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The Federal Bureau Of Tweets: Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents

The Federal Bureau Of Tweets: Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents Authored by Alan MacLeod via Mint Press News, Twitter has been on a recruitment drive of late, hiring a host of former feds and spies. Studying a number of employment and recruitment websites, MintPress has ascertained that the social media giant has, in recent years, recruited dozens of individuals from the national security state to work in the fields of security, trust, safety and content. Chief amongst these is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is generally known as a domestic security and intelligence force. However, it has recently expanded its remit into cyberspace. “The FBI’s investigative authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies,” the “About” section of its website informs readers. “The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence [and] cyber crime,” it adds. For example, in 2019, Dawn Burton (the former director of Washington operations for Lockheed Martin) was poached from her job as senior innovation advisor to the director at the FBI to become senior director of strategy and operations for legal, public policy, trust and safety at Twitter. The following year, Karen Walsh went straight from 21 years at the bureau to become director of corporate resilience at the silicon valley giant. Twitter’s deputy general counsel and vice president of legal, Jim Baker, also spent four years at the FBI between 2014 and 2018, where his resumé notes he rose to the role of senior strategic advisor. Meanwhile, Mark Jaroszewski ended his 21-year posting as a supervisory special agent in the Bay Area to take up a position at Twitter, rising to become director of corporate security and risk. And Douglas Turner spent 14 years as a senior special agent and SWAT Team leader before being recruited to serve in Twitter’s corporate and executive security services. Previously, Turner had also spent seven years as a secret service special agent with the Department of Homeland Security. When asked to comment by MintPress, former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley said that she was “not surprised at all” to see FBI agents now working for the very tech companies the agency polices, stating that there now exists a “revolving door” between the FBI and the areas they are trying to regulate. This created a serious conflict of interests in her mind, as many agents have one eye on post-retirement jobs. “The truth is that at the FBI 50% of all the normal conversations that people had were about how you were going to make money after retirement,” she said. Many former FBI officials hold influential roles within Twitter. For instance, in 2020, Matthew W. left a 15-year career as an intelligence program manager at the FBI to take up the post of senior director of product trust at Twitter. Patrick G., a 23-year FBI supervisory special agent, is now head of corporate security. And Twitter’s director of insider risk and security investigations, Bruce A., was headhunted from his role as a supervisory special agent at the bureau. His resumé notes that at the FBI he held “[v]arious intelligence and law enforcement roles in the US, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East” and was a “human intelligence and counterintelligence regional specialist.” (On employment sites such as LinkedIn, many users choose not to reveal their full names.) Meanwhile, between 2007 and 2021 Jeff Carlton built up a distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps, rising to become a senior intelligence analyst. Between 2014 and 2017, his LinkedIn profile notes, he worked for both the CIA and FBI, authored dozens of official reports, some of which were read by President Barack Obama. Carlton describes his role as a “problem-solver” and claims to have worked in many “dynamic, high-pressure environments” such as Iraq and Korea. In May 2021, he left official service to become a senior program manager at Twitter, responsible for dealing with the company’s “highest-profile trust and safety escalations.” Other former FBI staff are employed by Twitter, such as Cherrelle Y. as a policy domain specialist and Laura D. as a senior analyst in global risk intelligence. Many of those listed above were active in the FBI’s public outreach programs, a practice sold as a community trust-building initiative. According to Rowley, however, these also function as “ways for officials to meet the important people that would give them jobs after retirement.” “It basically inserts a huge conflict of interest,” she told MintPress. “It warps and perverts the criminal investigative work that agents do when they are still working as agents because they anticipate getting lucrative jobs after retiring or leaving the FBI.” Rowley – who in 2002 was named, along with two other whistleblowers, as Time magazine’s Person of the Year – was skeptical that there was anything seriously nefarious about the hiring of so many FBI agents, suggesting that Twitter could be using them as sources of information and intelligence. She stated: Retired agents often maintained good relationships and networks with current agents. So they can call up their old buddy and find out stuff… There were certainly instances of retired agents for example trying to find out if there was an investigation of so and so. And if you are working for a company, that company is going to like that influence.” Rowley also suggested that hiring people from various three-letter agencies gave them a credibility boost. “These [tech] companies are using the mythical aura of the FBI. They can point to somebody and say ‘oh, you can trust us; our CEO or CFO is FBI,’” she explained. Twitter certainly has endorsed the FBI as a credible actor, allowing the organization to play a part in regulating the global dissemination of information on its platform. In September 2020, it put out a statement thanking the federal agency. “We wish to express our gratitude to the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force for their close collaboration and continued support of our work to protect the public conversation at this critical time,” the statement read. One month later, the company announced that the FBI was feeding it intelligence and that it was complying with their requests for deletion of accounts. “Based on intel provided by the FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate,” Twitter’s safety team wrote. Yet the evidence they supplied of this supposed threat to American democracy was notably weak. All four of the messages from this Iranian operation that Twitter itself shared showed that none of them garnered any likes or retweets whatsoever, meaning that essentially nobody saw them. This was, in other words, a completely routine cleanup operation of insignificant troll accounts. Yet the announcement allowed Twitter to present the FBI as on the side of democracy and place the idea into the public psyche that the election was under threat from foreign actors. Based on intel provided by the @FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate. — Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 1, 2020 Iran has been a favorite Twitter target in the past. In 2009, at the behest of the U.S. government, it postponed routine maintenance of the site, which would have required taking it offline. This was because an anti-government protest movement in Tehran was using the app to communicate and the U.S. did not want the demonstrations’ regime-change potential to be stymied. A carnival of spooks The FBI is far from the only state security agency filling Twitter’s ranks. Shortly after leaving a 10-year career as a CIA analyst, Michael Scott Robinson was hired to become a senior policy manager for site integrity, trust and safety. The California-based app has also recruited heavily from the Atlantic Council, a NATO cutout organization that serves as the military alliance’s think tank. The council is sponsored by NATO, led by senior NATO generals and regularly plays out regime-change scenarios in enemy states, such as China. The Atlantic Council has been associated with many of the most egregious fake news plants of the last few years. It published a series of lurid reports alleging that virtually every political group in Europe challenging the status quo – from the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and UKIP in Great Britain to PODEMOS and Vox in Spain and Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece – were all secretly “the Kremlin’s Trojan Horses.” Atlantic Council employee Michael Weiss was also very likely the creator of the shadowy organization PropOrNot, a group that anonymously published a list of fake-news websites that regularly peddled Kremlin disinformation. Included in this list was virtually every anti-war alternative media outlet one could think of – from MintPress to Truthout, TruthDig and The Black Agenda Report. Also included were pro-Trump websites like The Drudge Report, and liberatarian ventures like Antiwar.com and The Ron Paul Institute. PropOrNot’s list was immediately heralded in the corporate press, and was the basis for a wholescale algorithm shift at Google and other big tech platforms, a shift that saw traffic to alternative media sites crash overnight, never to recover. Thus, the allegation of a huge (Russian) state-sponsored attempt to influence the media was itself an intelligence op by the U.S. national security state. In 2020, Kanishk Karan left his job as a research associate at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research (DFR) Lab to join Twitter as information integrity and safety specialist – essentially helping to control what Twitter sees as legitimate information and nefarious disinformation. Another DFR Lab graduate turned Twitter employee is Daniel Weimert, who is now a senior public policy associate for Russia – a key target of the Atlantic Council. Meanwhile, Sarah Oh is simultaneously an Atlantic Council DFR Lab non-resident senior fellow and a Twitter advisor, her social media bio noting she works on “high risk trust and safety issues.” In 2019, Twitter also hired Greg Andersen straight from NATO to work on cybercrime policy. There is sparse information on what Andersen did at NATO, but, alarmingly, his own LinkedIn profile stated simply that he worked on “psychological operations” for the military alliance. After MintPress highlighted this fact in an article in April, he removed all mention of “psychological operations” from his profile, claiming now to have merely worked as a NATO “researcher.” Andersen left Twitter in the summer of last year to work as a product policy manager for the popular video platform TikTok. Twitter also directly employs active army officers. In 2019, Gordon Macmillan, the head of editorial for the entire Europe, Middle East and Africa region was revealed to be an officer in the British Army’s notorious 77th Brigade – a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations. This bombshell news was steadfastly ignored across the media. Positions of power and control With nearly 400 million global users, there is no doubt that Twitter has grown to become a platform large and influential enough to necessitate extensive security measures, as actors of all stripes attempt to use the service to influence public opinion and political actions. There is also no doubt that there is a limited pool of people qualified in these sorts of fields. But recruiting largely from the U.S. national security state fundamentally undermines claims Twitter makes about its neutrality. The U.S. government is the source of some of the largest and most extensive influence operations in the world. As far back as 2011, The Guardian reported on the existence of a massive, worldwide U.S. military online influence campaign in which it had designed software that allowed its personnel to “secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.” The program boasts that the background of these personas is so convincing that psychological operations soldiers can be sure to work “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries.” Yet Twitter appears to be recruiting from the source of the problem. These former national security state officials are not being employed in politically neutral departments such as sales or customer service, but in security, trust and content, meaning that some hold considerable sway over what messages and information are promoted, and what is suppressed, demoted or deleted. It could be said that poachers-turned-gamekeepers often play a crucial role in safety and protection, as they know how bad actors think and operate. But there exists little evidence that any of these national security state operatives have changed their stances. Twitter is not hiring whistleblowers or dissidents. It appears, then, that some of these people are essentially doing the same job they were doing before, but now in the private sector. And few are even acknowledging that there is anything wrong with moving from big government to big tech, as if the U.S. national security state and the fourth estate are allies, rather than adversaries. That Twitter is already working so closely with the FBI and other agencies makes it easy for them to recruit from the federal pool. As Rowley said, “over a period of time these people will be totally in sync with the mindset of Twitter and other social media platforms. So from the company’s standpoint, they are not hiring somebody new. They already know this person. They know where they stand on things.” Is there a problem? Some might ask “What is the problem with Twitter actively recruiting from the FBI, CIA and other three-letter agencies?” They, after all, are experts in studying online disinformation and propaganda. One is optical. If a Russian-owned social media app’s trust, security and content moderation was run by former KGB or FSB agents and still insisted it was a politically neutral platform, the entire world would laugh. But apart from this, the huge influx of security state personnel into Twitter’s decision-making ranks means that the company will start to view every problem in the same manner as the U.S. government does – and act accordingly. “In terms of their outlooks on the world and on the question of misinformation and internet security, you couldn’t get a better field of professionals who are almost inherently going to be more in tune with the government’s perspective,” Rowley said. Thus, when policing the platform for disinformation and influence campaigns, the former FBI and CIA agents and Atlantic Council fellows only ever seem to find them emanating from enemy states and never from the U.S. government itself. This is because their backgrounds and outlooks condition them to consider Washington to be a unique force for good. This one-sided view of disinformation can be seen by studying the reports Twitter has published on state-linked information operations. The entire list of countries it has identified as engaging in these campaigns are as follows: Russia (in 7 reports), Iran (in 5 reports), China (4 reports), Saudi Arabia (4 reports), Venezuela (3 reports), Egypt (2 reports), Cuba, Serbia, Bangladesh, the UAE, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Honduras, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Armenia, Spain, Tanzania, Mexico and Uganda. One cannot help noticing that this list correlates quite closely to a hit list of U.S. government adversaries. All countries carry out disinfo campaigns to a certain extent. But these “former” spooks and feds are unlikely to point the finger at their former colleagues or sister organizations or investigate their operations. The Cold (cyber)war Twitter has mirrored U.S. hostility towards states like Russia, China, Iran and Cuba, attempting to suppress the reach and influence of their state media by adding warning messages to the tweets of journalists and accounts affiliated with those governments. “State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” it noted. In a rather bizarre addendum, it explained that it would not be doing the same to state-affiliated media or personalities from other countries, least of all the U.S. “State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the U.K. or NPR in the U.S. for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy,” it wrote. It did not explain how it decided that Cuban, Russian, Chinese or Iranian journalists did not have editorial independence, but British and American ones did – this was taken for granted. The effect of the action has been a throttling of ideas and narratives from enemy states and an amplification of those coming from Western state media. As the U.S. ramps up tensions with Beijing, so too has Twitter aggressively shut down pro-China voices on its platform. In 2020, it banned 170,000 accounts it said were “spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China,” such as praising its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic or expressing opposition to the Hong Kong protests, both of which are majority views in China. Importantly, the Silicon Valley company did not claim that these accounts were controlled by the government; merely sharing these opinions was grounds enough for deletion. The group behind Twitter’s decision to ban those Chinese accounts was the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a deeply controversial think tank funded by the Pentagon, the State Department and a host of weapons manufacturers. ASPI has constantly peddled conspiracy theories about China and called for ramping up tensions with the Asian nation. ASPI - The Gov’t-Funded Conspiracist Think Tank Now Controlling Your Social Media Feed Perhaps most notable, however, was Twitter’s announcement last year that it was deleting dozens of accounts for the new violation of “undermining faith in the NATO alliance.” The statement was widely ridiculed online by users. But few noted that the decision was based upon a partnership with the Stanford Internet Observatory, a counter-disinformation think tank filled with former spooks and state officials and headed by an individual who is on the advisory board of NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. That Twitter is working so closely with organizations that are clearly intelligence industry catspaws should concern all users. Not just Twitter While some might be alarmed that Twitter is cultivating such an intimate relationship with the FBI and other groups belonging to the secret state, it is perhaps unfair to single it out, as many social media platforms are doing the same. Facebook, for example, has entered into a formal partnership with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, whereby the latter holds significant influence over 2.9 billion users’ news feeds, helping to decide what content to promote and what content to suppress. The NATO cutout organization now serves as Facebook’s “eyes and ears,” according to a Facebook press release. Anti-war and anti-establishment voices across the world have reported massive drops in traffic on the platform. The social media giant also hired former NATO Press Secretary Ben Nimmo to be its head of intelligence. Nimmo subsequently used his power to attempt to swing the election in Nicaragua away from the leftist Sandinista Party and towards the far-right, pro-U.S. candidate, deleting hundreds of left-wing voices in the week of the election, claiming they were engaging in “inauthentic behavior.” When these individuals (including some well-known personalities) poured onto Twitter, recording video messages proving they were not bots, Twitter deleted those accounts too, in what one commentator called a Silicon Valley “double tap strike.” An April MintPress study revealed how TikTok, too, has been filling its organization with alumni of the Atlantic Council, NATO, the CIA and the State Department. As with Twitter, these new TikTok employees largely work in highly politically sensitive fields such as trust, safety, security and content moderation, meaning these state operatives hold influence over the direction of the company and what content is promoted and what is demoted. Likewise, in 2017, content aggregation site Reddit plucked Jessica Ashooh from the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force to become its new director of policy, despite the fact that she had few relevant qualifications or experience in the field. Jessica Ashooh: The Taming of Reddit and the National Security State Plant Tabbed to Do It In corporate media too, we have seen a widespread infiltration of former security officials into the upper echelons of news organizations. So normalized is the penetration of the national security state into the media that is supposed to be holding it to account, that few reacted in 2015 when Dawn Scalici left her job as national intelligence manager for the Western hemisphere at the Director of National Intelligence to become the global business director of international news conglomerate Thomson Reuters. Scalici, a 33-year CIA veteran who had worked her way up to become a director in the organization, was open about what her role was. In a blog post on the Reuters website, she wrote that she was there to “meet the disparate needs of the U.S. Government” – a statement that is at odds with even the most basic journalistic concepts of impartiality and holding the powerful to account. Meanwhile, cable news outlets routinely employ a wide range of “former” agents and mandarins as trusted personalities and experts. These include former CIA Directors John Brennan (NBC, MSNBC) and Michael Hayden (CNN), ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (CNN), and former Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend (CBS). And news for so many Americans comes delivered through ex-CIA interns like Anderson Cooper (CNN), CIA-applicants like Tucker Carlson (Fox), or by Mika Brzezinski (MSNBC), the daughter of a powerful national security advisor. The FBI has its own former agents on TV as well, with talking heads such as James Gagliano (Fox), Asha Rangappa (CNN) and Frank Figliuzzi (NBC, MSNBC) becoming household names. In short, then, the national security state once used to infiltrate the media. Today, however, the national security state is the media. Social media holds enormous influence in today’s society. While this article is not alleging that anyone mentioned is a bad actor or does not genuinely care about the spread of disinformation, it is highlighting a glaring conflict of interest. Through its agencies, the U.S. government regularly plants fake news and false information. Therefore, social media hiring individuals straight from the FBI, CIA, NATO and other groups to work on regulating disinformation is a fundamentally flawed practice. One of media’s primary functions is to serve as a fourth estate; a force that works to hold the government and its agencies to account. Yet instead of doing that, increasingly it is collaborating with them. Such are these increasing interlocking connections that it is becoming increasingly difficult to see where big government ends and big media begins. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/23/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 23rd, 2022

