "need to take a national chill pill."In giving a detailed summary of how the Justice Department approaches cases, former federal prosecutor Barb McQuade said on MSNBC Garland was speaking "clearly to the American people.""I think the strength of his words suggests to me that he gets it," added McQuade, who served as US attorney in Detroit during the Obama administration. "It assures me that they are on the job."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 5th, 2022

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

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

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

Elizabeth Holmes, Guilty Of Defrauding Investors In Theranos Case

Elizabeth Holmes, former Theranos CEO, was convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud plus three charges of wire fraud against investors in the worldwide famous case. Holmes did not accept the four charges, which could carry 20 years in prison each. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Elizabeth Holmes Conviction After a months-long trial, […] Elizabeth Holmes, former Theranos CEO, was convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud plus three charges of wire fraud against investors in the worldwide famous case. Holmes did not accept the four charges, which could carry 20 years in prison each. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Elizabeth Holmes Conviction After a months-long trial, disgraced entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of defrauding investors after falsely claiming that Theranos —her healthcare technology company— was able to detect cancer and other terminal diseases with just a small blood sample. As reported by the BBC, prosecutors in California found she had knowingly lied to investors by touting its technology as a breakthrough, with the purpose of raising money and gain fame. According to The New York Times, “If sentenced to prison, Ms. Holmes would be the most notable female executive to serve time since Martha Stewart did in 2004 after lying to investigators about a stock sale.” Holmes faced a total of 11 charges, and the split verdict arrived “after the judge said the jury, having deliberated for seven days, could deliver a partial verdict after being unable to reach consensus on another three counts.” Scandal Theranos was once deemed as one of the most exciting startups in Silicon Valley and had reached a $9 billion valuation. The company managed to raise over $900 million from several billionaires, among them Larry Ellison and Rupert Murdoch. In 2015, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the blood-testing tech was flawed as several tests did not show positive results. However, Holmes and her then-associate Ramesh Balwani, claimed Theranos’ tech was legitimate. “Calling some 30 witnesses, the prosecution sought to prove that Holmes knew the product she was selling to investors - a machine called the Edison - was a sham, but remained hell-bent on the firm's success,” the BBC reports. Theranos covertly relied on commercially available equipment to carry out the tests, according to prosecutors. “At trial, multiple lab directors testified to telling Holmes about the flaws in Theranos' technology but being instructed to downplay their concerns. At the same time, they added, Holmes told investors the technology was operating as planned.” Holmes is expected to appeal, while at a hearing on the three hung charges next week, the sentencing date is predicted to be set. Updated on Jan 4, 2022, 10:11 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 4th, 2022

Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Convicted of Fraud and Conspiracy

A jury found Holmes guilty of two counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud (SAN JOSE, Calif.) — In a case that exposed Silicon Valley’s culture of hubris and hype, Elizabeth Holmes was convicted Monday of duping investors into believing her startup Theranos had developed a revolutionary medical device that could detect a multitude of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood. A jury convicted Holmes, who was CEO throughout the company’s turbulent 15-year history, on two counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud after seven days of deliberation. The 37-year-old was acquitted on four other counts of fraud and conspiracy that alleged she deceived patients who paid for Theranos blood tests, too. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The verdict came after the eight men and four women on the jury spent three months sitting through a complex trial that featured reams of evidence and 32 witness — including Holmes herself. She now faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, although legal experts say she is unlikely to receive the maximum sentence. The jury deadlocked on three remaining charges, which a federal judge anticipates dismissing as part of a mistrial ruling that could come as early as next week. The split verdicts are “a mixed bag for the prosecution, but it’s a loss for Elizabeth Holmes because she is going away to prison for at least a few years,” said David Ring, a lawyer who has followed the case closely. Federal prosecutors depicted Holmes as a charlatan obsessed with fame and fortune. In seven days on the witness stand, she cast herself as a visionary trailblazer in male-dominated Silicon Valley who was emotionally and sexually abused by her former lover and business partner, Sunny Balwani. The trial also laid bare the pitfalls of a swaggering strategy used by many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs — conveying a boundless optimism regardless of whether it’s warranted, known as “fake it ‘til you make it.” That ethos helped hatch groundbreaking companies such as Google, Netflix, Facebook, and Apple — the latter co-founded by one of Holmes’ heroes, Steve Jobs. Her conviction might lower the wattage — at least temporarily — on the brash promises and bold exaggerations that have become a routine part of the tech industry’s innovation hustle. The trial’s outcome “will send a message to CEOs that there are consequences in overstepping the bounds,” predicted Ellen Kreitzberg, a Santa Clara University law professor who attended the trial. But she also believes greed will keep hyperbole alive in Silicon Valley. “Investors are still going to want to make more money on a promising idea.,” Kreitzberg said. “They will always go in for the golden ring.” Holmes remained seated and expressed no visible emotion as the verdicts were read. She bowed her head several times before the jury was polled by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila. After the judge left the courtroom to meet with jurors individually, Holmes got up to hug her partner, Billy Evans, and her parents before leaving with her lawyers. During a brief break after the verdict read, a visibly shaken Evans stepped into the courthouse hallway to get a get drink from a water fountain while apparently trying to compose himself. Holmes did not respond to questions about the verdicts lobbed at her during a three-block walk from the courthouse to the nearby hotel where she has stayed during jury deliberations. She was to remain free on bond while awaiting sentencing, which will be determined by the judge. The judge indicated that he is likely to hold off on the sentencing until the completion of a separate trial involving similar fraud charges against Balwani, who was Theranos’ chief operating officer from 2009 to 2016. Balwani’s trial is scheduled to start next month in the same San Jose courtroom where Holmes’ legal saga unfolded. In a written statement, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds thanked the jury for navigating the case through the pandemic and said Holmes must now be held “culpable” for her crimes. Although she was convicted of bamboozling investors, Holmes received a reprieve from the jury on the fraud accusations involving patients who submitted to inaccurate blood tests that could have endangered their health. Ring said the charges related to the patients looked more difficult to prove from the outset because Holmes never directly communicated with them, as she did with investors. The bold dream Holmes pursued when she founded Theranos in 2003 at the age of 19 had become a nightmare by the time she was indicted on felony charges in 2018. During that span, Holmes went from an unknown to a Silicon Valley sensation who had amassed a $4.5 billion fortune on paper to a vilified failure. Her downfall was dissected in documentaries, books, podcasts and will soon be rehashed in a Hulu TV series called “The Dropout” starring Amanda Seyfried in the lead role. Holmes set out to create a less painful, more convenient and cheaper way to scan for hundreds of diseases and other health problems by taking just a few drops of blood with a finger prick instead of inserting a needle in a vein. She aimed to upend an industry dominated by giant testing companies such as Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp, starting with setting up “mini-labs” in Walgreens and Safeway stores across the U.S. that would use a small Theranos device called the Edison to run faster, less intrusive blood tests. The concept — and the way Holmes presented it — enthralled wealthy investors eager to buy an early stake in a game-changing company. It helped Theranos raise more than $900 million from savvy billionaires such as media mogul Rupert Murdoch and software magnate Larry Ellison, as well as well-to-do families such as the Waltons of Walmart and the DeVos clan behind Amway. Holmes also wooed a well-connected board that included two former U.S. secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz: two former secretaries of defense, Gen. James Mattis and William Perry; former Sen. Sam Nunn; and former Wells Fargo CEO Richard Kovacevich. She charmed former President Bill Clinton in an on-stage presentation and impressed then-Vice President Joe Biden, who effusively praised her during a 2015 tour of a Theranos lab. What most people did not know at the time was that Theranos’ blood-testing technology kept producing misleading results. That forced patients to undergo regular blood draws instead of the promised finger sticks and led Theranos to secretly test those samples using conventional machines in a traditional laboratory setting. Evidence presented at the trial also showed that Holmes lied about purported deals that Theranos had reached with big drug companies such as Pfizer and the U.S. military. The deception came to light in 2015 after a series of explosive articles in The Wall Street Journal and a regulatory audit of Theranos uncovered potentially dangerous flaws in the company’s technology, leading to its eventual collapse. During her testimony, Holmes occasionally expressed contrition for her handling of a variety of issues, but she often contended that she had forgotten the circumstance surrounding some of the key events spotlighted by the prosecution. She insisted she never stopped believing that Theranos was on the verge of refining its technology. Instead, she heaped blame on Balwani, who she secretly lived with while the two were running Theranos. Holmes testified that Balwani let her down by failing to fix laboratory problems and, in the most dramatic testimony of the trial, alleged that he had turned her into his pawn through a long-running pattern of abuse while exerting control over her diet, sleeping habits and friendships. This all occurred, she said, after she was raped by an unnamed assailant while she was still enrolled at Stanford. ___ Associated Press Business Writer Marcy Gordon contributed to this story from Washington......»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 4th, 2022

Greenwald: NBC News Uses Ex-FBI Official Frank Figliuzzi To Urge Assange"s Extradition, Hiding His Key Role