Trump Sues Hillary Clinton, Says She "Maliciously Conspired" To Weave Collusion Conspiracy Theory

Trump Sues Hillary Clinton, Says She 'Maliciously Conspired' To Weave Collusion Conspiracy Theory Former US President Donald Trump sued Hillary Clinton and several other Democrats on Thursday, alleging they attempted to rig the 2016 US presidential election by fabricating a conspiracy theory tying his campaign to Russia. "Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty," reads the lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Florida. Remember this? Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016 Meanwhile, a flashback: Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com, A Hillary Clinton campaign operation to plant a false rumor about Donald Trump setting up a “secret hotline” to Moscow through a Russian bank was much broader than known and involved multiple U.S. agencies, according to declassified documents and sources briefed on an ongoing criminal investigation of the scheme. In addition to the FBI, the 2016 Clinton campaign tried to convince the Obama administration’s State Department, Justice Department and Central Intelligence Agency to look into the hoax, and continued pressing the issue even after Trump was inaugurated in January 2017.The goal was to trigger federal investigative activity targeting her Republican rival and leak the damaging information to the media. “The Clinton machine flooded the FBI with pressure from a number of angles until investigations of Trump were opened and reopened,” said one of the briefed sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive law enforcement matter. "The deception was wide-ranging." Michael Sussmann: The indicted former Clinton campaign attorney wasn't the only one feeding the bogus Alfa Bank story to the feds. perkinscoie.com Special Counsel John Durham outlined the FBI part of the scheme in a felony indictment of Michael Sussmann. The former Clinton campaign lawyer was charged last month with making a false statement to the former general counsel of the FBI when he claimed he was not working “for any client” in bringing to the FBI’s attention allegations of a secret channel of communication between computer servers in Trump Tower and the Alfa Bank in Russia. According to the indictment, Sussmann was in fact acting on behalf of clients including the Clinton campaign, and an unnamed tech executive who RCI has previously reported is Rodney L. Joffe, a regular adviser to the Biden White House on cybersecurity and infrastructure policies. Internal emails reveal the Clinton operatives knew the links they made between Trump and Russia were “weak,” even describing them as a “red herring,” but fed them to investigators anyway. The Sussmann indictment revealed the doubts of those developing the Alfa Bank story. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia After Sussmann’s meeting with the FBI in September 2016, the Clinton campaign approached the State Department the following month with the same lead, this time using paid Clinton campaign subcontractor Christopher Steele to feed the rumors. A former British intelligence officer, Steele was offered as a reliable source to help corroborate the rumors. On Oct. 11, 2016, Steele gave his contact at Foggy Bottom documents alleging that a supposed hidden server at Trump Tower was pinging Moscow. Christopher Steele: Author of the debunked dossier passed the Alfa Bank story to the State Department, which passed it along to FBI agent Peter Strzok. (Aaron Chown/PA FILE via AP) Two days later, a State official who previously worked under former secretary Clinton funneled the information to the FBI’s then-top Eurasia/Russia counterintelligence official, Stephen Laycock, according to recently declassified notes and testimony. Laycock, in turn, forwarded the information to Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who led the investigation of Trump and his campaign and had just weeks earlier texted a bureau lawyer, “We’ll stop [Trump from being elected].” "I informed Peter Strzok and another supervisor,” Laycock testified last year in a closed-door Senate hearing. Telephone: After Steele fed the Alfa Bank story to State, it was passed to the FBI’s then-top Eurasia/Russia counterintelligence official, Stephen Laycock (left), who in turn passed it on to lead FBI agent on Trump-Russia, Peter Strzok (right). Facebook/Twitter Steele, who later confessed he was “desperate” to defeat Trump, was the author of the debunked dossier claiming Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. He even misspelled the name of the Russian bank as “Alpha.” Still, the FBI took his rumors seriously enough to interview tech vendors working for the Trump Organization and obtain warrants to search Trump Tower servers. Within days of receiving the State Department tip, Strzok also used Steele’s dossier to secure a wiretap on Trump adviser Carter Page. Clinton foreign policy adviser and current National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan would put out a written statement trumpeting the Trump-Alfa Bank story, which was shared by then-candidate Clinton on Oct. 31, 2016, after Slate reported on it. Fusion GPS, the Washington opposition-research group that worked for the Clinton campaign as a paid agent, and helped gather dirt on Alfa Bank and draft the materials Sussmann would later submit to the FBI, reportedly pressed Slate to publish the story by the account of its author, journalist Franklin Foer. The Clinton campaign played up the Trump-Alfa Bank story on the eve of the 2016 election. Twitter/@HillaryClinton “This was a highly sophisticated operation using enablers in both the media and federal agencies,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told RealClearInvestigations. The Clinton campaign did not let up even after Trump won the election. In mid-November 2016, it enlisted top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr – whose wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS – to add credibility to the Alfa rumors. That month, Ohr advised the FBI that Steele had told him that the Alfa Bank server was a link to the Trump campaign. Then in early December, Ohr met with the FBI case supervisor who worked for Strzok at least twice. Declassified notes and other records show that during those meetings, Ohr provided him with thumb drives he had received from paid Clinton opposition researcher and Fusion GPS co-founder, Glenn Simpson, and Ohr’s wife and Simpson’s colleague, Nellie. Quoting his Clinton sources, Ohr insisted the alleged backdoor computer channel between Trump and Alfa was real. Bruce Ohr: The Justice Department official -- linked to Clinton opposition research firm Fusion GPS through his wife Nellie, a Fusion employee -- brought the firm's arguments and materials to the FBI. The Global Initiative The FBI spent months investigating the claim, eventually dismissing it as baseless. After the FBI closed the case, Sussmann turned to the nation’s top intelligence agency for assistance, as RCI first reported. In December 2016, Sussmann called then-CIA Director John Brennan’s general counsel – Caroline Krass – to set up a meeting to brief her about the same Alfa Bank rumors. Krass expressed interest in the tip. Then in early February 2017, officials from her office formally sat down with Sussmann for more than an hour to discuss the Trump-Russian bank rumors. Sussmann provided them updated versions of the materials he had handed off to the FBI. Caroline Krass: General counsel to then-CIA Director John Brennan welcomed Sussmann's pitch of the Alfa Bank story, which reportedly passed from the CIA to FBI. CIA/Wikipedia The CIA, in turn, referred the rumors to an FBI liaison for further investigation, according to the sources briefed on his case. Strzok was the lead FBI liaison to the CIA at the time. Among the documents Durham has obtained is a CIA memo memorializing the meeting with Sussmann, according to the sources. In his grand jury indictment, Durham accused Sussmann of also misleading the CIA, which he referred to only as “Agency-2.” The special counsel alleges that Sussmann, as he did when meeting with an FBI official, had also failed to inform contacts at Langley that he was representing a client – in the latter case specifically Joffe – tied to the Clinton campaign operation and who had been promised a high-level job in a Clinton administration. Billing the Democrat’s campaign for his work on the “confidential project," Sussmann recruited Joffe and a team of federal computer contractors to mine proprietary databases containing vast quantities of sensitive, nonpublic Internet data for possible dirt on Trump and his advisers. In a new court document filed last week, Durham revealed his team has obtained more than 80,000 pages of documents in response to grand jury subpoenas issued to more than 15 targets and witnesses, including the computer contractors. Among others receiving subpoenas: political organizations, private firms, tech companies and other entities, including a major university — Georgia Tech — which allegedly participated in the Clinton conspiracy as a Pentagon contractor. Some witnesses have been granted immunity and are cooperating with prosecutors, the sources close to the probe said. Jonathan Turley: "One would expect a CIA official to express reluctance in an investigation that would have a largely domestic focus," says the law professor. CNN “While Sussmann may have hidden his work for the Clinton campaign, this was obviously a useful attack on Trump,” Turley said. “One would expect a CIA official to express reluctance in an investigation that would have a largely domestic focus. But as with the FBI, the Clinton campaign found eager officials to move on any such allegation.” The CIA is largely barred from collecting information inside the United States or on American citizens.“The CIA has no business involving itself in a domestic political issue,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told RCI. “The evidence suggests the primary purpose of the meeting was political." Fitton said his watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA demanding all records generated from the contacts Sussmann had with the agency in December 2016 and February 2017. The CIA did not return requests for comment.For good measure, old Clinton hands tried another pressure point. In early February 2017, Clinton's foreign policy adviser Sullivan huddled with Fusion GPS's Simpson and Daniel Jones, an FBI analyst-turned-Democrat-operative, to reboot the same smear campaign against Trump. (As RCI previously reported, Sullivan, who spearheaded the campaign's effort to promote the narrative of a disturbing Trump-Russia relationship via the Alfa Bank story, is under scrutiny for possibly lying to Congress about his role in the operation.) Jones, in turn, reached out to his former colleagues at the FBI, who reopened the investigation into the old allegations of a cyber-link between Trump and Alfa Bank. Jake Sullivan played a pivotal role in the Alfa Bank story as 2016 Clinton foreign policy adviser. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File The next month, acting on Jones’ recycled tip, FBI agents visited the offices of the Pennsylvania company that housed the Trump server, which was actually administered by a third-party hotel promotions firm – Cendyn, based in Florida. But their second investigation proved to be another dead end. The sinister communications Jones claimed were flowing between an alleged Trump server and Alfa Bank were found to be innocuous marketing emails. In other words, spam. Sources say it is odd that FBI headquarters continued to pursue the allegations, because internal FBI communications reveal that the bureau’s own cyber sleuths had pooh-poohed them within days of Sussmann’s briefing, RCI has learned. Strzok himself had been briefed on that assessment of the materials Sussman dropped off at headquarters on Sept. 19, 2016. In fact, in a Sept. 23, 2016, internal message to Strzok, an FBI official relayed his preliminary findings following an interview with Cendyn, the Florida marketing firm that managed the alleged Trump server.“Followed up this morning with Central Dynamics [Cendyn] who confirmed that the mail1.trump-email.com domain is an old domain that was set up in approximately 2009 when they were doing business with the Trump Organization that was never used,” according to the message. Reacting to the Durham indictment, Strzok recently tried to distance himself from the Alfa scandal, insisting in a Lawfare blog: “I had a minor role in the events in question, insofar as I transferred the material Sussman gave to Jim Baker, the FBI’s general counsel at the time, to the personnel who ultimately supervised and looked into the allegations.” Echoing other critics, Strzok complained that Durham – who originally was tapped to investigate the origins of the Russia “collusion” investigation by Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr – is conducting a partisan witch hunt on behalf of Trump. Strzok's claims notwithstanding, Barr's successor, the President Biden-nominated Attorney General Merrick Garland, testified last week that he has renewed funding and staffing for Durham’s far-reaching investigation for the next fiscal year. “[Y]ou can readily assume his budget has been approved,” Garland assured Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.   Tyler Durden Thu, 03/24/2022 - 14:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMar 24th, 2022

US Drug Agents Ramp Up Fentanyl Counterattack On Chinese Mainland (As DEA Faces Its Own Troubles At Home)

US Drug Agents Ramp Up Fentanyl Counterattack On Chinese Mainland (As DEA Faces Its Own Troubles At Home) Authored by Vince Bielski via RealClearInvestigations.com, U.S. drug agents are expanding operations in China – six years after America’s largest trading partner and global rival emerged as the main source of chemicals used to make highly lethal fentanyl. It’s now claiming 65,000 American lives a year. The small crew of about a dozen Drug Enforcement Administration agents, including those in new outposts in Shanghai and Guangzhou, is nearly double the number in 2018. They face what seems like mission impossible: collaborating with Chinese agents to try to bust traffickers hidden somewhere in a sprawling export supply chain that’s linked to 160,000 companies.  “It’s such a massive chemical industry, and then there are layer upon layer of traders, brokers and freight forwarders,” says Russ Holske, the DEA’s director for the Far East, who set up the new offices in China before he retired. “It’s a daunting challenge.” A 2020 Drug Enforcement Administration report maps the flow of fentanyl to the U.S., DEA The DEA’s predicament in China is part of a larger one at the beleaguered agency, whose mission is to break up major drug trafficking rings worldwide. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s mostly made in Mexico with Chinese chemicals, is the deadliest illicit drug ever sold. It’s behind the record number of overdose deaths that keeps growing each year. But the DEA is facing this menace after suffering a series of blows that has left it a smaller and less aggressive and effective outfit, according to several former special agents, high-ranking officials and agency documents. Some of the damage has been self-inflicted. An embarrassing sex scandal involving agents in Colombia and a botched operation that took four civilian lives in Honduras have made Congress wary of the agency. It was left to drift without a Senate-confirmed leader for half a decade, and retreated from some foreign operations, as fentanyl was beginning to leave its lethal mark on the streets. The DEA also has been swept up in the country’s turn against law enforcement as a force for good, leading to morale problems that afflict police departments as well as the Border Patrol. Hundreds of DEA agents left and weren’t replaced, sapping it of its crime-fighting prowess. Some academics, along with the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for decriminalization, are even calling for the group to be eliminated. “Yes, the DEA should be disbanded,” says sociologist Alex Vitale, author of “The End of Policing.” “They have two strategies, interdiction and criminalization, and neither is working.” The agency declined to comment for this story. Restoring DEA’s Urgency Critics such as Vitale blame the agency for the easy availability of narcotics like heroin in every part of the country. But that’s not entirely the DEA’s fault. With a force of 4,700 agents – a third the number of FBI agents – the DEA is up against sophisticated transnational criminal organizations. Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel alone rakes in several billions of dollars in revenue a year, according to estimates. That’s about the size of the entire DEA $3 billion budget. With DEA offices in 69 countries, its ability to crack down on cartels depends on the cooperation of foreign leaders. The agency has apparently found a willing partner in China, which banned a half-dozen fentanyl substances that traffickers were shipping to the states. As clandestine chemists circumvented the restrictions by tweaking the molecules of the substances to create new ones, China got tougher, outlawing the entire class of fentanyl drugs in 2019. This win for the DEA reflected a collaboration with China not enjoyed by other U.S. agencies.  “China, to its credit, helped us quite a bit,” says Holske, the former DEA director. “The controls tightened the pipeline of fentanyl that was coming directly to the U.S. and killing Americans.” But Chinese traffickers quickly found another workaround by selling the chemicals to make fentanyl to cartels in Mexico, which put up roadblocks to DEA agents. In the past year alone, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has delayed visas for agents and restricted intelligence sharing in protest of the DEA arrest of a former defense minister on drug-related charges. U.S. officials recently pressured Mexico to restore some cooperation with DEA agents in pursuit of the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels – the biggest producers of fentanyl powder and counterfeit pharmaceutical pills laced with it. The cartels smuggle the contraband into the states at official ports of entry and along open patches of the border left unguarded as Border Patrol agents are diverted to deal with another crisis – the surge of migrants. Still, the DEA’s interdiction efforts may have saved thousands of lives. In August, a two-month domestic enforcement surge nabbed 850 dealers and added to the total of more than 15 million fake pills seized in the past year. Some 40% of those pills contained a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin. The agency could be more effective, some former agents say, if it revived its aggressive pursuit of international cartels and replenished its ranks. President Biden did appoint a permanent DEA chief, Anne Milgram, who has a record as a law enforcement reformer who gets results. But the administration’s fentanyl strategy focuses heavily on increasing drug prevention and treatment – a long-term approach that can curb overdose deaths only if the drug supply on the streets is also reduced by law enforcement agents, according to treatment experts.  “I cut my teeth as an agent on the street. We were risk-takers and aggressive in everything we did to put bad guys in jail,” said Jack Riley, who was the DEA’s second-in-command before retiring in 2017. “But we have lost that sense of urgency. We need to get that back to be more effective.” Taking Down Medellin Riley, who helped put Sinaloa’s most notorious leader – Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman – in prison, says the agency has proved its mettle over the years. Consider the dismantling of Colombia’s Medellin and Cali cartels in the 1990s. Medellin’s leader, Pablo Escobar, led a murderous campaign against government officials and became a threat to the country’s democracy. Although new cartels grew out of the ashes of Medellin and Cali – showing that law enforcement alone won’t end drug trafficking – the killing of Escobar was itself a win, says David Gaddis, a former DEA agent in Colombia and high-ranking official. “Escobar tried to take over the Colombian government and he was almost successful,” Gaddis says. “The new cartels do not have the same influence over the government as Medellin did. That’s a success for DEA.” The DEA bagged several other drug kingpins before the agency lost some of its luster. Agency veterans date the DEA’s decline to 2015 after revelations that 10 agents had participated in “sex parties” in Colombia with prostitutes paid for by the cartels. The uproar in Congress led to the departure of DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, a former agent who embodied the agency’s boldness. Leonhart’s 2015 exit was followed by a parade of five acting administrators over five years. Putting a Rein on Agents First up was Chuck Rosenberg, a prosecutor who aimed to rein in what some saw as a cowboy mentality. Edicts from headquarters instructed agents to be more careful in carrying out operations. Leaders feared a questionable shooting could derail the DEA in the wake of the 2014 police killing in Ferguson, Mo., says Jeffrey Higgins, a former special agent for two decades. The biggest pullback was overseas. DEA had built a large special forces operation of about 125 personnel to battle narco-terrorists in Afghanistan. The operation paid off with the conviction of Haji Bagcho, the world’s biggest heroin trafficker. But after the killing of Americans in Benghazi in 2012, the Obama administration reduced the DEA’s presence in Kabul to only a handful of agents, says Riley. Rosenberg then disbanded the DEA’s FAST units, a paramilitary force that assisted local officers in high-risk operations. A 2017 inspector general report found that FAST agents were involved in an operation in Honduras in which four likely bystanders were killed. The end of FAST marked a shift in DEA strategy to focus more on domestic smugglers and street gangs. Some agents opposed it. “It makes no sense,” says Higgins, who worked in about 50 countries. “It’s far more effective to put resources into dismantling a major global exportation organization than to go downstream and take out one of 30 U.S. distribution groups that get the drugs from that criminal organization.” Citing differences over policing with new president Donald Trump, Rosenberg resigned after two years and became an MSNBC commentator. His replacement at DEA found that the “acting administrator” title was worthless and walked after eight months. Next up was Uttam Dhillon, a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles then on Trump’s White House staff. He didn’t understand the DEA’s organizational issues and lost the support of agents, Riley says. He was replaced in 2020 by another short-lived acting head. The churn at the top produced disillusionment in the ranks. Many agents retired early or just quit the agency, leaving the DEA down 700 agents  compared to a decade ago. Foreign offices shrunk by a quarter. Predictably, the number of crime organizations that agents disrupted or dismantled worldwide plummeted by one-third – from 2,735 to 1,869 – between 2016 and 2020, according to DEA’s recent report to Congress. The timing couldn’t have been worse. The DEA was losing muscle just as Chinese traffickers were increasing shipments of illicit fentanyl to the U.S. The agency had finally gotten a handle on the oversupply of prescription opioids like OxyContin that were killing an alarming number of Americans. But now fentanyl, a more deadly synthetic opioid, was filling the void. A Conundrum in China The DEA led a full-court press to get China to ban fentanyl, an array of spinoffs and the chemicals to make them. Starting in 2014, acting DEA chiefs, Justice Department officials and chemical experts began holding regular meetings with their Chinese counterparts in Washington and Beijing to press for the restrictions. China has long taken a hard line against drug traffickers, which created some common ground for the rival superpowers to cooperate despite tensions about trade and human rights. The secretive courts in China have handed out death sentences to those convicted of major drug offenses. Recent cases involving Canadian and Australian nationals have sparked protests from Amnesty International and pleas for leniency from foreign officials. But China’s harsh punishments weren’t an issue in the successful bilateral talks over the criminalization of fentanyl, perhaps because no Americans were facing the death penalty.  The fentanyl bans don’t mean much, however, if they’re not enforced. While Chinese authorities have curtailed shipments directly to the U.S., the DEA says, traffickers are supplying Mexican cartels with enough of the precursor chemicals – some of them also outlawed – to flood the states with deadly pills and powder. U.S. border agents seized 10,600 pounds of fentanyl in fiscal 2021, more than twice the prior year. That’s a small fraction of the amount that reaches cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The biggest case in China to date was kicked off by U.S. agents who shared intelligence about the “Diana” criminal group with the Chinese Narcotics Control Bureau. The joint investigation led to the conviction of nine Chinese citizens for fentanyl smuggling in 2019. One defendant received a suspended death sentence and a few were sent to prison for life. Officials from both countries hailed the investigation, which continues today, as a sign of their expanding cooperation. But while China has made several more fentanyl-related arrests, it doesn’t appear to have convicted any major traffickers in the two years since the Diana case. Some former DEA agents question how far China is willing to go in enforcing its bans since the U.S. would be the main beneficiary. While DEA agents in countries such as Indonesia join police in raids and debriefing defendants, in China they are unarmed and play a more limited role. Agents exchange intelligence and discuss cases with local officers but only occasionally work in the field.    At times agents also run into resistance from Chinese authorities, according to an August report by a congressional group that examines U.S.-China economic and security issues. “Chinese regulatory authorities continue to delay requests for access to inspect and investigate potential sites of illegal chemical production where precursors are made,” the report said. “Requests are often delayed for days, allowing any illegal operation to vacate or clean up the premises.” The Chinese Embassy in Washington issued a strongly worded rebuttal in September, showing the tenuous nature of China’s cooperation with the DEA. The embassy called the assessment that Chinese precursors are flowing to Mexico and that authorities obstruct the work of U.S. agents “utterly false.” “It is disappointing that for all the goodwill and sincerity of the Chinese side,” the embassy said, “some American politicians and media are still hyping up such disinformation.” A strong impression on agents: DEA's Milgram speaks movingly at slain agent Michael Garbo's service. DEA/YouTube New Leaders Take Charge Milgram, the new DEA chief, has an advantage that eluded her predecessors in the global war on fentanyl. She won Senate confirmation in June, giving her the authority to reshape the troubled agency at a pivotal time. Milgram has a record of bringing innovative, data-driven approaches to law enforcement agencies that still tend to operate on gut instinct and perform poorly. After New Jersey took control of the Camden police because of the city’s alarmingly high crime rate, Milgram, who was the state’s attorney general, used data analysis to shake up the department. In 2009 murders fell by 38% from the prior year by making cops walk the streets and confiscate guns. At DEA, she is preparing to make changes too. In August the administrator began a top-to-bottom review of foreign operations supervised by a team of outsiders, saying she’s looking for “areas of improvement” as well as “controls to ensure integrity and accountability.” She also tapped the politically savvy Jon DeLena, an associate special agent in charge, to examine how the agency can repair relations with Congress, which is crucial to funding and hiring agents, says Riley, the former deputy. In another move in August, Milgram brought back Lou Milione as her deputy. Riley says the veteran of special operations was known for his “kick ass” leadership against cartel bosses. Milione’s return may signal a revival of a more aggressive approach to the kind of global crime groups that run the fentanyl trade. “He’s a smart guy and he really understands the good results you get from targeting the international cartels,” says Higgins, the former FAST agent who helped take down Haji Bagcho. In October, Milgram for the first time faced the killing of one of her agents. The shooting death of group supervisor Mike Garbo in Arizona rocked the DEA – a reminder of the added dangers when there are fewer agents in the field. The administrator spoke at the memorial service. Her detailed account of Garbo’s talents made a strong impression on agents, whose support she needs in her efforts to revive the DEA, Riley says. “Milgram will make changes,” he says. “But she has a huge challenge with fentanyl. China and Mexico have to do much more to stop it. The DEA can only do so much on its own.” Tyler Durden Wed, 12/15/2021 - 23:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 16th, 2021