Greenwald: NBC News Uses Ex-FBI Official Frank Figliuzzi To Urge Assange's Extradition, Hiding His Key Role Authored by Glenn Greenwald via, Two of the television outlets on which American liberals rely most for their news — NBC News and CNN — have spent the last six years hiring a virtual army of former CIA operatives, FBI officials, NSA spies, Pentagon chiefs, and DOJ prosecutors to work in their newsrooms. The multiple ways in which journalism is fundamentally corrupted by this spectacle are all vividly illustrated by a new article from NBC News that urges the prosecution and extradition of Julian Assange, claiming that the WikiLeaks founder, once on U.S. soil, will finally provide the long-elusive proof that Trump criminally conspired with Russia. Twitter profile of former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, now of NBC News The NBC article is written by former FBI Assistant Director and current NBC News employee Frank Figliuzzi, who played a central role during the Obama years in the FBI's attempt to investigate and criminalize Assange: a rather relevant fact concealed by NBC when publishing this. But this is how U.S. security state agents now directly control corporate news outlets. During the Cold War and then in the decades following it, the U.S. security state constantly used clandestine measures to infiltrate U.S. corporate media outlets and shape U.S. media coverage in order to propagandize the domestic population. Indeed, intelligence agencies have a long, documented record of violating their charter by interfering in domestic politics through formal programs to manipulate U.S. media coverage. In 1974, The New York Times’ Seymour Hersh exposed that “the [CIA], directly violating its charter, conducted a massive, illegal domestic intelligence operation” which included “assembling domestic intelligence dossiers” and “recruiting informants to infiltrate some of the more militant dissident groups.” The Senate's Church Committee report in 1976 concluded that “intelligence excesses, at home and abroad, were not the 'product of any single party, administration, or man,”; rather, “Intelligence agencies have undermined the constitutional rights of citizens primarily because checks and balances designed by the framers of the Constitution to assure accountability have not been applied.” A 1977 Rolling Stone exposé by Carl Bernstein — entitled “The CIA and the Media” — revealed “more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the CIA" — including the most influential news executives in the country: William Paley of CBS, Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times. Bernstein laid out how sweeping the CIA's commandeering of mainstream media outlets was: Some of these journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services -- from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested it the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles, and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements America's leading news organizations. The history of the CIA's involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception. . . . By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with The New York Times, CBS, and Time Inc. In 1996, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a lengthy report entitled “CIA's Use of Journalists and Clergy in Intelligence Operations" after “the House of Representatives [took] a vote on the subject as to the prohibition of use of journalists and others by the CIA." In 2008, The New York Times’ David Barstow won a Pulitzer for exposing the Pentagon's secret plot to disseminate Defense Department talking points by placing former officials as “analysts" at each news network who, in secret, coordinated their claims. In 2014, The Intercept obtained the CIA's communications with journalists through a FOIA request and discovered that national security reporter Ken Dilanian routinely submitted his drafts about the CIA to agency officials before publication; his newspaper at the time, The Los Angeles Times, pronounced itself “disappointed” and said he may have violated the paper's rules, but he was promptly hired by the Associated Press and now covers the intelligence community for . . . NBC News. Revealingly, none of those multiple Congressional and media exposés deterred the CIA and related agencies from contaminating domestic media coverage. Over the last six years, the opposite happened: this tactic has accelerated greatly. U.S. security state services now not only shape but often control news coverage — not by clandestine tactics but right out in the open. Many of the top security state officials over the last two decades have been hired to deliver "news” for these two major corporate networks: former CIA Director John Brennan (NBC), former Homeland Security Secretary James Clapper (CNN), former Assistant FBI Director Frank Figliuzzi (NBC), former Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend (CNN), disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (CNN), former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden (CNN), and countless others. This career path from the Deep State to NBC/CNN is now so common that those who are fired in disgrace or resign immediately show up on their payroll. As but one illustrative example: on February 2, 2018, FBI official Josh Campbell wrote a self-serving op-ed in The New York Times flamboyantly announcing his resignation over alleged interference by Trump officials; two days later, CNN announced it had hired Campbell as a "law enforcement analyst,” where he continues to "report the news.” In 2018, the DOJ's Inspector General concluded that McCabe, while serving as former FBI Deputy Director, had lied to the Bureau about his role in the leaks; CNN then hired him. The reasons this is so dangerous are self-evident. Allowing the U.S. security state to shape the news converts media outlets into a form of state TV. As Politico's Jack Shafer wrote in 2018 under the headline "The Spies Who Came Into the TV Studio": Standard journalistic contributors—reporters, anchors, editors, producers—pursue the news wherever it goes without fear or favor, as the famous motto puts it. But almost to a one, the TV spooks still identify with their former employers at the CIA, FBI, DEA, DHS, or other security agencies and remain protective of their institutions. This makes nearly every word that comes out of their mouths suspect. These security state agencies were created to lie and spread disinformation; allowing them to place their top operatives at news outlets obliterates even the pretense that there is any separation between them and corporate journalism. Worse, it requires these media outlets to pretend they are adversarially reporting on agencies which their own colleagues recently helped run. And, worst of all, it creates a massive conflict of interest whereby news “analysts” are commenting on stories in which they played central roles in their prior, often-very-recent life as a security state operative — as happened repeatedly during Russiagate when people like John Brennan were “analyzing” investigations for NBC News which they helped launch or of which they are targets. The New York Times, Dec. 23, 2019 To call all of this a conflict of interest is to gravely understate the case. It is an all-but-explicit merger between the security state and the corporate media. This latest NBC News article on Assange by former FBI Assistant Director Figliuzzi features all of these corrupt dynamics. MSNBC has been repeatedly promoting it. That is remarkable on its own: a so-called "news outlet” is cheering — indeed, salivating over — the Biden administration's attempt to criminalize Assange under “espionage” laws for the sin of reporting genuine documents showing all sorts of improper conduct by the agencies whose former operatives now staff that network. Given that press freedom groups in the West have uniformly condemned the prosecution of Assange as a grave threat to a free press, it is stunning to watch a corporation that claims to be in the news business cheering rather than denouncing it. But for the U.S. media, that is just ordinary corruption and subservience to the CIA: it is hardly rare to find "journalists” giddy over the prospect of Assange's ongoing imprisonment. What makes this new article particularly notable is that the FBI — when Figliuzzi was a senior official there — was directly involved in the attempt to investigate, frame and prosecute Assange. Yet the article, while identifying its analyst as “the assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, where he served 25 years as a special agent and directed all espionage investigations across the government,” makes no mention of his direct personal interest in the Assange prosecution. The primary claim of this article is an unhinged conspiracy theory. Figliuzzi asserts that extraditing Assange onto U.S. soil could endanger Donald Trump. The former FBI official barely conceals his glee over the prospect that Assange could somehow offer up dirt on Trump in exchange for a promise of leniency from prosecutors: If the Department of Justice plays its cards right, it can make the case precisely about those Russian government hacks and WikiLeaks' dissemination of the content of those hacks by offering a deal to Assange in return for what he knows. That’s what should worry Trump and his allies. . . . Assange may be able to close the gap between collusion and criminal conspiracy. Assange got the Democratic National Committee data dump from an entity long suspected to be a front for the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service. . . Assange may be able to help the U.S. government in exchange for more lenient charges or a plea deal. Prosecutions can make for strange bedfellows. A trade that offers a deal to a thief who steals data, in return for him flipping on someone who tried to steal democracy sounds like a deal worth doing. So, DOJ, if you’re listening… That Assange "stole data” is an absolute lie — not even the U.S. Government claims this — but NBC News has previously shown that it has no qualms about disseminating that particular lie. As for Figliuzzi’s belief that Assange possesses secret information about Trump's collusion with Russia over the 2016 election: that is nothing short of madness. Robert Mueller did not even attempt to interview Assange, precisely because the Special Counsel (Figliuzzi's former boss) obviously recognized that Assange had no information that would assist Mueller's investigation to determine whether Trump or his associates criminally conspired with Russia. If Assange really has information showing Trump criminally worked with the Kremlin, how can Figliuzzi justify that Mueller, during eighteen months of investigating that question, never even sought to speak to Assange? Moreover, if — as Figliuzzi fantasizes — Assange were in possession of some sort of smoking