"Nasser Was Not An Outlier" - Exposing The FBI"s Incurable Rot

'Nasser Was Not An Outlier' - Exposing The FBI's Incurable Rot Authored by Julie Kelly via American Greatness (emphasis ours), The incurable incompetence, corruption, and moral rot of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was on full display last week. Within a 24-hour period, some of America’s toughest female athletes recounted to a Senate committee their painful tales of how the FBI ignored evidence that team doctor Larry Nassar was a sexual predator, and a powerful attorney who colluded with the FBI to concoct one of the most animating chapters of the Trump-Russia collusion fiction was indicted for lying to federal officials. Overlap in the two cases is more than ironic, it’s illustrative: Michael Sussman, a lawyer for Perkins Coie, the law firm that was working on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign, met with the FBI’s general counsel in September 2016 to plant a false story about Donald Trump’s financial ties to a Russian bank. That same month, the Indianapolis Star broke the story of how Nassar, the longtime physician for the USA Gymnastics team, had sexually abused several female gymnasts. One victim filed a lawsuit after the FBI refused to investigate complaints made to at least two FBI field offices in 2015 and 2016. But the FBI at that time was too preoccupied with protecting Hillary Clinton to deal with a monster who had systematically raped nearly 300 female American athletes. (As Lee Smith recently noted, the FBI “has been used for a quarter of a century as the place to clean up the Clintons’ dirt.”) Months before the 2016 presidential election, the FBI, led by James Comey, used its unchecked authority to sabotage Donald Trump. Meanwhile, elite American athletes, including Olympic gold medalists, could not get the bureau’s attention while a sexual abuser continued his rampage. Local FBI agents passed the buck and allegedly falsified reports; one agent reportedly tried to shake down a USA Gymnastics official for a job with the organization. The FBI’s political game-playing came with irreversible human cost. According to an analysis by the New York Times, at least 40 women and girls, including some of the youngest victims, were assaulted by Nassar between July 2015, the first contact with the FBI, and September 2016. Had the Star not published its exposé of Nassar that month, which finally prompted some action by the FBI, who knows how long his depraved predation would have continued? “If they’re not going to protect me, I want to know, who are they trying to protect?” McKayla Maroney, a two-time Olympic medalist and one of Nassar’s most frequent victims, asked the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 15. Maroney may or may not be surprised to learn the agency assigned with protecting the most vulnerable is actually in the business of protecting the most powerful. Nasser Was Not an Outlier FBI Director Christopher Wray, hired by President Trump in 2017, publicly apologized. The “fundamental errors” made in the Nassar case, Wray told the judiciary committee, would not happen again as long as he’s head of the agency. “I want to make sure the American people know that the reprehensible conduct . . . is not representative of the work that I see from our 37,000 folks every day.” The rank-and-file, Wray insisted, perform their jobs with “uncompromising integrity.” But Wray is wrong to claim that the Nassar case is an outlier. From the top of the command chain down, the FBI has trashed its reputation through a series of scandals. It’s not just the alarming texts between spousal cheats Peter Strzok and Lisa Page; the ambush of Lt. General Michael Flynn in the White House; Comey’s use of the shady Steele dossier to set up Donald Trump; or Andrew McCabe’s lies to his own FBI investigators. It’s not just the other set of “errors”—17 to be exact—found in the FBI’s four unlawful FISA applications on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Or the official email doctored by a top FBI lawyer cited as evidence on one of the applications. Or the fact that no one in the agency has gone to jail for perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in history on the American people. As seen in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, lowlifes populate the FBI’s rank-and-file. Richard Trask, the special agent in charge of the investigation, was arrested in July for physically assaulting and choking his wife after attending a swinger’s party. Trask was fired this month; he faces numerous criminal charges. Prosecutors decided not to use Trask as a witness after his social media account revealed numerous anti-Trump posts, including calling the president a “piece of shit.” Defense attorneys in the Whitmer case asked the judge to delay trial for 90 days as they investigate the conduct of at least a dozen other FBI agents involved in the conspiracy. The FBI gave one informant $24,000 and a new car for his services. Wray brags that every FBI field office is participating in the Justice Department’s “unprecedented” investigation into the breach of the Capitol. But reports of how his agents have handled more than 600 arrests do little to support Wray’s assurances of professional “integrity.” Defendants have been subjected to pre-dawn raids conducted by dozens of armed agents using military-style vehicles. I spoke with the spouse of one defendant who told me agents interrogated her about what cable news channel she watched, her views on illegal immigrantion, and who she voted for in 2020. The FBI raided the home of an Alaska couple then handcuffed and interrogated them in separate rooms for hours until investigators realized they had the wrong suspects. A 69-year-old man in New York City suffered a heart attack as FBI agents raided his apartment with a television news crew standing by; the man never was charged. FBI agents arrested a Florida man in front of his wife and young daughter, who asked why officers were “locking daddy’s hands.” Casey Cusick was charged only with misdemeanors for entering the Capitol on January 6. Agents seized as evidence a Lego set of the Capitol building during the raid of Robert Morss, an Army ranger with three tours in Afghanistan. Far from nefarious intent, Morss had the Lego set to use with his students as a substitute high school history teacher. (He was fired after his arrest.) And those are just a few stories. No Accountability Wray picked up where Comey left off, allowing his agency to be part of Democratic Party political spin. He recently issued a “threat assessment” on QAnon and disclosed that the FBI so far has arrested at least 20 “self-styled QAnon adherents” related to the Capitol breach investigation. Wray designated January 6 as an act of “domestic terror” and his agency regularly tweets out the faces of “most wanted” Trump supporters who were at the Capitol on January 6. Infuriatingly, Wray fired only one agent involved in the Nassar fiasco—and the man was fired the week before the Senate hearing, six years after he first interviewed Maroney. “Someone perhaps more cynical than I would conclude it was this hearing here staring the FBI in the face that prompted that action,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said to Wray. But what ails the FBI cannot be solved with a few firings. It cannot be solved with more congressional oversight or threats to cut federal funding. The moral rot that infects the agency from top to bottom renders the agency unsalvageable.  “This conduct by these FBI agents . . . who are expected to protect the public is unacceptable, disgusting, and shameful,” Maggie Nichols, the gymnast who first reported Nassar’s crimes to the FBI, told the committee. Her description, however, applies to the entire FBI—an institution with no shame, no remorse, and no accountability. There’s no fix for that. *  *  * About Julie Kelly Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 20:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

Elon Musk Reacts To Border Crisis, Says Lacking Media Attention "Strange"

Elon Musk Reacts To Border Crisis, Says Lacking Media Attention 'Strange' Authored by Gary Bai via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reacting to the recording-breaking number of illegal immigrants walking through the Southern border. The world’s richest person was replying to reporting from Fox News’s Bill Melugin, who posted on Twitter drone footage of a group of hundreds of illegal immigrants crossing the Southern border at Eagle Pass, Texas, into the United States. In his post, Melugin cited Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics showing border agents to have encountered 400,000 illegal immigrants so far in the Del Rio sector in Fiscal Year 2022 (since October 2021), a number that is already more than double the total number of encounters from Fiscal Year 2021. This number does not include “get-aways”—illegal crossers who evaded apprehension. 400k from one border crossing in less than a year? — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2022 Strange that this receives very little attention in the media — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2022 “Strange that this receives very little attention in the media,” Musk wrote in response to Melugin on Aug. 14. Musk, a self-portrayed political moderate and a design engineer by trade, has shared his perspective with his 100 million-plus following on a wide range of issues beyond cars and rockets. The billionaire’s comments on the border crisis, for example, were the latest in his series of criticism of the current administration and the Democratic Party in general; others include his comments on the influence of labor unions on the Democratic party, the Spygate collusion scandal involving Clinton-affiliated Democrats, and the Biden White House’s alleged sidelining of Tesla’s role in the electric vehicle market. The Bigger Picture The backstory to the exchange between Musk and Melugin features an ever increasing surge in illegal immigration, overextended Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resources, and an administration that actively strives to undo Trump-era “America First” immigration policies. Eagle Pass is only one of the regions along the Southwest border where hundreds of illegal immigrants pour into the United States. From the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022 on Oct. 1, 2021, to early August this year, border patrol agents apprehended 1.8 million illegal crossers. That’s more than the population of Phoenix, Arizona, the fifth-most populous city in the country, and about 40 percent higher than the total number of apprehensions in the previous fiscal year. BORDER: Border Patrol agents organize hundreds of illegal immigrants who have streamed across the border from Mexico near Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 20. pic.twitter.com/ftZyyhfTc0 — Charlotte Cuthbertson (@charlottecuthbo) May 21, 2022 The head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), meanwhile, insists that the border is secure, while the Biden administration is kept busy by legal disputes with border states on key Trump migration policies. One of the policies that the Biden administration began pulling back—following a Supreme Court decision that ruled in its favor—was the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required non-Mexican migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico for processing. Meanwhile, the Biden administration will continue to enforce the Trump-era immigration and public health policy known as Title 42, a policy instated as a COVID-19 countermeasure that allowed the United States to quickly expel migrants who unlawfully entered the United States and bypassed health screening in the process. A judge blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to lift Title 42 in May. A Border Patrol agent organizes a large group of illegal immigrants near Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 20, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times) Another legal battle that will be consequential to border security will play out in the Supreme Court in the fourth quarter of this year, when the highest court will hear a case on whether Biden’s immigration enforcement guidelines constitute executive agency overreach. In July, the Supreme Court allowed a federal judge in Texas to block the Biden administration’s immigration guidelines that, according to the border states’ prosecutors, limit the ability of border agents to detain and deport illegal aliens. “The Biden Admin’s border record is an absolute failure,” Chad Wolf, former Acting DHS Secretary under the Trump Administration, wrote on Twitter on Aug. 17, following reports of anonymous CBP sources saying that a record-setting 2 million illegal crossers were apprehended since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022. “I encourage Republicans next year to enact strong oversight in this area – specifically how DHS leadership executed an intentional plan to endanger migrants and American communities by refusing to enforce the law,” Wolf wrote. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/19/2022 - 11:35.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt11 hr. 0 min. ago

House Democrats Pass Inflation Reduction Act, Sending It To Biden"s Desk

House Democrats Pass Inflation Reduction Act, Sending It To Biden's Desk Authored by Joseph Lord via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) bangs the gavel after the House of Representatives voted 220–207 to pass the Inflation Reduction Act at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Aug. 12, 2022. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images) House Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act in a strictly party-line vote on Aug. 12, sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk for final approval. The 220-207 vote came as little surprise, as Democrats have been outspoken in their support for the package while Republicans have come out strongly against the legislation. Four Republicans did not vote. The bill was passed by the Senate on Aug. 7 using the reconciliation process, which rendered it immune to the filibuster. On July 27, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced that he had reached a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to pledge his support for the $700 billion spending bill, which Democrats claim will bring in $725 billion in new revenue to the federal government and reduce the deficit by around $292 billion annually. The Inflation Reduction Act was the product of a year of harried negotiations, compromises, and disappointments for Democrats as they tried to pass the much larger $1.75 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) Act. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) barreled ahead with the vote even though the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had not given its final scores yet, meaning that the actual effect the bill will have on federal revenues, spending, the deficit, and national debt are largely unknown. Republicans and Democrats alike have pointed to hundreds of economists who either support the bill or oppose it. There is no consensus among the experts, and without CBO numbers, analysts can do little more than make an educated guess about the effects it will have. Floor Debate Prior to the vote, Republicans and Democrats debated the bill for about three hours on the House floor. Democrats portrayed the bill as a timely one which will help reduce inflation and lower costs for American families. Republicans, on the other hand, contended that the bill would only worsen the situation, and blasted Democrats for moving the partisan bill through Congress without proper bipartisan consideration. “For too long, too many people in this country have felt like the work that happens in Washington isn’t meant to help them,” Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who led Democrats’ caucus during the floor debate, said in his party’s opening remarks. “And for a long time, they’ve been right.” “At the end of the day, this is not a complicated vote—it comes down to what your values are,” McGovern continued. “This is a historic bill,” McGovern said, encouraging others to support the legislation. Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) echoed McGovern’s support for the bill in his opening remarks. “The legislation before us today is a big deal for American families and a big deal for our planet,” he said. “The Inflation Reduction Act will lower health care and energy costs for working families. This legislation finally makes the wealthiest corporations start paying their fair share in taxes, and it ensures that rich tax cheats start paying what they owe.” Yarmuth said that the bill was fiscally responsible, fully paid-for, and had been endorsed by top U.S. economists. “Not one American family making less than $400,000 per year will see their federal tax bill increased by this legislation—not by a penny,” Yarmuth insisted. However, some critics of the legislation have described this oft-repeated claim as misleading, saying that it ignores the trickle-down effects that raising corporate taxes will have on consumer prices and wages. In his opening remarks for Republicans, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) blasted Democrats for the haste with which they’ve moved the bill through Congress, with no Republican input. He also mocked the title of the bill, saying that “you would need a nanometer [or a] micrometer” to measure the effect that the legislation will have on inflation. “This is the second time we’ve seen this legislative vehicle. The Democrats tried to push through partisan budget reconciliation—what does that mean? That means there is zero input from the Republican side of the aisle. And why is that important? You have a House and a Senate that are almost evenly-divided! “It’s 50-50 in the Senate—they relied on the vice president’s vote to get this across the finish line,” Burgess said, adding that Democrats barely have a majority in the House. “So don’t try to tell people that this has been an exercise that was well thought-out, that has come through the committees of jurisdiction, where people have had input—no! No Republican has had any input into this travesty that we have in front of us today.” Burgess said the Inflation Reduction Act is a reconfigured Build Back Better Act, and that the Democratic senators cut a deal with themselves “I stress again,” Burgess emphasized, concluding his remarks. “This bill had no Republican input and it will have a negligible effect on inflation.” Budget Committee Ranking Member Jason Smith (R-Mo.), who has been outspoken in his opposition to the bill, opened Republicans’ remarks during the floor debate. “This week we found out inflation remains at a 40-year high, with inflation having risen 13.7 percent since Biden became president,” Smith began. “Real wages have decreased by 4.5 percent. Americans are suffering. “Are we here debating how to alleviate that suffering? No. We are here to debate what Democrats call the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’—which everyone from the Congressional Budget Office, to 230 different economists, [and even] Sen. Bernie Sanders, have said will not reduce inflation. “When you strip away the sunset policies, this bill spends $745 billion and adds over $46 billion to our debt. It adds $54 billion to our debt in just the first five years.” Democrats’ claims that the bill will reduce the deficit, Smith noted, point to provisions which will not even begin to go into effect until 2029. “So lots of spending up front, lots of debt up front—and maybe savings eight years from now.” What’s In the Bill Included in the bill’s $700 billion in new spending is an $80 billion appropriation to the Internal Revenue Service—six times the agency’s current budget—as well as an array of new climate policies and tax incentives for individuals and corporations who switch to renewable energy sources and low-emission vehicles. Broken down, the roughly $80 billion appropriation to the IRS will go toward “necessary expenses for tax enforcement activities … to determine and collect owed taxes, to provide legal and litigation support, to conduct criminal investigations (including investigative technology), to provide digital asset monitoring and compliance activities, to enforce criminal statutes related to violations of internal revenue laws and other financial crimes … and to provide other services.” In addition, the funds would go to hire tens of thousands of new IRS agents to further aid enforcement of the new tax rules—which likely will mean far more audits across the board. Unsurprisingly, the effort to expand the IRS is not popular with Republicans, who have generally opposed such efforts in the past. “Democrats are scheming to double the size of the IRS by hiring an army of 87,000 new agents to spy on Americans,” wrote House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in an Aug. 4 tweet. The bill also includes a series of new taxes. The most substantial of these is a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations that make more than $1 billion per year. Though the law currently sets the tax rate for U.S. corporations at 21 percent, many megacorporations end up paying a substantially lower rate after exemptions, write-offs, and tax code workarounds are taken into account. The effect that this new tax requirement will have on consumer prices and workers’ wages is disputed. But Preston Brashers, a senior tax policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, predicted in an interview with The Epoch Times that the new tax would cause prices to surge and wage growth to slow or stagnate. In a compromise with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to win her support, Democrats also added a 1 percent excise tax on corporate stock buybacks, a practice commonly used by retirement account managers to increase the value of clients’ retirement portfolios. In addition the bill would, for the first time ever, allow Medicare Part D to negotiate with prescription drug manufacturers, who will have no choice under the legislation but to enter negotiations or face a massive 95 percent excise tax as punishment. While private insurers have long had the ability to haggle with drug manufacturers, such negotiations have been voluntary for both parties. But under the Inflation Reduction Act, drug manufacturers would not be permitted to refuse negotiations upon receiving an offer from the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These mandated price controls, the CBO has warned in the past, could greatly reduce medical innovation in the United States—meaning the number of new, life-saving drugs coming to market every year could shrink by as much as 50 percent. In the worst case, the CBO warned in a 2019 letter to Democrats discussing the same policy included in the Inflation Reduction Act, pharmaceutical companies may simply pull out of the U.S. market entirely rather than accept price controls or the excise tax (pdf). What’s Next for the Bill Because the bill has already been passed by the Senate, it will not need to go back to the upper chamber. Instead, it will now go directly to Biden’s desk for approval, which he has vowed to give. Read more here... Tyler Durden Fri, 08/12/2022 - 18:55.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 12th, 2022

Mar-a-Lago raid live updates: The FBI raid at Trump"s Mar-a-Lago serves as a reminder of a "lawless president," Democratic strategist says