gun that Mueller never found but which would finally prove Trump's guilt on various crimes, why did Trump not pardon Assange? After all, if this twisted fantasy that NBC News is promoting had any validity — namely, Trump will be in big trouble once the U.S. succeeds in extraditing Assange to the U.S. to stand trial — why was it the Trump administration that brought these charges against Assange in the first place, and why would Trump not have pardoned Assange in order to prevent such a deal from taking place? None of what Figliuzzi is claiming has any evidence to support it or even makes any minimal sense. But as usual, that is no bar to NBC News and MSNBC publishing and aggressively promoting it. As I will never tire of pointing out, it is the corporate media outlets that most vocally denounce disinformation which are the ones guilty of spreading it most frequently and destructively. What makes this NBC article by Figliuzzi worse than standard media disinformation is that the former FBI official is writing about events in which he had direct personal involvement, without any disclosure of this fact. In 2011, Iceland’s Minister of the Interior, Ogmundur Jonasson, discovered that FBI agents had been deployed to his country under false pretenses. The FBI's counterintelligence unit, led by Figliuzzi, had claimed they were there because they wanted to help the Icelandic government stop an “imminent attack” by hackers into Iceland's government databases. That was a lie. As The New York Times reported two years later, the FBI went to Iceland in order to dig up dirt on Assange and WikiLeaks that would enable their prosecution. At the time, Assange was spending significant time in Iceland; he concluded that the country's broad press freedom and privacy protections, as well as support from several politicians, enabled him to work there safely. The FBI unit under Figliuzzi focused its counterintelligence efforts in Iceland on recruiting a very young WikiLeaks insider with a history of criminality and mental illness, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, in order to provide incriminating information about Assange. When Jonasson, the Interior Minister, discovered the truth, he expelled the FBI from his country, as The Times recounted: But when “eight or nine” F.B.I. agents arrived in August, Mr. Jonasson said, he found that they were not investigating an imminent attack, but gathering material on WikiLeaks, the activist group that has been responsible for publishing millions of confidential documents over the past three years, and that has many operatives in Iceland. . . . The F.B.I.’s activities in Iceland provide perhaps the clearest view of the government’s interest in Mr. Assange. A young online activist, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson (known as Siggi), told a closed session of Iceland’s Parliament this year that he had been cooperating with United States agents investigating WikiLeaks at the time of the F.B.I.’s visit in 2011. . . The F.B.I. efforts left WikiLeaks supporters in Iceland shaken. “The paranoia,” [Parliament member Birgitta] Jonsdottir said, “is going to kill us all.” The FBI's counterintelligence efforts under Figliuzzi in Iceland succeeded. Thordarson became a key witness for the FBI in its efforts to prosecute Assange. Indeed, the pending indictment against the WikiLeaks founder — which is the basis for the Biden DOJ's demand that he be extradited from the U.K. — heavily relies on accusations from Thordarson (the indictment refers to him as "Teenager” and to Iceland as "NATO Country-1"). Even a cursory review of the indictment shows how central to the case against Assange are the allegations which the FBI induced Thordarson to make: "In September 2010, ASSANGE directed Teenager to hack into the computer of an individual formerly associated with WikiLeaks and delete chat logs containing statements of ASSANGE.” But in June of this year, Thordarson recanted his allegations against Assange. Speaking to the Icelandic newspaper Stundin, Thordarson confessed how he had been caught stealing money from WikiLeaks by forging an email in Assange's name and directing WikiLeaks’ funds to be sent to his personal account. He “saw a way out” of the pending criminal problem by helping the FBI in its hunt against Assange. Thus, "on August 23d, [Thordarson] sent an email to the US Embassy in Iceland offering information in relation to a criminal investigation,” and he then became the FBI's star witness. Providing the FBI with false allegations against Assange helped the FBI but did not help Thordarson much: he was shortly thereafter convicted on charges of “massive fraud, forgeries and theft on the one hand and for sexual violations against underage boys he had tricked or forced into sexual acts on the other.” Yet “Thordarson was sentenced in 2013 and 2014 and received relatively lenient sentences” as the judge reviewed his cooperation activities as well as his formal psychiatric diagnosis that he is a sociopath. Even after that lenient punishment, Thordarson continued to commit crimes, piling up numerous other criminal charges. That was when the FBI, eager to indict Assange, again saw an opportunity in Thordarson: In May 2019 Thordarson was offered an immunity deal, signed by [U.S. Deputy Attorney General Kellen S.] Dwyer, that granted him immunity from prosecution based on any information on wrongdoing they had on him. The deal, seen in writing by Stundin, also guarantees that the DOJ would not share any such information to other prosecutorial or law enforcement agencies. That would include Icelandic ones, meaning that the Americans will not share information on crimes he might have committed threatening Icelandic security interests – and the Americans apparently had plenty of those but had over the years failed to share them with their Icelandic counterparts. With Assange now behind bars based on the indictment he helped the FBI secure, Thordarson decided to come clean. He had lied to the FBI and fed them false incriminating information against Assange because he knew that would help shield him from accountability for his own crimes. In other words, at the heart of the FBI's case against Assange — one compiled by the FBI's counterintelligence operations under Figliuzzi before he went to NBC News — is a chronic criminal with a history of fraud, sexual assault against minors, and serious psychiatric illness. And he has now recanted his claims. If NBC News were a legitimate news operation, it would obviously bar Figliuzzi from “reporting on” or “analyzing” a major press freedom case in which the FBI was so intricately involved, and implicated, during his tenure there. But the opposite is true. Figliuzzi is obsessed with Assange's prosecution and extradition, talking about it often both on his social media account and on NBC and MSNBC platforms. Beyond the issue of journalistic ethics — which nobody should expect of NBC and MSNBC at this point — something more sinister is going on here. The Biden administration's aggressive pursuit of Assange's extradition, along with its demand that he be kept imprisoned while the judicial process is pending, has been denounced with increasing fervor by press freedom and civil liberties groups that are usually allies of the Democrats. That even includes the ACLU. Leaders from around the world, including on the left, have been strongly condemning the Biden administration. Other countries are now frequently holding up Biden's assault on press freedom, along with the British government, as a reason why those two countries lack credibility to sermonize about press freedom. This new argument pushed by NBC News and its former FBI operative Frank Figliuzzi — liberals should cheer Assange's prosecution because we can squeeze him once he is here to turn on and implicate Trump — seems like a barely disguised political ploy to protect the Biden White House from criticism. NBC News knows that liberals crave Trump’s prosecution above all, so trying to convince them that Assange's extradition could advance that — as false as that obviously is — would likely benefit the White House which NBC serves, by fortifying support among Trump-obsessed liberals or at least diluting opposition. But taken on its own terms, the argument now being promoted by NBC to justify Assange's extradition is deeply disturbing. What they are essentially arguing is that the entire prosecution is a pretext. Though justified based on Assange's alleged lawbreaking in connection with the 2010 publication by WikiLeaks of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, the real benefit, according to NBC, is the opportunity to pressure Assange to turn on Trump in connection with the 2016 election. In other words, they are keeping Assange imprisoned for years, and working to bring him to the U.S., because they believe they can force him with promises of leniency to offer up information they can use against Trump — just as the FBI manipulated the young, mentally unwell Icelandic teenager to offer false accusations against Assange. And that would also create the added incentive to treat Assange as abusively as possible to turn the pressure as high up as possible for him to implicate Trump. Indeed, on the day Assange was arrested in London, a smiling Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) all but proclaimed this to be the real purpose of the extradition ("he'll be our property and we can get the truth and the facts from him"): That the U.S.'s corporate newsrooms are now filled with former agents of the U.S. security state on their payrolls is one of the most significant and disturbing media developments in recent years. It means that dirty, scheming operatives like Frank Figliuzzi can now do their dirty work not in the shadows or in agencies known to be guilty for decades of this sort of treachery and lies, but under the cover of “respectable” media outlets. When Figliuzzi speaks — or when John Brennan or James Clapper or Andrew McCabe do — the lips of these media outlets are moving but the CIA and the FBI and the DOJ are the ones actually speaking. That has been true for decades, but at least they had the decency to maintain the pretense. That security state agencies have now dispensed with the formalities and control these news outlets so directly reveals the utter impunity with which they now operate, particularly in establishment liberal circles. That an FBI official who played a key role in concocting false accusations against Assange now "reports” or “analyzes” that very same case under the logo of NBC News says more about the institutional corruption of these news outlets than thousands of articles could ever get close to. To support the independent journalism we are doing here, please subscribe, obtain a gift subscription for others and/or share the article Tyler Durden Sun, 01/02/2022 - 18:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 2nd, 2022

Judge Delivers Major Setback To Prince Andrew In Lawsuit Filed By Epstein Victim

Judge Delivers Major Setback To Prince Andrew In Lawsuit Filed By Epstein Victim Now that Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty of sex-trafficking charges tied to her work as Jeffrey Epstein's de facto "madam", many legal observers expect that she will eventually be sentenced to a lengthy prison stay that could see her die behind bars. But as the world waits for her sentencing, attention is turning once again the civil courts, where Prince Andrew is fighting a high-profile lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Guiffre, a prominent Epstein accuser who claims she was trafficked to Andrew when she was still underage. The lawsuit was filed in the US by a woman who lives in Australia, against a member of the British royal family. Andrew's name came up during the Maxwell's trial, when Jeffrey Epstein's former pilot named names, though he wasn't officially named by prosecutors. Now, an American judge has blocked two critical avenues for Prince Andrew to try and get around the lawsuit. Here's more from the Guardian: Two of Prince Andrew’s avenues to prevent or stall the progression of Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s sex assault lawsuit against him were blocked on Saturday by a federal judge, increasing pressure to settle claims before a crucial court hearing this week. Judge Lewis A Kaplan, in a written order, told the prince’s lawyers they must turn over documents on the schedule that has been set in the lawsuit brought by Guiffre who claims she was abused – aged 17 – by the prince on multiple occasions in 2001 while she was being sexually abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein. The judge's decision comes ahead of a critical hearing in the case that's set for Tuesday. Also, the details of a 2009 settlement agreement between the now-deceased Epstein and Giuffre that lawyers for Prince Andrew had hoped would protect him from Guiffre’s claims are expected to be released on Monday. Among other things, the judge will decide Tuesday whether Giuffre's claims against the Prince are solid enough to merit a trial. All of this could greatly increase pressure on the Prince's lawyers to settle. Giuffre’s lawyers have claimed that they have up to six witnesses linking the Duke to his accuser on the eve of the hearing into the civil lawsuit. In another document, Andrew’s lawyers acknowledged that they couldn't provide documentary evidence that he has the "inability to sweat", one of the defenses employed by Prince Andrew to try and discredit Guiffre (although the reaction to the claim in the press was one of abject dismissal). Meanwhile, on Saturday, it was revealed that David Boies, a lawyer for Giuffre, had said that Ghislaine Maxwell should have "cut a deal" - the latest indication that Maxwell had the opportunity to turn states' witness against other high-profile individuals in Epstein's circle, a group that includes former President Bill Clinton as well as Prince Andrew. "I have said publicly for five years that she was making a mistake in not going in and trying to cut a deal with prosecutors. She could have cut a very good deal early on but she passed up that opportunity. I think that’s proven to be a fatal mistake," Boies reportedly said. See the judge's official dismissal below:   Tyler Durden Sat, 01/01/2022 - 17:55.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 1st, 2022

725 suspects were arrested in the year since the Capitol riot, DOJ announces. The FBI is looking for 350 more.

In a year-end update, Department of Justice officials broke down the 725 arrests and 165 guilty pleas in the wake of the attack on January 6, 2021. The scene outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.Brent Stirton/Getty In a year-end update, the DOJ broke down the arrests and convictions from the Capitol riot. There had been 725 arrests and 165 guilty please, with several heavy prison terms. FBI agents continue to seek some 350 people, the department said. Seven hundred and twenty five people have been arrested in connection with the riot at the US Capitol, the Department of Justice said in a year-end update on its investigation.DOJ officials broke down the arrests, convictions, and sentences of those accused of involvement in the January 6, 2021, storming of the Capitol.The department said 165 of the 725 arrested — around 22% — had pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanor charges.Robert Scott Palmer, the rioter given the longest sentence to date.US attorney's officeTwenty of the guilty pleas were for felony charges, and four of them — all cases of people attacking police officers — come with minimum prison terms of at least 20 years, the department said.There are many more people at the riot whom the FBI has yet to identify. The DOJ release said that agents are seeking at least 350 more people they suspect of violent acts, including 250 they say assaulted police officers.Here are some of the most notable convictions:Robert Scott Palmer, a rioter who threw a fire extinguisher at police, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison — the longest sentence for a rioter so far.Jacob Chansley, known as the QAnon Shaman, was handed a sentence of three years and seven months for obstructing proceedings in Congress. His outlandish costume on January 6 made him one of the most recognizable defendants.Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon Shaman, inside the Capitol on January 6, 2021.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesJenna Ryan, a Texas realtor, was given a 60-day sentence after admitting a misdemeanor charge. She attracted attention for having flown to DC ahead of the riot by private jet, and for claiming she would definitely not be sent to prison because she is white and blond. She said after her sentencing that she hoped to use her time in prison to detox and do yoga.Gary Wickersham, an 81-year-old US Army veteran, was fined $2,500 and given three years of probation. He is notable as one of the oldest defendants.Insider has published interactive databases of those charged over the riot, and those who pleaded guilty.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 1st, 2022

An 81-year-old Army veteran — one of the oldest Capitol riot defendants — was sentenced to 3 years of probation

Gary Wickersham, 81, admitted to entering the US Capitol during the insurrection but said he was allowed to do so because he paid taxes. Gary Wickersham captured on security camera footage during the January 6 Capitol riot.The Department of Justice An 81-year-old Capitol rioter was sentenced to 3 years of probation and 90 days of home confinement. Gary Wickersham expressed remorse at the Tuesday hearing, where a judge commended him for his regret.  Wickersham initially told investigators he thought the riot was staged to make Trump supporters look bad.  One of the oldest known defendants charged in the January 6 Capitol riot was sentenced to three years of probation this week, months after an acquaintance reported him to the FBI for his participation in the insurrection.Gary Wickersham, an 81-year-old Pennsylvania Army veteran, was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and $500 in restitution for his role in the attack.Judge Royce Lamberth, 78, at the Tuesday hearing, commented on Wickersham's age, saying he is "the first defendant I've had that's older than me in quite some time," according to CNN. During the hearing, Wickersham acknowledged and apologized for his participation in the siege."It's not like me to do that," Wickersham said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. "In my whole 81 years, that 22 minutes I spent in there, it was a dark blot … I regret doing it. I shouldn't have been in there."Lamberth commended Wickersham for his contrition, telling the defendant he would "get some credit" for admitting his faults. But on top of the probationary punishment, the judge also sentenced Wickersham to 90 days of home confinement.An attorney for Wickersham had previously argued against any home detention, telling the judge doing so would inhibit Wickersham from being able to visit his grandkids during his "golden years," CNN reported. Prosecutors were first alerted to Wickersham's presence at the Capitol on January 6 when an anonymous source brought forth a text message Wickersham had sent to a different acquaintance claiming to be inside the Capitol, according to charging documents.Investigators eventually located photographic and video evidence of Wickersham inside the building wearing a leather jacket and backward baseball cap, a criminal complaint said. When investigators first interviewed Wickersham about his participation in the attack, the Army veteran appeared to show little remorse, telling FBI agents he believed the riot was full of "antifa" protesters aiming to make Trump supporters look bad. Wickersham also alleged that Capitol Police officers were purposefully unprepared to allow the rioters to easily storm the Capitol and be arrested, according to charging documents.Wickersham told investigators he stayed inside the Capitol for about 22 minutes and initially argued that he was able to do so because he paid US taxes, according to prosecutors. During Tuesday's hearing, Wickersham's attorney said his client's comments were poor phrasing, The Inquirer reported."I regret doing it, I shouldn't be in there. I think the remarks I made that it was public property, I don't remember if I said that or not, I still shouldn't have been in there," Wickersham reportedly said during the hearing.Michael Noone, an attorney for Wickersham, told Insider that his client respects the sentence and is very sorry for his conduct."Mr. Wickersham expressed his genuine remorse and accepted responsibility for his actions," Noone said. Nearly 730 people have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot so far, and more than 150 people have pleaded guilty.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 24th, 2021

A Capitol rioter who threw a fire extinguisher at police just got the longest prison sentence yet in a January 6 case

"You're not being sentenced for your political views," a judge told Robert Scott Palmer before giving him the longest prison term yet in a January 6 case. Robert Scott PalmerUS attorney's office A Trump supporter got sentenced to more than 5 years in prison Friday for his role in the January 6 riot. Robert Palmer pleaded guilty in October to throwing a fire extinguisher at police guarding the Capitol Palmer said he was "ashamed" of his conduct and recounted being struck by an MSNBC segment on his case. An avid supporter of former President Donald Trump who threw a fire extinguisher at police during the January 6 attack on the Capitol was sentenced Friday to more than 5 years in prison, the longest term ordered to date in a prosecution arising out of the deadly rampage.Robert Scott Palmer, who wore a American flag sweatshirt emblazoned with Trump's name during the Capitol siege, pleaded guilty in October to assaulting police on January 6.He was part of the pro-Trump mob that overwhelmed police protecting the Capitol during the certification of Joe Biden's White House victory and faced federal charges for spraying law enforcement officers with the contents of the fire extinguisher. Once it was empty, he hurled the extinguisher itself at police officers, prosecutors said.US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan delivered Palmer's 63-month sentence, which is exactly what federal prosecutors had recommended for the Florida businessman who said he'd been swept up in the furor of the pro-Trump mob.In a court filing recommending that sentence, prosecutors noted that while some Capitol rioters donned tactical gear and used dangerous weapons during the melee, Palmer was among those who transformed ordinary objects — such as flag poles, sticks, and barricades — into dangerous weapons.On Friday, Chutkan said many others shared Palmer's objection to the 2020 election results and "perhaps thought the election was stolen in some way."But, she added, "they stayed home. You decided on your own free will to leave Florida and come to Washington and go to the rally. That's your right. You're not being sentenced for your political views. When you left that rally and went to the Capitol and saw what was going on and engaged in combat with a law enforcement officer — that's what you're being punished for."The Capitol attack was not a protest but rather "a violent attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power," said Chutkan, an appointee of President Barack Obama, noting the rioters caused destruction, death and injuries both seen an unseen."Many of the people who were inside the Capitol will carry that for a long time," Chutkan said.Palmer has been in custody since his October guilty plea. In brief remarks to Chutkan, Palmer appeared to grow emotional as he recounted watching an MSNBC segment on his case while in jail and being struck by the violence of January 6. He described law enforcement as "so brave" and said he was "so ashamed I was a part of that — very, very ashamed."Ahead of Palmer's sentencing, his defense lawyer argued that a sentence of between 18 months and two years would be "sufficient, but not greater than necessary," and that he recognized his actions on January 6 were "inexcusable."Prosecutors cast doubt on Palmer's level of remorse. After admitting guilt, they said, Palmer posted online that his actions were purely defensive and that he had been reacting to being tear-gassed. Still, prosecutors said Palmer had pleaded guilty relatively early.Chutkan on Friday said the post showed that Palmer "still denied culpability" after pleading guilty. Palmer's sentence stands out as longest among Capitol rioters, with some of the other more prominent ones receiving prison sentences of more than three years.Jacob Chansley, a Capitol rioter known as the QAnon Shaman, got sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to storming the Capitol. Chansley has appealed his sentence to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.Another rioter, Scott Fairlamb, received the same sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting police on January 6.After participating in the Capitol riot, Palmer told HuffPost that the Biden administration was seeking to "villify the patriots" who joined in the January 6 violence. Chutkan on Friday noted the work of outnumbered police officers that day and urged Palmer to look behind him in the courtroom to marshals who ran over to the Capitol to help on January 6."They were the patriots that day, Mr. Palmer," Chutkan said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 17th, 2021