Former President Donald Trump confirmed that the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Trump was out of state when federal agents raided his property in Florida. Donald Trump answers questions from reporters after making a video call to the troops stationed worldwide at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on December 24, 2019.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images The FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, sparking a firestorm. Nancy Pelosi said no person is "above the law" after the raid, but Republicans condemned it as politically motivated. Republican lawmakers and right-wing organizations are now using the search to fundraise.  The Mar-a-Lago FBI raid serves as a reminder of a 'lawless president,' a Democratic strategist saysPeople walking outside Mar-a-Lago in March 2017Darren SamuelsohnThe FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home puts Trump at the center of midterm elections debates, ensuring voters will hear about his legal problems from now until November.Republican and right-wing groups are already using the raid for fundraising and calling for defunding the FBI while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pledged to investigate the Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland if Republicans take back the House.As they rally support for Trump, Democrats say the FBI's reported search for classified materials that Trump allegedly brought to his home from the White House will serve as yet another reminder of his scandals and massive legal problems for voters."This raises the stakes in the midterms as people see how dangerous the GOP has become," said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist. "This isn't about political advantage for one party or the other, it's a reminder of what happens if a lawless President is allowed to take power, aided and abetted by MAGA Republicans in Congress."Read MoreFBI seizes cell phone of Trump ally and Pennsylvania Republican Scott Perry, lawmaker claimsRep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., takes a question from a reporter at a news conference held by the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Aug. 23, 2021.AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-RhoadesA key ally of former President Donald Trump is claiming that federal agents seized his cell phone a day after they executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, though it is not known if the two are connected.In a statement provided to Insider, Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said that on Tuesday morning, "while traveling with my family, 3 FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone."Perry denounced the alleged seizure, first reported by Fox News, but did not say what reason the FBI gave him for taking the phone."I'm outraged — though not surprised — that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland's DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting Member of Congress," he stated.KEEP READINGTrump supporters protest FBI raid on a bridge outside Mar-a-Lago: 'It is us against the government'Trump supporters gather on Monday on a bridge leading to Mar-a-Lago.Kimberly Leonard/InsiderFollowing the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, several dozen Trump supporters gathered Tuesday on a bridge that extends outside the private estate.  Just a small crowd of supporters had gathered as of 2 p.m. Several people who said they were part of Club 45 — an independent Trump-supporting organization — said more people would assemble from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., after people were done working for the day. Traffic was becoming more backed up by 3 p.m. By 5 p.m., about 60 people had gathered on the bridge.Several Trump supporters told Insider they'd heard that Trump would be driving by himself later in the day to get back into Mar-a-Lago and assess his belongings, though a local police officer refuted the rumor to Insider. In interviews, Trump supporters said they thought the FBI raid was politically motivated and would ultimately grow Trump's support, but said they weren't concerned about a civil war. Many repeated false claims that there was widespread fraud during the 2024 election. KEEP READINGHere's what it's like to traverse the members-only grounds of Mar-a-Lago, from a reporter who's been thereInsider DC bureau chief Darren Samuelsohn in March 2017 at Mar-a-Lago, while working as a White House reporter for Politico. Also pictured is the backyard of Donald Trump's private club.Darren SamuelsohnMemories of Mar-a-Lago came flooding back Monday night when the news broke that the FBI had executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's permanent residence.My visits there as a White House reporter for Politico more than five years ago came during the earliest days of Trump's presidency. They gave me an up-close look into all of the controversy and celebrity hoopla that surrounded a man who just months earlier had become the most powerful person on the planet.In all, I made three trips in March 2017 to go inside Trump's exclusive South Florida resort.READ MOREMitch McConnell declined to comment on the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago as conservatives increasingly call out his silenceSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesWith former President Donald Trump fuming over an FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago residence, the American people have yet to receive comment from the most powerful elected Republican in Washington: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.McConnell has yet to issue a statement on Monday's raid, and he dodged a question about it at a Tuesday press conference related to flooding in Eastern Kentucky."I'm here today to talk about the flood and the recovery from the flood," he said when asked for his reaction to the raid. READ MOREWhat's in Trump's search warrant? A grab-bag of potential federal charges, a longtime DOJ prosecutor predictedMar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.Kimberly Leonard/InsiderThe feds knew they had only one chance to search Mar-a-Lago — so they carried a big net, Gene Rossi, for three decades a federal prosecutor out of northern Virginia, predicted.The search warrant that got them inside the waterfront Palm Beach estate of former President Donald Trump may have only been one-page long — but the warrant would have authorized FBI agents to seize evidence related to multiple federal statutes, Rossi said."I would be shocked," Rossi told Insider if the search warrant did not list the federal statutes for insurrection, for sedition, and for obstruction — three charges Trump could potentially face for alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021 siege on the Capitol.Keep ReadingRepublicans revive false claim that DOJ called parents 'terrorists' after Mar-a-Lago raidRep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from OhioKevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesRepublicans who are furious with the FBI after the agency's search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence are reviving a false talking point that pits the Department of Justice against parents.Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin called the raid "stunning" in a tweet and said, "This same DOJ labeled parents in Loudoun County as terrorists."On Fox News, Rep. Jim Jordan, the House Judiciary Committee's highest-ranking Republican, made a similar claim about Attorney General Merrick Garland.Since last year, Republicans hoping to use culture wars to boost their chances in the midterm elections have said that the Biden administration and Democrats have branded parents who protest at school board meetings as domestic terrorists.Read Full StoryMar-a-Lago raid prompts elected Republicans to openly acknowledge that Trump will likely run for president againWhile Republicans slam the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago, many are also finally admitting in public that Trump is likely to run for president again in 2024.Trump has hinted at the prospect for months now, leaving Republicans reluctant to comment or speculate on the matter. "President Trump is likely going to run again in 2024," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally, wrote on Twitter."Joe Biden is trying to use the FBI to subdue his top political opponent because they are afraid of him running in 2024," Republican Rep. Diana Harshbarger wrote on Twitter. Read Full StoryPence defends Trump and expresses 'deep concern' over FBI's Mar-a-Lago raidThen-President Donald Trump shakes then-Vice President Mike Pence's hand after a 2019 rally.Zach Gibson/Getty ImagesFormer Vice President Mike Pence defended Donald Trump after FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago."I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of the personal residence of President Trump," Pence wrote on Twitter.He continued: "After years where FBI agents were found to be acting on political motivation during our administration, the appearance of continued partisanship by the Justice Department must be addressed."Read Full StoryTrump nominated the FBI Director who led Mar-A-Lago search: 'He will make us all proud'Former President Donald Trump nominated Christoper Wray for FBI Director in 2017.Brandon Bell/Getty Images, MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesChristopher Wray, the FBI director who authorized the Mar-a-Lago search was picked for the gig by then-President Donald Trump in 2017.Trump, at the time, called Wray a man of "impeccable credentials.""We will have a great FBI director. I think he's doing really well and we're very proud of that choice. I think I've done a great service to the country by choosing him," Trump said in a speech during a 2017 visit to France. "He will make us all proud, and I think someday we'll see that and hopefully someday soon."Now, Wray is feeling pressure from GOP lawmakers in the wake of Monday's raid. Read Full StoryRepublicans are fundraising off the FBI's raid of Trump's 'beautiful Florida home' at Mar-a-LagoShortly after the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, Republicans and right-wing groups used the opportunity to boost political fundraising efforts.A volley of emails from GOP lawmakers, political action groups, and other organizations denounced the FBI's search warrant and slammed the Biden administration."Biden's FBI raided President Trump's beautiful Florida home," the Republican National Committee wrote in a fundraising email, adding that "it's hard to believe it but it's true." Read Full StoryLindsey Graham says 'nobody's above the law' after FBI raid, but added that he's 'suspicious' of the investigationSen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).Ting Shen - Pool/Getty ImagesSouth Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham voiced a balanced reaction in response to the FBI's search warrant of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home compared to some of his colleagues."We're a nation of laws. Nobody's above the law. That's for darn sure," the Republican told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. The Trump ally said, however, that he's "suspicious" of the Justice Department's investigation and called it "dangerous territory." Read Full StoryEx-RNC chairman calls Marjorie Taylor Greene a 'shitforbrains' Republican for demanding the FBI be defundedRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from GeorgiaDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesMichael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, slammed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for saying the FBI should be defunded. After the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, Greene tweeted "DEFUND THE FBI!"Steele quoted her tweet and said: "Trump failed to return classified docs requested by the National Archives. A federal judge issued a search warrant for probable cause of a crime. This is not some rando move by the FBI so you shitforbrains Republicans calling for 'defunding the FBI' for once try to be less stupid."Read Full StoryTrump family members react to FBI search, calling it 'political persecution'Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesMembers of the Trump family took to Twitter and Fox News to voice their response to the FBI's search of former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home."Biden's out of control DOJ is ripping this country apart with how they're openly targeting their political enemies," Donald Trump Jr. wrote. "This is what you see happen in 3rd World Banana Republics!!!"Eric Trump told Fox News on Monday night that he was the "guy who got the call," that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, calling it "political persecution.""Every day, we get another subpoena," he said. Read Full StoryA dozen House Republicans plan to dine with Trump in Bedminster on TuesdayFormer President Donald Trump is hosting a dozen of the most conservative House Republicans at his New Jersey golf club Tuesday night for a dinner meeting.Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Banks is reportedly leading the group, set to meet just one day after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago.Read Full StoryTrump talked about his 'strange day' while calling into a tele-rally for Sarah Palin hours after the FBI raidFormer President Donald Trump campaigns for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a rally in Anchorage, Alaska on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesAfter the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former president Donald Trump called into a tele-rally for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — a long-time political ally who is now seeking an open House seat in the state's August 16 special election."Another day in paradise. This is a strange day. You probably all read about it," Trump said during a roughly 15-minute call, according to the Anchorage Daily News.Palin thanked Trump for checking in, despite the news of the raid.  Read Full StoryPelosi says FBI raid on Trump was a major step and that 'no person is above the law'—TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 9, 2022House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home as a major step, and said that not even a former president is "above the law."She is the highest-ranking Democrat to comment on the search, which took place on Monday.Pelosi was interviewed about the Monday raid on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday, where she was asked by host Savannah Guthrie if the search struck her as a "pretty serious step" for the Department of Justice to take.Pelosi replied: "Yes I think it does."She said later in the interview that Democrats "believe in the rule of law, and that's what our country is about and no person is above the law, not even the president of the United States, not even a former president of the United States."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen was jubilant after the FBI searched Trump's home, says he is finally being 'held accountable'Michael Cohen in July 2018 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, posted a celebratory video after FBI agents conducted a search of the ex-president's property in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. As news broke of the raid Cohen posted a selfie of himself grinning on Twitter, and in a video later posted on TikTok spelled out what he thinks the development could mean for his former boss."I can promise you only one thing, that whatever information that it is that they took from him, it's information he didn't want exposed," he said.He said Trump would frequently stash away compromising information in places he thought it was "impervious." "Let's just all rejoice the fact that this man who has avoided, legitimately avoided, any responsibility for anything is now going to be held accountable," said Cohen. "And it goes right back to the democratic adage 'no one is above the law.'"Read Full StoryMary Trump says her uncle is panicked by FBI raid and never believed the DOJ would take actionMary Trump speaking on MSNBC on August 8, 2022MSNBCThe niece of former President Donald Trump, Mary Trump, said that he is in "panic" after the FBI raided his home in Florida late on Monday. Trump "may have been told it was coming," but he would not have believed that the FBI would actually do it, Mary Trump told MSNBC on Monday.She has for years been a vocal critic of her uncle, who has attacked her in turn.Mary said that the raid would have been "a bit of a shock" to Trump, citing what she, a psychologist, called his "narcissism and sense of entitlement.""He may have known, been told it was coming, but he could not possibly believe it was coming, because it never has. So I think that's where that panic is coming from."Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy threatens to investigate DOJ over Trump FBI raid if Republicans retake the HouseHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to investigate the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland, using powers the Republican Party would gain if it retakes the House in November.In a statement Tuesday, McCarthy denounced the search conducted by FBI agents in Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort."I've seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy said in a statement."When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.""Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar," McCarthy said.Read Full StoryA law forbidding presidents from destroying or mishandling records could be why FBI agents searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago homePolice direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.AP Photo/Terry RennaThe FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House.The search appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House. That decision spurred a federal investigation, and likely the search on Monday, linked to the Presidential Records Act.Under the act, presidential records are public property and presidents are obliged to store them properly, and not to destroy them.Read Full StoryThese GOP lawmakers say they're pro law-enforcement but voted against giving congressional medals to police. Now they're excoriating the FBI on Trump's behalf.Former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at the LIV Golf Invitational on July 30, 2022.Jared C. Tilton/LIV Golf via Getty ImagesIn June 2021, 21 Republican lawmakers stood in opposition to legislation that would have awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who risked their lives at the Capitol during the January 6 riot.On Monday, a number of these GOP lawmakers joined a chorus of voices asking for the FBI to be destroyed and defunded for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. Here's what these lawmakers said about the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago — and how it contrasts with their pro-law enforcement stance. READ MORERepublicans rail against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the FBI to be destroyed and defundedRepublican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were among several Republican lawmakers calling for the FBI to be destroyed or defunded.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe far-right faction of the Republican party is up in arms about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the agency to be defunded and destroyed. Trump ally and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of the first to tweet her disapproval of the search, posting on Twitter: "DEFUND THE FBI!"Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert tweeted that she wanted the GOP to "set up a Select Committee to investigate the FBI's politically-motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago and on ALL the fraudulent persecution of President Trump from our government."House Republicans' calls to defund and destroy a law enforcement organization stands in contrast to legislation their party introduced in May 2021 to "back the blue" in opposition to a progressive push to defund the police. As recently as May 2022, top-ranking Republicans like Rep. Elise Stefanik were still pushing the "back the blue" slogan — something that both Greene and Boebert have themselves staunchly supported.READ MORELawyers received instructions to secure Trump's document room months before the FBI search at Mar-a-LagoFormer President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on April 2, 2022, near Washington, Michigan.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesMonths before the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former President Donald Trump's lawyers recieved instructions to "secure the room" in which he stored his documents, sources told CNN.The sources told CNN Trump aides added a padlock to his basement after investigators met with his lawyers at the Florida resort.Read MoreEric Trump says he was the 'guy who got the call' that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-LagoEric Trump said on Monday night that he was the one who informed his father Mar-a-Lago was being searched.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesTrump — speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity — said he was "the guy that got the call this morning." "I called my father and let him know that it happened," Trump said. "So I was involved in this all day." After the search, Eric Trump complained to Hannity that he thought there is "no family in American history that has taken more arrows in the back than the Trump family." "Every day, we get another subpoena," Trump said. "That's what this is about today, to have 30 FBI agents — actually, more than that —descend on Mar-a-Lago give absolutely, you know, no notice. Go through the gate, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet. You know, they broke into a safe. He didn't even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break." READ FULL STORYFeds likely obtained 'pulverizing' amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts sayFormer President Donald Trump speaks at a "Save America" rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.AP Photo/Morry GashFor months, as new details emerged about the end of the Trump administration, the Justice Department confronted criticism over its slow, cautious approach to investigating the former president.Again and again, Attorney General Merrick Garland met that criticism with what has almost become his personal mantra: The Justice Department, he says, will follow the "facts and the law."On Monday, the facts and the law led FBI agents to former President Donald Trump's home.Read Full StoryTrump's 2024 rivals are swooping in to support him, claiming the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is politically-motivatedFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis — largely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024 — tweeted in support of the former president.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesTrump's potential rivals for a 2024 ticket quickly came to his defense on Monday night after the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals in a 2024 GOP primary, tweeted his support for the former president around an hour after Trump's statement about the FBI search dropped on Truth Social. "The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime's political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," DeSantis tweeted, adding that he thought the US was becoming a "banana republic."DeSantis was referencing an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden's finances. Biden has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.READ FULL STORYTrump supporters protest the execution of a search warrant against the former president outside Mar-a-Lago and FBI headquartersSupporters of former President Donald Trump hold flags in front of his home at Mar-A-Lago on August 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI raided the home to retrieve classified White House documents.Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty ImagesAfter the FBI executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, supporters of the former president gathered outside the Florida resort and FBI headquarters to protest.Though it was initially unclear which of several pending investigations into the former president the warrant was related to, ABC News cited sources saying it was in connection to 15 boxes of potentially classified documents Trump took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency. Read Full StoryTrump was perched in Trump Tower as he decried 'unauthorized raid on my home' at Mar-a-Lago resort: CNNTrump Tower in ManhattanSpencer Platt / Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump was in the comfort of his Trump Tower in New York City as federal agents executed a search warrant on his home in Mar-A-Lago, Florida, according to CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins.The search warrant was carried out in the early hours of Monday morning and was first reported by Florida Politics. Trump confirmed the search warrant in a statement, calling it an "unauthorized raid on my home.""Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," his statement said. "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate."Read Full StoryThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home until the former president announced it on social mediaFormer President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty ImagesThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, White House officials said.The former president accused the bureau of prosecutorial misconduct in a statement and suggested the search was part of a politically motivated plot to stop him from running for president in 2024.A senior White House official told CBS News' Ed O'Keefe that the Biden administration wasn't made aware of the search warrant until Trump released his statement about it."No advance knowledge," the official said. "Some learned from old media, some from social media."Read Full StoryDonald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was searched by the FBI. Take a look inside his exclusive resort that the public never sees.Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesDuring former President Donald Trump's time in the White House, his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach presidency exclusive resort was often referred to as "the winter White House."Now, it's just his house.Following the end of his presidential term, Trump decamped to the ornate resort. Mar-a-Lago has hosted a number of high-powered visitors over the years, as it has seemingly always served as the Trump family's gilded weekend getaway. Mar-a-Lago has served as a lavish backdrop to host important dignitaries with its elaborately decorated halls. It was built to impress.Case in point: the property was closed for 57 days amid the coronavirus pandemic after visitors like the press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil's Chargé d'Affaires Ambassador Nestor Forster tested positive for the coronavirus in March.Here's a look inside the sprawling complex, which was built in the early 20th century, where the Trumps have hosted opulent holiday parties and watched Super Bowls alongside members of the exclusive private club.Read MoreTrump says FBI accessed his safe during raid at Mar-a-Lago: 'They even broke into my safe!'Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump said the FBI went through his safe when they executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. "They even broke into my safe!" Trump said in a Monday statement confirming the search.Read Full StoryThe FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago homeRepublican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference after the closing of Super Tuesday polls in a dozen statesJohn Moore/Getty ImagesFederal agents descended on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida on Monday, Trump announced in a statement.The former president denounced the raid as politically motivated, although he himself appointed the FBI's director, Christopher Wray.Read Full StoryRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 9th, 2022

Mar-a-Lago raid live updates: Trump"s search warrant could be a grab-bag of potential federal charges, a longtime DOJ prosecutor predicts