Galleon’s Raj Rajaratnam Speaks Out After 7 Years In Prison For Insider Trading

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Galleon Group Founder and “Uneven Justice: The Plot to Sink Galleon” Author Raj Rajaratnam on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 8th. Following is a link to video on Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Galleon Group’s Rajaratnam Speaks […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Galleon Group Founder and “Uneven Justice: The Plot to Sink Galleon” Author Raj Rajaratnam on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 8th. Following is a link to video on if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Galleon Group's Rajaratnam Speaks Out After 7 Years In Prison For Insider Trading ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Welcome back to “Squawk Box” this morning. In 2011, billionaire and Galleon Group Founder Raj Rajaratnam was convicted of 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors accused him of making tens of millions of dollars by trading illegally and stocks like eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), then known as Google. Now he’s spent seven years in prison, paid more than $150 million in fines and this morning, we have his first interview since he was released from prison two years ago. Joining us this morning is Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group and author of a new book, “Uneven Justice: The Plot to Sink Galleon,” which is out next week. Good morning. RAJ RAJARATNAM: Good morning. SORKIN: Thank you for being with us. It has been quite some time and quite a, quite a story that you have lived. You have paid as we just said $150 million. You've been in prison for seven years and you haven't spoken throughout all of it and now you are. Why? RAJARATNAM: Well, excuse me. I had a firsthand view of how the process works. I believe that law and order is extremely important for any civic society. But my experience is something that should concern every American citizen and let me elaborate. Number one, people who care about civil liberties should understand what I went through. Number two, I believe strongly that there should be checks and balances and a small group of prosecutors, for whatever reason, bend the rules to win at all costs. And as your newspaper this Sunday, the New York Times editorial said, there needs to be balances for prosecutors who overreach and that's the reason. I want to talk about this social justice issues. I think it's extremely important. I don't necessarily want to relitigate the case. SORKIN: Let me ask you this. You've maintained your innocence throughout this, but you were convicted by a jury. You appealed the case. The appeals court effectively reaffirmed the decision. Do you believe in the justice system? RAJARATNAM: Overall I do. When I decided to become a United States citizen in 1983, I accepted the rules of this country and so I accept the verdict of the jury because that's the bedrock of American judicial system. But let me step back. The the, the jury, another jury, in the case of a coconspirator, the same Southern District, the same charges with the same witnesses found the defendant not guilty. And you might ask me why? And because the star witness in my case, reversed his testimony totally and said he didn't give me any information that he thought was important. Then you might again ask me why? Because he was already sentenced to two years probation and he was no longer under the leash of the prosecutor. Let me explain further. Five years after my conviction, yes, I did lose the appeal. The second circuit rejected Mr. Bharara’s theory of insider trading— SORKIN: Preet Bharara RAJARATNAM: Preet Bharara. And said that the downstream tippee should not be held guilty. My contention is this, go after the original tipper, the insider who gave the information. So what is interesting to me is that in 2020 when Preet Bharara was no longer under the publicity, public light and glare, he assembled a taskforce and the conclusion, he called it the Bharara taskforce, and the conclusion was that insider trading laws are murky. It needs to be defined, and they feel sorry for the market participants. So, my question is, if you thought it was murky in 2020, how did you convict any people in 2010? Now, let me explain. I do accept the verdict of the jury as an American citizen. It's the bedrock of American justice. But what I'm trying to convey here is there needs to be checks and balances. SORKIN: But are you suggesting that being a quote, unquote “tippee” in an insider trading case effectively, that being the tippee should be considered legal and are you suggesting you, you were the tippee? RAJARATNAM: No, you have a tipper. What I’m merely saying what the Second Circuit affirmed that the tippee should know of that an insider violated his fiduciary responsibility and gave a benefit. That's not my, it's how the Second Circuit ruled five years after my conviction. SORKIN: I understand that. What I'm asking is today, are you now saying or accepting that you were provided with information by a tipper as the tippee? RAJARATNAM: I didn't understand at that time. You know, think about as a hedge fund manager, a large hedge fund manager, you get hundreds of calls a week with bits of information of varying degrees of reliability. You listen to them because you want to know what's in the market. Nobody said, “Hey, Raj, I just got this from somebody.” I didn't. I didn't know 90% of the source, the people who may or may not have violated. Plus, a lot of people in this business puff. They just say things. I want to make one point. 100% of my trades were based on the written analysis of my 35 analysts. We were in deep research. I spent 40 million a year on research. SORKIN: What do you say to the critics who say two things. One is they say, look, you could have testified under oath and perhaps should have, so it's hard to speak now when you don't necessarily have to be under oath, I hope you're telling the truth, to speak out now, but not then. RAJARATNAM: Well, as you know, my lawyer was a very seasoned veteran lawyer, John Dowd and our strategy was to show that every one of the conversations in the wiretap was in the public domain. And if it was in the public domain, his question to juries, why are we here? So, we were prepared to testify but he told me, “Raj, we won this case.” SORKIN: He told you that you won the case. RAJARATNAM: Prior to the jury's verdict. Now— SORKIN: Do you believe, do you believe going into the verdict that you had won? RAJARATNAM: Correct because he was expert. And I sat there and the former counsel of the SEC showed numerous articles, and numerous reports that showed that everything that was on the wiretap was in the public domain. So, I decided based on his advice, not to testify. SORKIN: Let me ask you about this though because one of the issues is there is lots of things in the public domain and that was a huge part of your defense which is to say that there was written documentation of either analysts’ reports or news reports about speculation and whatnot, but isn’t it possible that that could exist at the same time and this is what the prosecutors contended that that could exist at the same time that these phone calls existed? In fact that the phone calls ultimately actually carried more weight than the documents. RAJARATNAM: Okay, let me answer it this way. We had an existing position in each of these stocks prior to the phone calls. Now, I would maintain that the phone calls were illegally wiretapped. The affidavit by Agent Kang was full of lies and the judge ruled that the wiretaps had a reckless disregard for the truth. Yet he allowed the wiretaps and a lot of legal experts were alarmed that if this happened, other Americans could be wiretapped. I think that's a big, big issue. So, when you look at the wiretap through dirty people, what do you see? You see dirt. When you give snippets of wiretaps in the courtroom, you don't give the full picture. And so, I mean, the judge himself said, “If you call your mother and say you're coming for dinner, it could be seen criminal in a courtroom setting.” SORKIN: So just take a step back, which is to say, and I accepted that you're suggesting that the wiretaps were illegal. But what I'm asking is, if we could put that aside for a second, the influence of those phone calls on your decision to make the trades. How important were those phone calls? RAJARATNAM: Zero. As I said, I had a prior position in every one of these stocks. I listen to my analysts and these analysts, it wasn't that they came and talk to me. They had to write reports. SORKIN: Can you tell us what I mean because we've never heard your side of the story. Very famously, Rajat Gupta who ran McKinsey was on the board of Goldman Sachs, apparently made this phone call to you in the middle of the financial crisis, right when Warren Buffett was about to make an investment in Goldman Sachs. RAJARATNAM: Yes. SORKIN: Do you remember all of that? And do you remember what he effectively told you? RAJARATNAM: Yes, I know Rajat told you that he didn't remember it. It was a 16 second call. And I remember every second of that call. SORKIN: So, what did he say? RAJARATNAM: He was calling at about 3:54 or 3:50, just before the market closed to ask about the, his investment in Voyager, which was housed at Lehman Brothers. And Lehman had gone under and he wanted some documentation. So he called me when he got out of the – as I now found out, out of the Goldman Sachs board meeting. I had no idea that he was at a Goldman Sachs board meeting, I had no access to his calendar. And he said, “I'm calling about my investment in Voyager.” I said, Rajat, I think TARP is about to be passed. We had a consultant in Congress, sending us reports about where the TARP would be best. At 3:25, I got an email from the Cyprus Group – that was our consultant – saying it looks likely that TARP would be passed. So I said, “Rajat, I’m in the middle of a big trade, looks like TARP’s going to be passed. I'm going to buy a whole bunch of financial stocks.” And he said “that would be good for Goldman.” I said, “Thank you. I'll call you back later.” After that morning I bought Goldman Sachs, it wasn't like I bought Goldman Sachs from September. The morning I bought Goldman Sachs, I was buying Goldman Sachs and these are in my records. I bought Morgan Stanley, I bought the XLF, which was a financial index. But when you look at it through people, you say, oh, Rajaratnam bought Goldman Sachs. Obviously, I increased my position in all these stocks when my consultant said TARP is going to be passed. Warren Buffett never entered into my mind when I bought it. SORKIN: I want to ask you a broader question. Just about the way trading happens and the way the public oftentimes thinks about Wall Street. They think that the whole business is unfair. That there's some kind of insider trading ring, that the access to information that you have, possibly, by the way, even from a consultant, for example, is different than the access that my mother might have. What do you think about that? RAJARATNAM: Well, you know, we spent maybe 10 or 12 hours a day doing deep research. There's a theory called the Mosaic theory on Wall Street where you take little dots of information and connect it. And that's perfectly legal. Now, your mother might not spend 10 hours a day on Wall Street. What I would tell her is to give your money to Fidelity or a professional money manager, because we spend a lot of effort and time analyzing, reading research reports, analyzing 10Ks and 10Qs. We get access to the reports of brokerage firms like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. So yeah, it is the public. They don't spend enough time. Now I am so heartened that with Robin Hood and Covid, a lot of people are participating in the market. There's tremendous amount of information available and hopefully, lots of people will participate in the capital markets. SORKIN: But let me ask you about this. In your book you wrote, “If I am guilty, then the entire investment business should be declared illegal.” What do you mean by that? RAJARATNAM: I mean that if innocent chit chat – you can ask me, “Why do you chit chat?” Because you want to know what's in the market. Innocent chit chat where no granular information of mergers and acquisitions or earnings per share are considered guilty. Right? But that's what we do. I want – one of the reasons I wrote this book was to not necessarily litigate my case, but to talk about this bigger social issue. This is bigger than Raj Rajaratnam. But I do want my peers to read the book and judge me. SORKIN: You were a billionaire before this began. Can I ask how much money you have right now? RAJARATNAM: Well, you know, from where I come we don't advertise how much you have or how much you don't have. But let me say this. I'm comfortable. And since coming from prison, I have a clean canvas. My father when I was growing up, told me one thing that stuck with me. He said, “Raj, you should spend the first third of your life learning, the second third of your life earning and the last third of your life giving.” I'm 64 years old, I'm in the last third of my life. And I plan –and I’m fortunate enough that I can give to the less fortunate. Now, I didn't wait till the last third of my life to give. My father gave his entire estate to charity. I have given money to charity and I just want to correct you on one thing. I did not make a single cent. If everything I did was illegal, the money went to the investors. Right? It didn’t come to Raj Rajaratnam’s pocket. I gave more to charity than what was alleged that I was made. So how can you call me greedy? Do you understand what I’m trying to say? SORKIN: I understand what you are trying to say, but – RAJARATNAM: My point is this. I want to now give – and since coming out of prison, I have given to charity both in the United States and in the country that I was born. SORKIN: You've said that the experience of being in prison changed you and change you for the better. Why? RAJARATNAM: Well, I had a deeper appreciation for my friends who visited me not once, not twice, but many times. I had 110 people on my visitors list, which they tell me is a record. I had a deeper appreciation for my family, my wife and children who worked every step of this journey with me. I learned patience. You know, as a hedge fund manager you go from one adrenaline filled moment to another constantly. Short of time. I had time. So I think I became and I reflected more and so I think I became a bigger and better person. SORKIN: If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently? And I will say that I believe that the last sentence on the final page of the book says that you have no regrets and that surprised me. RAJARATNAM: So let me tell you a little story. A year or two before I was released, my daughter who's a lawyer came to visit me with my family. And she said, ‘’Dad, we'd love to have you back home sooner or never go to prison. But we're so proud of you that you stood on principles and fought them despite understanding there's a trial penalty in this country.’’ Studies have shown that if you go to trial, they punish you and you get 2x the sentence that you would have gotten if you— SORKIN: If you made a deal. RAJARATNAM: If you made a deal. And if you became a cooperating witness, you get parole. That was the only time in this entire episode that tears came to my eyes. I looked at my other two children and they nodded. My wife was passive. But I knew what she was thinking. I had no regrets. I have had a charmed life. And as a first generation immigrant, I realize how lucky I am to live in this country. 5% of the world's people live in this country. I have no regrets. I am lucky. I don't see people lining up to emigrate to China, Russia, Japan, India. But they want to come to this country. And the reason they want to come to this country is you can speak out without being penalized. SORKIN: Raj Rajaratnam, we appreciate you being here. Thank you. It's a fascinating book. It's a fascinating story. Insisting on your innocence. We appreciate it. The book is called Uneven Justice. And we look forward to following your progress. Becky, back to you. Updated on Dec 8, 2021, 11:37 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 8th, 2021

Realtor who took a private jet to the Capitol riot says she plans to practice yoga, detox from alcohol, and lose 30 pounds in prison

Jenna Ryan, who pleaded guilty to parading on Capitol grounds, was sentenced last month to 60 days in prison. Jenna Ryan.CBS 11 A woman who flew in a private jet to Washington before the Capitol riot is preparing for prison. Jenna Ryan said in a TikTok on Sunday that she planned to practice yoga and lose weight in prison. The Texas realtor said that if she loses weight, "it will be worth going to prison." A Texas realtor who flew to Washington, DC, on a private jet and took part in the Capitol riot said she planned to practice yoga, detox from alcohol, and lose 30 pounds in prison.Jenna Ryan, who pleaded guilty to a single federal misdemeanor charge of parading on Capitol grounds, was last month given a $1,500 fine and sentenced to 60 days in a Texas prison, court documents seen by Insider said. The documents indicated she was due to go to prison sometime after January 3, almost a year after the insurrection.In a TikTok posted on Sunday, Ryan discussed what she planned to do in prison and suggested her main goal was to lose weight.Posing in front of a mirror in a sports bra and yoga pants, Ryan said: "I have to report to prison, and the only thing that I can see that's good about having to go to prison is that I'm going to be able to work out a lot and do a lot of yoga and detox."And also I can't eat because the food is awful, and there's just no food. So hopefully they have, like, some protein shakes and some protein bars, I think, because you don't want to eat, like, green baloney — that's what they have to eat." @dotjenna Keep Positive- Prison Fit Check #jennaryan ♬ original sound - Jenna Ryan Ryan then filmed herself stepping on a scale in her bathroom. "I'm thinking that I can get down to, you know, 140, so 30 pounds in two months," she said. "If I do that, then it will be worth going to prison for 60 days."She added: "You have to look at the bright side of everything you do, and that's what I'm trying to do. So wish me luck!"Ryan's TikTok channel was linked to a Twitter account that she'd cited in recent interviews and in an official letter to a judge last month.Earlier this year, Ryan bragged about taking a private jet to Washington and said on social media that storming the Capitol was "one of the best days of my life."Court documents said that during the insurrection Ryan posted Facebook Live videos in which she could be seen entering the Capitol via the rotunda.A few months after the attack, she claimed she would not be punished; in a tweet, she suggested that she was "definitely not going to jail" because she has "blonde hair," "white skin," and "a great job."Before her sentencing, she wrote a four-page letter to the judge apologizing for her actions on January 6 and saying the tweet had been taken out of context.At least 702 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol insurrection.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 6th, 2021

"QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley is appealing his 41-month prison sentence after pleading guilty for his role in Jan. 6 insurrection

Lawyers for Jacob Chansley told Insider they are preserving the option to appeal while they "discuss the matter further with Mr. Chansley." Jacob Chansley became a mascot of the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Win McNamee/Getty Images A federal judge sentenced Jacob Chansley, known as the "QAnon Shaman," to 41 months in prison. It was one of the harshest punishments handed down to a Capitol rioter thus far. Chansley's lawyers have since filed an appeal, although they have not decided "what issues might be appealed." Jacob Chansley, known to some as the "QAnon Shaman," has filed an appeal to his 41-month prison sentence following his involvement with the January 6 attack on the Capitol. "We did file a 'Notice of Appeal' yesterday," attorney Bill Shipley told Insider. "We have made no decisions yet about what issues might be appealed, or even if an appeal will actually be pursued.  But we wanted to preserve the option to do so while we discuss the matter further with Mr. Chansley, and better understand the case against him."The move comes after Chansley switched lawyers, adding Shipley and attorney John Pierce, who once represented Kyle Rittenhouse, to his team. Chansley was formerly represented by Albert Watkins. Chansley's sentence was handed down on November 17, over two months after he struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction. It dictated a 41-month prison term followed by 36 months of supervised release where he will have to submit to drug tests. Chansley, who was among the most visible members of the Capitol riot, must also pay $2,000 in restitution, Insider's Kenneth Niemeyer and Ryan Pickrell reported. Before announcing Chansley's sentence US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth praised Chansley's progress as a defendant. "First of all, thank you for your comments. Yesterday I celebrated my 34th year here as a judge and I think your remarks are the most remarkable in 34 years. I think you are genuine in your remorse and heartfelt. Parts of those remarks are akin to the kinds of things Martin Luther King would have said," Lamberth said. Kenneth Niemeyer contributed to this report. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