Former President Donald Trump confirmed that the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Trump was out of state when federal agents raided his property in Florida. Donald Trump answers questions from reporters after making a video call to the troops stationed worldwide at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on December 24, 2019.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images The FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, sparking a firestorm. Nancy Pelosi said no person is "above the law" after the raid, but Republicans condemned it as politically motivated. Republican lawmakers and right-wing organizations are now using the search to fundraise.  What's in Trump's search warrant? A grab-bag of potential federal charges, a longtime DOJ prosecutor predictedMar-a-Lago one day after the FBI raid.Kimberly Leonard/InsiderThe feds knew they had only one chance to search Mar-a-Lago — so they carried a big net, Gene Rossi, for three decades a federal prosecutor out of northern Virginia, predicted.The search warrant that got them inside the waterfront Palm Beach estate of former President Donald Trump may have only been one-page long — but the warrant would have authorized FBI agents to seize evidence related to multiple federal statutes, Rossi said."I would be shocked," Rossi told Insider if the search warrant did not list the federal statutes for insurrection, for sedition, and for obstruction — three charges Trump could potentially face for alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021 siege on the Capitol.Keep ReadingRepublicans revive false claim that DOJ called parents 'terrorists' after Mar-a-Lago raidRep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from OhioKevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesRepublicans who are furious with the FBI after the agency's search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence are reviving a false talking point that pits the Department of Justice against parents.Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin called the raid "stunning" in a tweet and said, "This same DOJ labeled parents in Loudoun County as terrorists."On Fox News, Rep. Jim Jordan, the House Judiciary Committee's highest-ranking Republican, made a similar claim about Attorney General Merrick Garland.Since last year, Republicans hoping to use culture wars to boost their chances in the midterm elections have said that the Biden administration and Democrats have branded parents who protest at school board meetings as domestic terrorists.Read Full StoryMar-a-Lago raid prompts elected Republicans to openly acknowledge that Trump will likely run for president againWhile Republicans slam the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago, many are also finally admitting in public that Trump is likely to run for president again in 2024.Trump has hinted at the prospect for months now, leaving Republicans reluctant to comment or speculate on the matter. "President Trump is likely going to run again in 2024," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally, wrote on Twitter."Joe Biden is trying to use the FBI to subdue his top political opponent because they are afraid of him running in 2024," Republican Rep. Diana Harshbarger wrote on Twitter. Read Full StoryPence defends Trump and expresses 'deep concern' over FBI's Mar-a-Lago raidThen-President Donald Trump shakes then-Vice President Mike Pence's hand after a 2019 rally.Zach Gibson/Getty ImagesFormer Vice President Mike Pence defended Donald Trump after FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago."I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of the personal residence of President Trump," Pence wrote on Twitter.He continued: "After years where FBI agents were found to be acting on political motivation during our administration, the appearance of continued partisanship by the Justice Department must be addressed."Read Full StoryTrump nominated the FBI Director who led Mar-A-Lago search: 'He will make us all proud'Former President Donald Trump nominated Christoper Wray for FBI Director in 2017.Brandon Bell/Getty Images, MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesChristopher Wray, the FBI director who authorized the Mar-a-Lago search was picked for the gig by then-President Donald Trump in 2017.Trump, at the time, called Wray a man of "impeccable credentials.""We will have a great FBI director. I think he's doing really well and we're very proud of that choice. I think I've done a great service to the country by choosing him," Trump said in a speech during a 2017 visit to France. "He will make us all proud, and I think someday we'll see that and hopefully someday soon."Now, Wray is feeling pressure from GOP lawmakers in the wake of Monday's raid. Read Full StoryRepublicans are fundraising off the FBI's raid of Trump's 'beautiful Florida home' at Mar-a-LagoShortly after the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, Republicans and right-wing groups used the opportunity to boost political fundraising efforts.A volley of emails from GOP lawmakers, political action groups, and other organizations denounced the FBI's search warrant and slammed the Biden administration."Biden's FBI raided President Trump's beautiful Florida home," the Republican National Committee wrote in a fundraising email, adding that "it's hard to believe it but it's true." Read Full StoryLindsey Graham says 'nobody's above the law' after FBI raid, but added that he's 'suspicious' of the investigationSen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).Ting Shen - Pool/Getty ImagesSouth Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham voiced a balanced reaction in response to the FBI's search warrant of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home compared to some of his colleagues."We're a nation of laws. Nobody's above the law. That's for darn sure," the Republican told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. The Trump ally said, however, that he's "suspicious" of the Justice Department's investigation and called it "dangerous territory." Read Full StoryEx-RNC chairman calls Marjorie Taylor Greene a 'shitforbrains' Republican for demanding the FBI be defundedRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from GeorgiaDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesMichael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, slammed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for saying the FBI should be defunded. After the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, Greene tweeted "DEFUND THE FBI!"Steele quoted her tweet and said: "Trump failed to return classified docs requested by the National Archives. A federal judge issued a search warrant for probable cause of a crime. This is not some rando move by the FBI so you shitforbrains Republicans calling for 'defunding the FBI' for once try to be less stupid."Read Full StoryTrump family members react to FBI search, calling it 'political persecution'Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesMembers of the Trump family took to Twitter and Fox News to voice their response to the FBI's search of former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home."Biden's out of control DOJ is ripping this country apart with how they're openly targeting their political enemies," Donald Trump Jr. wrote. "This is what you see happen in 3rd World Banana Republics!!!"Eric Trump told Fox News on Monday night that he was the "guy who got the call," that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, calling it "political persecution.""Every day, we get another subpoena," he said. Read Full StoryA dozen House Republicans plan to dine with Trump in Bedminster on TuesdayFormer President Donald Trump is hosting a dozen of the most conservative House Republicans at his New Jersey golf club Tuesday night for a dinner meeting.Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Banks is reportedly leading the group, set to meet just one day after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago.Read Full StoryTrump talked about his 'strange day' while calling into a tele-rally for Sarah Palin hours after the FBI raidFormer President Donald Trump campaigns for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a rally in Anchorage, Alaska on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesAfter the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former president Donald Trump called into a tele-rally for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — a long-time political ally who is now seeking an open House seat in the state's August 16 special election."Another day in paradise. This is a strange day. You probably all read about it," Trump said during a roughly 15-minute call, according to the Anchorage Daily News.Palin thanked Trump for checking in, despite the news of the raid.  Read Full StoryPelosi says FBI raid on Trump was a major step and that 'no person is above the law'—TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 9, 2022House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home as a major step, and said that not even a former president is "above the law."She is the highest-ranking Democrat to comment on the search, which took place on Monday.Pelosi was interviewed about the Monday raid on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday, where she was asked by host Savannah Guthrie if the search struck her as a "pretty serious step" for the Department of Justice to take.Pelosi replied: "Yes I think it does."She said later in the interview that Democrats "believe in the rule of law, and that's what our country is about and no person is above the law, not even the president of the United States, not even a former president of the United States."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen was jubilant after the FBI searched Trump's home, says he is finally being 'held accountable'Michael Cohen in July 2018 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, posted a celebratory video after FBI agents conducted a search of the ex-president's property in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. As news broke of the raid Cohen posted a selfie of himself grinning on Twitter, and in a video later posted on TikTok spelled out what he thinks the development could mean for his former boss."I can promise you only one thing, that whatever information that it is that they took from him, it's information he didn't want exposed," he said.He said Trump would frequently stash away compromising information in places he thought it was "impervious." "Let's just all rejoice the fact that this man who has avoided, legitimately avoided, any responsibility for anything is now going to be held accountable," said Cohen. "And it goes right back to the democratic adage 'no one is above the law.'"Read Full StoryMary Trump says her uncle is panicked by FBI raid and never believed the DOJ would take actionMary Trump speaking on MSNBC on August 8, 2022MSNBCThe niece of former President Donald Trump, Mary Trump, said that he is in "panic" after the FBI raided his home in Florida late on Monday. Trump "may have been told it was coming," but he would not have believed that the FBI would actually do it, Mary Trump told MSNBC on Monday.She has for years been a vocal critic of her uncle, who has attacked her in turn.Mary said that the raid would have been "a bit of a shock" to Trump, citing what she, a psychologist, called his "narcissism and sense of entitlement.""He may have known, been told it was coming, but he could not possibly believe it was coming, because it never has. So I think that's where that panic is coming from."Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy threatens to investigate DOJ over Trump FBI raid if Republicans retake the HouseHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to investigate the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland, using powers the Republican Party would gain if it retakes the House in November.In a statement Tuesday, McCarthy denounced the search conducted by FBI agents in Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort."I've seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy said in a statement."When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.""Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar," McCarthy said.Read Full StoryA law forbidding presidents from destroying or mishandling records could be why FBI agents searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago homePolice direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.AP Photo/Terry RennaThe FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House.The search appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House. That decision spurred a federal investigation, and likely the search on Monday, linked to the Presidential Records Act.Under the act, presidential records are public property and presidents are obliged to store them properly, and not to destroy them.Read Full StoryThese GOP lawmakers say they're pro law-enforcement but voted against giving congressional medals to police. Now they're excoriating the FBI on Trump's behalf.Former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at the LIV Golf Invitational on July 30, 2022.Jared C. Tilton/LIV Golf via Getty ImagesIn June 2021, 21 Republican lawmakers stood in opposition to legislation that would have awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who risked their lives at the Capitol during the January 6 riot.On Monday, a number of these GOP lawmakers joined a chorus of voices asking for the FBI to be destroyed and defunded for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. Here's what these lawmakers said about the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago — and how it contrasts with their pro-law enforcement stance. READ MORERepublicans rail against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the FBI to be destroyed and defundedRepublican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were among several Republican lawmakers calling for the FBI to be destroyed or defunded.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe far-right faction of the Republican party is up in arms about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the agency to be defunded and destroyed. Trump ally and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of the first to tweet her disapproval of the search, posting on Twitter: "DEFUND THE FBI!"Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert tweeted that she wanted the GOP to "set up a Select Committee to investigate the FBI's politically-motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago and on ALL the fraudulent persecution of President Trump from our government."House Republicans' calls to defund and destroy a law enforcement organization stands in contrast to legislation their party introduced in May 2021 to "back the blue" in opposition to a progressive push to defund the police. As recently as May 2022, top-ranking Republicans like Rep. Elise Stefanik were still pushing the "back the blue" slogan — something that both Greene and Boebert have themselves staunchly supported.READ MORELawyers received instructions to secure Trump's document room months before the FBI search at Mar-a-LagoFormer President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on April 2, 2022, near Washington, Michigan.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesMonths before the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former President Donald Trump's lawyers recieved instructions to "secure the room" in which he stored his documents, sources told CNN.The sources told CNN Trump aides added a padlock to his basement after investigators met with his lawyers at the Florida resort.Read MoreEric Trump says he was the 'guy who got the call' that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-LagoEric Trump said on Monday night that he was the one who informed his father Mar-a-Lago was being searched.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesTrump — speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity — said he was "the guy that got the call this morning." "I called my father and let him know that it happened," Trump said. "So I was involved in this all day." After the search, Eric Trump complained to Hannity that he thought there is "no family in American history that has taken more arrows in the back than the Trump family." "Every day, we get another subpoena," Trump said. "That's what this is about today, to have 30 FBI agents — actually, more than that —descend on Mar-a-Lago give absolutely, you know, no notice. Go through the gate, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet. You know, they broke into a safe. He didn't even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break." READ FULL STORYFeds likely obtained 'pulverizing' amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts sayFormer President Donald Trump speaks at a "Save America" rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.AP Photo/Morry GashFor months, as new details emerged about the end of the Trump administration, the Justice Department confronted criticism over its slow, cautious approach to investigating the former president.Again and again, Attorney General Merrick Garland met that criticism with what has almost become his personal mantra: The Justice Department, he says, will follow the "facts and the law."On Monday, the facts and the law led FBI agents to former President Donald Trump's home.Read Full StoryTrump's 2024 rivals are swooping in to support him, claiming the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is politically-motivatedFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis — largely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024 — tweeted in support of the former president.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesTrump's potential rivals for a 2024 ticket quickly came to his defense on Monday night after the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals in a 2024 GOP primary, tweeted his support for the former president around an hour after Trump's statement about the FBI search dropped on Truth Social. "The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime's political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," DeSantis tweeted, adding that he thought the US was becoming a "banana republic."DeSantis was referencing an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden's finances. Biden has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.READ FULL STORYTrump supporters protest the execution of a search warrant against the former president outside Mar-a-Lago and FBI headquartersSupporters of former President Donald Trump hold flags in front of his home at Mar-A-Lago on August 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI raided the home to retrieve classified White House documents.Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty ImagesAfter the FBI executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, supporters of the former president gathered outside the Florida resort and FBI headquarters to protest.Though it was initially unclear which of several pending investigations into the former president the warrant was related to, ABC News cited sources saying it was in connection to 15 boxes of potentially classified documents Trump took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency. Read Full StoryTrump was perched in Trump Tower as he decried 'unauthorized raid on my home' at Mar-a-Lago resort: CNNTrump Tower in ManhattanSpencer Platt / Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump was in the comfort of his Trump Tower in New York City as federal agents executed a search warrant on his home in Mar-A-Lago, Florida, according to CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins.The search warrant was carried out in the early hours of Monday morning and was first reported by Florida Politics. Trump confirmed the search warrant in a statement, calling it an "unauthorized raid on my home.""Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," his statement said. "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate."Read Full StoryThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home until the former president announced it on social mediaFormer President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty ImagesThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, White House officials said.The former president accused the bureau of prosecutorial misconduct in a statement and suggested the search was part of a politically motivated plot to stop him from running for president in 2024.A senior White House official told CBS News' Ed O'Keefe that the Biden administration wasn't made aware of the search warrant until Trump released his statement about it."No advance knowledge," the official said. "Some learned from old media, some from social media."Read Full StoryDonald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was searched by the FBI. Take a look inside his exclusive resort that the public never sees.Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesDuring former President Donald Trump's time in the White House, his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach presidency exclusive resort was often referred to as "the winter White House."Now, it's just his house.Following the end of his presidential term, Trump decamped to the ornate resort. Mar-a-Lago has hosted a number of high-powered visitors over the years, as it has seemingly always served as the Trump family's gilded weekend getaway. Mar-a-Lago has served as a lavish backdrop to host important dignitaries with its elaborately decorated halls. It was built to impress.Case in point: the property was closed for 57 days amid the coronavirus pandemic after visitors like the press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil's Chargé d'Affaires Ambassador Nestor Forster tested positive for the coronavirus in March.Here's a look inside the sprawling complex, which was built in the early 20th century, where the Trumps have hosted opulent holiday parties and watched Super Bowls alongside members of the exclusive private club.Read MoreTrump says FBI accessed his safe during raid at Mar-a-Lago: 'They even broke into my safe!'Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump said the FBI went through his safe when they executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. "They even broke into my safe!" Trump said in a Monday statement confirming the search.Read Full StoryThe FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago homeRepublican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference after the closing of Super Tuesday polls in a dozen statesJohn Moore/Getty ImagesFederal agents descended on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida on Monday, Trump announced in a statement.The former president denounced the raid as politically motivated, although he himself appointed the FBI's director, Christopher Wray.Read Full StoryRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 9th, 2022