Sentencing delayed for Paradise Valley man in case involving fraud, money laundering

Eric Miller had pleaded guilty on Feb. 17 to conspiracy involving aggravated identity theft, money laundering and wire and securities fraud. His sentencing had been scheduled for November, but has now been pushed ahead to 2022 while he cooperates with authorities in cases against other defendants......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 30th, 2021

Antifa Member Who Took Axe To Senate Office Given Probation And His Axe Back

Antifa Member Who Took Axe To Senate Office Given Probation And His Axe Back Authored by Jonathan Turley, We have been discussing the continued incarceration of many individuals for their participation in the Jan. 6th riot.  Despite claims that the riot was an insurrection, the vast majority of defendants have been given relatively minor charges. Nevertheless, the Justice Department has insisted on holding many without bail and some have received longer sentences, like Jacob Chansley (aka “QAnon Shaman”) who was given a 41-month sentence for “obstructing a federal proceeding.” Thomas “Tas” Alexander Starks, 31, of Lisbon, N.D., faced a strikingly different approach by the Justice Department. The self-avowed Antifa member took an axe to the office of Sen. John Hoeven’s in Fargo on Dec. 21, 2020. Federal sentencing guidelines suggested 10–16 months in prison but he was only sentenced to probation and fined $2,784 for restitution . . . he then reportedly mocked the FBI for returning his axe.  Others declared him a hero and Democratic politicians pitched in for his legal defense. Starks was caught on videotape axing the door of the congressional office. He pleaded guilty to a single charge of destruction of government property.  The case has received little attention from the media outside of conservative sites. Starks has made clear that he was neither apologetic nor deterred from the use of such violence. He has posted under the Facebook moniker, “Paul Dunyan,” an apparent reference to his preferred use of an axe as a form of political expression.  He displays the Antifa symbol and, while awaiting sentencing, reportedly wrote: “I am ANTIFA. I will always attack fascists, racial superiority complexes built around nationalism that promotes genocide to fuel a war machine is the worst humanity has to offer.” It is reminiscent of the defiance shown by arrested Antifa member Jason Charter, who declared “The Movement is winning” after his own arrest. After his light sentence, Starks posted last month that it was all effectively a joke: “Look what the FBI were kind enough to give back to me!” Starks was supported by a GoFundMe account for his defense costs despite the company barring people from contributing to defendants like Kyle Rittenhouse until after he was acquitted. He was also supported by Democratic politicians.Last year, I testified in the Senate on Antifa and the growing anti-free speech movement in the United States. I specifically disagreed with the statement of House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler that Antifa (and its involvement in violent protests) is a “myth.”  It is at its base a movement at war with free speech, defining the right itself as a tool of oppression. That purpose is evident in what is called the “bible” of the Antifa movement: Rutgers Professor Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. Bray emphasizes the struggle of the movement against free speech: “At the heart of the anti-fascist outlook is a rejection of the classical liberal phrase that says, ‘I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’” Indeed, Bray admits that “most Americans in Antifa have been anarchists or antiauthoritarian communists…  From that standpoint, ‘free speech’ as such is merely a bourgeois fantasy unworthy of consideration.” It is an illusion designed to promote what Antifa is resisting “white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, ultra-nationalism, authoritarianism, and genocide.” Thus, all of these opposing figures are deemed fascistic and thus unworthy of being heard.Bray quotes one Antifa member as summing up their approach to free speech as a “nonargument . . . you have the right to speak but you also have the right to be shut up.” Putting aside the light sentence, the returning of the axe is rather curious. It would seem an instrument of the crime and could be declared lost in any plea. Instead, it was returned as if it was a form of political expression by the Justice Department. Starks is now free to axe his way to a better world. It is hard to imagine the poor choice of prosecutors or the judge to cut such a deal with Starks (and not specify that the axe would be lost as an instrumentality of the crimes). Tyler Durden Sun, 11/28/2021 - 13:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 28th, 2021

A Capitol rioter who declared "Civil War is coming" just avoided the prison sentence prosecutors wanted

Rasha Abual-Ragheb, of New Jersey, was sentenced Tuesday to two months of home confinement for entering the Capitol with a pro-Trump mob on January 6. Rasha Abual-Ragheb was sentenced to two months of home confinement after pleading guilty to joining the pro-Trump mob that overtook the Capitol.US attorney's office in Washington, DC Rasha Abual-Ragheb received a sentence lighter than the prison sentence prosecutors recommended. She encouraged people to bring firearms to Washington and posed for photographs inside the Capitol. The judge saw the New Jersey woman as a low risk and ordered three years of probation. A New Jersey woman who declared "Civil War is coming" just days after January 6 was sentenced to two months of home confinement Tuesday, avoiding the month-long prison term that prosecutors had requested for her role in the Capitol attack.Judge Carl Nichols handed down the sentence during a virtual hearing where the woman, Rasha Abual-Ragheb, pleaded for leniency and said her conduct was motivated by a legitimate belief that her vote was not counted in the 2020 presidential election. Nichols, a 2019 appointee to the federal trial court in Washington, DC, described Abual-Ragheb as "relatively mild in comparison to others" and noted she "showed up in a tutu, not — as many did — in military gear."Still, Nichols said he was troubled by her social media posts, in which she "predicted if not hoped for civil war and violence."The judge said the January 6 attack was not an "ordinary violent riot" but one that interrupted a tradition of peaceful handing off of power dating back to former President George Washington."Being part of a violent riot is unacceptable at all times, especially it's such a sensitive time for our nation," he said.Abual-Ragheb pleaded guilty in August to a single misdemeanor charge — parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol — carrying a maximum sentence of six months in prison. In addition to her two months of home confinement, her sentence included three years of probation and a $500 fine.Invoking 1776During a nearly 90-minute virtual hearing, federal prosecutor Michael Liebman highlighted social media posts in which Abual-Ragheb put her political advocacy in starkly violent terms. After her home state of New Jersey went to now-President Joe Biden by a wide margin, she wrote on Facebook, "I won't stop. They have to kill me."Later she invoked the year 1776, a "direct reference for the need, in her view, for violence," Liebman said. And as Congress' certification of the presidential election results drew near, she posted on Facebook that she was coming to Washington, DC, with "toys" — referring to a Taser — and encouraged others to bring firearms."The intent she had, her purpose, and the fact that it was done with thousands of others, merits — in the government's view —  a brief period of incarceration of 30 days," Liebman said.'Civil War is coming'In court filings, prosecutors featured social media posts in which Abual-Ragheb lamented the pro-Trump mob's treatment at the hands of law enforcement. Days after January 6, she posted on social media, "Civil War is coming and I will be happy to be a part of it."Abual-Ragheb appeared to grow emotion in the virtual hearing, which the public could hear through teleconference. In brief remarks to Nichols, she said, "I never intended to cause any harm or violence."Her defense lawyer,  Elita Amato, stressed that Abual-Ragheb was inside the Capitol for only about two minutes and did not cause any damage or commit any acts of violence."Her actions were of a person who came not to cause havoc and not to be violent … but someone who came just to rally and protest," Amato said."In terms of things that she wrote, either before or after, she recognizes that many of them were stupid," the defense lawyer added.Nichols said it was not appropriate to "infer the very worst intentions" behind the social media posts, and he sympathized with Abual-Ragheb's assertion that she has a limited grasp of English."I don't think it's reasonable to conclude she was planning to be an active participant in a civil war," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2021

Steve Bannon"s new lawyer went from almost joining Trump"s DOJ to defending the bombastic GOP operative and January 6 defendants too

The new defense attorney for Steve Bannon nearly became the 2nd-ranking official in the DOJ office now handling the case against Trump's ally. Defense lawyer M. Evan Corcoran (right) appeared beside Steve Bannon outside the federal courthouse in Washington, DC, on Monday.Win McNamee/Getty Images Steve Bannon's defense lawyer almost took a top role in the office now handling January 6 cases. Evan Corcoran is also representing a Capitol police officer accused of obstructing DOJ's investigation. Corcoran's would-be return to DOJ fizzled with the tumultuous exit of another Trump appointee. When Steve Bannon stepped outside a federal courthouse Monday and pledged to make his criminal prosecution the "misdemeanor from hell" for the Biden administration, he was flanked by a lawyer who had previously defended former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment.But it wasn't that lawyer, David Schoen, who did the talking days later during an initial court hearing before the Trump-appointed judge presiding over Bannon's case. It was instead M. Evan Corcoran, a lower-profile defense lawyer with his own notable backstory and caseload connected to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.In early 2020, Corcoran nearly took a top role in the US attorney's office in Washington, DC, which is now prosecuting Bannon on contempt of Congress charges over the Trump ally's refusal to comply with a subpoena from the special House committee investigating the Capitol siege. Corcoran was in line to become the second-ranking official in the federal prosecutor's office under Tim Shea, a top Trump-era Justice Department official whom then-Attorney General William Barr had appointed as the acting US attorney in Washington.Shea arrived as an outsider and turned to Corcoran, a law school friend who in the 1990s had served as a federal prosecutor in the office, for the role of first assistant US attorney, according to people familiar with the offer. But, within months, Shea was forced out of the US attorney role amid outcry over the Justice Department leadership's interventions in the prosecutions of Roger Stone and former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn.Corcoran's would-be return to the office fizzled with Shea's exit, the National Law Journal reported. Shea spent the remainder of the Trump administration as the acting head of the Drug Enforcement administration. Corcoran is also defending the former Capitol police officer Michael Riley against charges he obstructed the January 6 investigation.Tom Williams/Roll CallBeyond Bannon, a notable January 6 caseA year later, Corcoran is on the other side defending Bannon against the federal prosecutor's office in perhaps its high-profile pending case. Corcoran is also representing the longtime Capitol police officer who was indicted last month on charges that he obstructed the Justice Department's investigation into the January 6 attack by contacting a rioter and encouraging him to remove social media posts placing him at the scene of the violence that day. His client, Officer Michael Riley, pleaded not guilty last month and resigned from the Capitol police force.In a separate January 6-related case, Corcoran is representing Frank Scavo, a Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to participating in the Capitol riot. Scavo is set to be sentenced on November 22.Corcoran, a Baltimore-based partner at the firm Silverman Thompson Slutkin White, declined to comment.At a court hearing Thursday in Bannon's case, Corcoran pushed back against a federal prosecutor's request for Judge Carl Nichols to set a trial date. Assistant US attorney Amanda Vaugh described Bannon's prosecution as a "very straightforward case about whether or not the defendant showed up" for closed-door questioning from the special House committee."So we don't see any reason to delay setting a trial date in this matter," she said.Corcoran said the case involves "complex constitutional issues" and that the defense team hoped to obtain documents from Congress and the Biden administration in connection with the case. "I understand that there's some suggestion that the case ought to be accelerated, or it ought to be handled in a more narrow fashion, but we don't agree with that," Corcoran said. "The key here is our ability to identify the documents and the witnesses  that will allow us to present a defense for Mr. Bannon."At another point, Corcoran noted that the court has been strained by the pandemic-related delays of trials and the deluge of prosecutions stemming from the January 6 attack on the Capitol."A historic number of criminal prosecutions are in the court. As a very practical matter, we're not asking to cut in line, And we understand that that is something that affects the court's docket," Corcoran said.Blocking off dates for a trial next year, Corcoran added, "would have a compounding fact on many other people, many other accused, who are seeking their day in court but, for reasons that are totally out of the control of the court, haven't been able to get there."Nichols appeared to bristle at the notion he needed help managing his docket. "I can manage the interplay between this case and the other cases on my docket," he said, "in a way that will ensure that no one will not have their day in court."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 19th, 2021

Here"s what happened inside the courtroom during the wild sentencing for the Capitol riot"s QAnon Shaman

Jacob Chansley, AKA the QAnon Shaman, referenced Gandhi and Jesus as he charmed the judge who handed down the largest January 6 sentence to date. Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon Shaman, inside the Capitol on January 6.Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images Jacob Chansley, known as the "QAnon Shaman," received one of the longest prison sentences stemming from January 6. Chansley and his defense lawyer charmed the judge with praise and remorse for the attack on the Capitol. The convicted Capitol rioter mentioned Jesus and Gandhi, and the judge thought he sounded a little like MLK. Wearing a green jumpsuit, his head closely shaved, Jacob Chansley sat in a federal courthouse Wednesday just blocks from the US Capitol, where 10 months earlier he emerged as the posterboy of the pro-Trump mob that ransacked the seat of American democracy.But he was a far cry from the alter ego he assumed in Washington DC on January 6 — the so-called QAnon Shaman who called out, "Time's up, motherfuckers!" as he stormed the Capitol in a horned headdress, fur pelts and facepaint.Chansley would leave court Wednesday as the recipient of the longest prison sentence stemming from the January 6 attack. At the end of a two-hour court hearing, Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced him to 41 months in prison — a term 10 months shorter than what federal prosecutors had recommended after Chansley pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding. "Although you've evolved in your thinking and reversed your thinking in many ways, what you did here was horrific," Lamberth told Chansley.The prison terms equals what the same judge ordered last week for a 44-year-old former mixed martial arts fighter, Scott Fairlamb, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a Capitol police officer on January 6.Chansley was arrested in Arizona on January 9, just three days after cameras captured him clutching an American flag as he strode through the Capitol in his shaman getup. His image ripped through the internet, turning him overnight into the face of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol in a bid to block the certification of now-President Joe Biden's electoral victory."He made himself the image of the riot, didn't he?" Lamberth said Wednesday.In the aftermath of the Capitol attack, the Justice Department has brought more than 600 prosecutions as part of an investigation federal authorities have described as unprecedented in its scope. Many of the cases have ended with admissions to misdemeanor charges and attracted relatively little attention.On Wednesday, a phalanx of television cameras came for the occasion of Chansley's sentencing.Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced Chansley to 41 months in prison Wednesday.Charles Dharapak/AP PhotoA charm offensiveAt the court hearing Wednesday, Chansley put on a charm offensive in hopes of receiving what his defense lawyer had requested: a time-served sentence that accounted for the months he has spent in solitary confinement but with no further time in custody.Flanked by a deputy US marshal, with his lawyer Albert Watkins pacing nearby, Chansley described Lamberth as a man of honor and mentioned the judge's past military service. Chansley even thanked Lamberth for granting him the organic diet he desired in jail."I took a lot of flak for that," Lamberth said."God bless you for it. It made all the difference," Chansley said, before adding: "I could not have asked God for a better judge."Lamberth was struck by the kind words. A day earlier, the appointee of President Ronald Reagan celebrated his 34th anniversary on the federal bench, and he thanked Chansley for comments he said were the "most remarkable I've heard in 34 years.""I think you are genuine in your remorse and heartfelt," the judge added. "Parts of those remarks are akin to the kinds of things Martin Luther King would have said." Jacob Chansley, also known as the "QAnon Shaman," at the "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images'You really dig'In a nearly half-hour address, Chansley invoked Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi as he presented himself to Lamberth as a remorseful, changed man who took responsibility for his conduct on January 6. At one point, describing the strain of solitary confinement, he quoted the 1994 film "Shawshank Redemption" and said, "Hope is a dangerous thing.""You really dig when you're locked up 22 hours a day," he said at another point in the hearing.His defense lawyer, Albert Watkins, said Chansley had undergone an evolution in jail. During his first weeks in custody, Chansley hoped to receive a pardon from former President Donald Trump and was disappointed not to receive one, Watkins said.Watkins said Chansley came to view images from January 6 with a "detached view of a former self" and eventually wanted to be held accountable for his role in the Capitol siege."There's no question his views have evolved," the judge said. "Let me guarantee you, you were smart. You did the right thing," the judge added, on Chansley's decision to plead guilty. "And you owned up to it today in a fashion that's unusual for me to see."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 17th, 2021

The "QAnon Shaman" thanked the judge at his sentencing hearing for allowing him to have a fully organic diet while in jail

"God bless you for it," Jacob Chansley told Judge Royce Lamberth when talk turned to his food options in jail. "It made all the difference." Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon Shaman, inside the Capitol on January 6.Win McNamee/Getty Images A federal judge sentenced Jacob Chansley to 41 months in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. Also known as the QAnon Shaman, Chansley thanked the judge for allowing him an organic diet while in jail. "I took a lot of flak for that," Judge Royce Lamberth told Chansley during Wednesday's hearing.  Months after striding into the Capitol in a horned headdress, Jacob Chansley piled praise Wednesday on the federal judge who would sentence him to prison in connection with the January 6 riot.Chansley, more widely known as the "QAnon Shaman," noted Judge Royce Lamberth's past military service and said he regretted meeting a "man of your honor and stature" in the context of his sentencing.And while Lamberth kept Chansley locked up for months as he faced criminal charges, that did not stop the QAnon Shaman from thanking the judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan for granting his request for an organic diet while being held behind bars."I took a lot of flak for that," Lamberth said, referring to his decision in February to grant Chansley's unusual request."God bless you for it," Chansley said. "It made all the difference."Lamberth ultimately sentenced Chansley to 41 months in prison, which is 10 months shorter than the term federal prosecutors recommended after he pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 17th, 2021