Mar-a-Lago raid live updates: Trump supporters call for civil war after FBI search

Former President Donald Trump confirmed that the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Trump was out of state when federal agents raided his property in Florida. Donald Trump answers questions from reporters after making a video call to the troops stationed worldwide at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on December 24, 2019.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images The FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, sparking a firestorm. Trump's niece said he is in "panic" after the raid and would not have believed the FBI would do it. Nancy Pelosi responded saying "no person is above the law, not even the president." Trump supporters call for civil war after FBI raidFormer President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America" rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesThe FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago has reignited calls for civil war among Trump supporters online."Civil war is coming folks, and it will not be pretty," one Twitter user wrote. Republican politicians have also floated the idea of states seceding from America.It's not the first time Trump supporters or extremist groups have threatened to ignite a civil war as the country remains bitterly divided by politics. Political scientists have warned the public for months that calls for violence could increase.Read Full StoryTrump talked about his 'strange day' while calling into a tele-rally for Sarah Palin hours after the FBI raidFormer President Donald Trump campaigns for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a rally in Anchorage, Alaska on July 9, 2022.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesAfter the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former president Donald Trump called into a tele-rally for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — a long-time political ally who is now seeking an open House seat in the state's August 16 special election."Another day in paradise. This is a strange day. You probably all read about it," Trump said during a roughly 15-minute call, according to the Anchorage Daily News.Palin thanked Trump for checking in, despite the news of the raid.  Read Full StoryPelosi says FBI raid on Trump was a major step and that 'no person is above the law'—TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 9, 2022House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home as a major step, and said that not even a former president is "above the law."She is the highest-ranking Democrat to comment on the search, which took place on Monday.Pelosi was interviewed about the Monday raid on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday, where she was asked by host Savannah Guthrie if the search struck her as a "pretty serious step" for the Department of Justice to take.Pelosi replied: "Yes I think it does."She said later in the interview that Democrats "believe in the rule of law, and that's what our country is about and no person is above the law, not even the president of the United States, not even a former president of the United States."Read Full StoryMichael Cohen was jubilant after the FBI searched Trump's home, says he is finally being 'held accountable'Michael Cohen in July 2018 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMichael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, posted a celebratory video after FBI agents conducted a search of the ex-president's property in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. As news broke of the raid Cohen posted a selfie of himself grinning on Twitter, and in a video later posted on TikTok spelled out what he thinks the development could mean for his former boss."I can promise you only one thing, that whatever information that it is that they took from him, it's information he didn't want exposed," he said.He said Trump would frequently stash away compromising information in places he thought it was "impervious." "Let's just all rejoice the fact that this man who has avoided, legitimately avoided, any responsibility for anything is now going to be held accountable," said Cohen. "And it goes right back to the democratic adage 'no one is above the law.'"Read Full StoryMary Trump says her uncle is panicked by FBI raid and never believed the DOJ would take actionMary Trump speaking on MSNBC on August 8, 2022MSNBCThe niece of former President Donald Trump, Mary Trump, said that he is in "panic" after the FBI raided his home in Florida late on Monday. Trump "may have been told it was coming," but he would not have believed that the FBI would actually do it, Mary Trump told MSNBC on Monday.She has for years been a vocal critic of her uncle, who has attacked her in turn.Mary said that the raid would have been "a bit of a shock" to Trump, citing what she, a psychologist, called his "narcissism and sense of entitlement.""He may have known, been told it was coming, but he could not possibly believe it was coming, because it never has. So I think that's where that panic is coming from."Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy threatens to investigate DOJ over Trump FBI raid if Republicans retake the HouseHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to investigate the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland, using powers the Republican Party would gain if it retakes the House in November.In a statement Tuesday, McCarthy denounced the search conducted by FBI agents in Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort."I've seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy said in a statement."When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.""Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar," McCarthy said.Read Full StoryA law forbidding presidents from destroying or mishandling records could be why FBI agents searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago homePolice direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.AP Photo/Terry RennaThe FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House.The search appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House. That decision spurred a federal investigation, and likely the search on Monday, linked to the Presidential Records Act.Under the act, presidential records are public property and presidents are obliged to store them properly, and not to destroy them.Read Full StoryThese GOP lawmakers say they're pro law-enforcement but voted against giving congressional medals to police. Now they're excoriating the FBI on Trump's behalf.Former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at the LIV Golf Invitational on July 30, 2022.Jared C. Tilton/LIV Golf via Getty ImagesIn June 2021, 21 Republican lawmakers stood in opposition to legislation that would have awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who risked their lives at the Capitol during the January 6 riot.On Monday, a number of these GOP lawmakers joined a chorus of voices asking for the FBI to be destroyed and defunded for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. Here's what these lawmakers said about the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago — and how it contrasts with their pro-law enforcement stance. READ MORERepublicans rail against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the FBI to be destroyed and defundedRepublican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were among several Republican lawmakers calling for the FBI to be destroyed or defunded.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe far-right faction of the Republican party is up in arms about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the agency to be defunded and destroyed. Trump ally and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of the first to tweet her disapproval of the search, posting on Twitter: "DEFUND THE FBI!"Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert tweeted that she wanted the GOP to "set up a Select Committee to investigate the FBI's politically-motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago and on ALL the fraudulent persecution of President Trump from our government."House Republicans' calls to defund and destroy a law enforcement organization stands in contrast to legislation their party introduced in May 2021 to "back the blue" in opposition to a progressive push to defund the police. As recently as May 2022, top-ranking Republicans like Rep. Elise Stefanik were still pushing the "back the blue" slogan — something that both Greene and Boebert have themselves staunchly supported.READ MORELawyers received instructions to secure Trump's document room months before the FBI search at Mar-a-LagoFormer President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on April 2, 2022, near Washington, Michigan.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesMonths before the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former President Donald Trump's lawyers recieved instructions to "secure the room" in which he stored his documents, sources told CNN.The sources told CNN Trump aides added a padlock to his basement after investigators met with his lawyers at the Florida resort.Read MoreEric Trump says he was the 'guy who got the call' that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-LagoEric Trump said on Monday night that he was the one who informed his father Mar-a-Lago was being searched.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesTrump — speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity — said he was "the guy that got the call this morning." "I called my father and let him know that it happened," Trump said. "So I was involved in this all day." After the search, Eric Trump complained to Hannity that he thought there is "no family in American history that has taken more arrows in the back than the Trump family." "Every day, we get another subpoena," Trump said. "That's what this is about today, to have 30 FBI agents — actually, more than that —descend on Mar-a-Lago give absolutely, you know, no notice. Go through the gate, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet. You know, they broke into a safe. He didn't even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break." READ FULL STORYFeds likely obtained 'pulverizing' amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts sayFormer President Donald Trump speaks at a "Save America" rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.AP Photo/Morry GashFor months, as new details emerged about the end of the Trump administration, the Justice Department confronted criticism over its slow, cautious approach to investigating the former president.Again and again, Attorney General Merrick Garland met that criticism with what has almost become his personal mantra: The Justice Department, he says, will follow the "facts and the law."On Monday, the facts and the law led FBI agents to former President Donald Trump's home.Read Full StoryTrump's 2024 rivals are swooping in to support him, claiming the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is politically-motivatedFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis — largely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024 — tweeted in support of the former president.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesTrump's potential rivals for a 2024 ticket quickly came to his defense on Monday night after the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals in a 2024 GOP primary, tweeted his support for the former president around an hour after Trump's statement about the FBI search dropped on Truth Social. "The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime's political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," DeSantis tweeted, adding that he thought the US was becoming a "banana republic."DeSantis was referencing an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden's finances. Biden has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.READ FULL STORYTrump supporters protest the execution of a search warrant against the former president outside Mar-a-Lago and FBI headquartersSupporters of former President Donald Trump hold flags in front of his home at Mar-A-Lago on August 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI raided the home to retrieve classified White House documents.Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty ImagesAfter the FBI executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, supporters of the former president gathered outside the Florida resort and FBI headquarters to protest.Though it was initially unclear which of several pending investigations into the former president the warrant was related to, ABC News cited sources saying it was in connection to 15 boxes of potentially classified documents Trump took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency. Read Full StoryTrump was perched in Trump Tower as he decried 'unauthorized raid on my home' at Mar-a-Lago resort: CNNTrump Tower in ManhattanSpencer Platt / Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump was in the comfort of his Trump Tower in New York City as federal agents executed a search warrant on his home in Mar-A-Lago, Florida, according to CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins.The search warrant was carried out in the early hours of Monday morning and was first reported by Florida Politics. Trump confirmed the search warrant in a statement, calling it an "unauthorized raid on my home.""Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," his statement said. "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate."Read Full StoryThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home until the former president announced it on social mediaFormer President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty ImagesThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, White House officials said.The former president accused the bureau of prosecutorial misconduct in a statement and suggested the search was part of a politically motivated plot to stop him from running for president in 2024.A senior White House official told CBS News' Ed O'Keefe that the Biden administration wasn't made aware of the search warrant until Trump released his statement about it."No advance knowledge," the official said. "Some learned from old media, some from social media."Read Full StoryDonald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was searched by the FBI. Take a look inside his exclusive resort that the public never sees.Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesDuring former President Donald Trump's time in the White House, his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach presidency exclusive resort was often referred to as "the winter White House."Now, it's just his house.Following the end of his presidential term, Trump decamped to the ornate resort. Mar-a-Lago has hosted a number of high-powered visitors over the years, as it has seemingly always served as the Trump family's gilded weekend getaway. Mar-a-Lago has served as a lavish backdrop to host important dignitaries with its elaborately decorated halls. It was built to impress.Case in point: the property was closed for 57 days amid the coronavirus pandemic after visitors like the press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil's Chargé d'Affaires Ambassador Nestor Forster tested positive for the coronavirus in March.Here's a look inside the sprawling complex, which was built in the early 20th century, where the Trumps have hosted opulent holiday parties and watched Super Bowls alongside members of the exclusive private club.Read MoreTrump says FBI accessed his safe during raid at Mar-a-Lago: 'They even broke into my safe!'Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump said the FBI went through his safe when they executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. "They even broke into my safe!" Trump said in a Monday statement confirming the search.Read Full StoryThe FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago homeRepublican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference after the closing of Super Tuesday polls in a dozen statesJohn Moore/Getty ImagesFederal agents descended on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida on Monday, Trump announced in a statement.The former president denounced the raid as politically motivated, although he himself appointed the FBI's director, Christopher Wray.Read Full StoryRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 9th, 2022

Maro-a-Lago raid live updates: Trump likely in panic, wouldn"t have expected raid, niece Mary says

Former President Donald Trump confirmed that the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Trump was out of state when federal agents raided his property in Florida. Donald Trump answers questions from reporters after making a video call to the troops stationed worldwide at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on December 24, 2019.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images The FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, sparking a firestorm. Republicans denounced the raid, with Kevin McCarthy threatening to investigate the DOJ. Trump's niece said he is in "panic" after the raid and would not have believed the FBI would do it. Mary Trump says her uncle is panicked by FBI raid and never believed the DOJ would take actionMary Trump speaking on MSNBC on August 8, 2022MSNBCThe niece of former President Donald Trump, Mary Trump, said that he is in "panic" after the FBI raided his home in Florida late on Monday. Trump "may have been told it was coming," but he would not have believed that the FBI would actually do it, Mary Trump told MSNBC on Monday.She has for years been a vocal critic of her uncle, who has attacked her in turn.Mary said that the raid would have been "a bit of a shock" to Trump, citing what she, a psychologist, called his "narcissism and sense of entitlement.""He may have known, been told it was coming, but he could not possibly believe it was coming, because it never has. So I think that's where that panic is coming from."Read Full StoryKevin McCarthy threatens to investigate DOJ over Trump FBI raid if Republicans retake the HouseHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to investigate the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland, using powers the Republican Party would gain if it retakes the House in November.In a statement Tuesday, McCarthy denounced the search conducted by FBI agents in Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort."I've seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy said in a statement."When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.""Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar," McCarthy said.Read Full StoryA law forbidding presidents from destroying or mishandling records could be why FBI agents searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago homePolice direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida.AP Photo/Terry RennaThe FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House.The search appears to be over material that Trump brought back to Florida after leaving the White House. That decision spurred a federal investigation, and likely the search on Monday, linked to the Presidential Records Act.Under the act, presidential records are public property and presidents are obliged to store them properly, and not to destroy them.Read Full StoryThese GOP lawmakers say they're pro law-enforcement but voted against giving congressional medals to police. Now they're excoriating the FBI on Trump's behalf.Former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene at the LIV Golf Invitational on July 30, 2022.Jared C. Tilton/LIV Golf via Getty ImagesIn June 2021, 21 Republican lawmakers stood in opposition to legislation that would have awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who risked their lives at the Capitol during the January 6 riot.On Monday, a number of these GOP lawmakers joined a chorus of voices asking for the FBI to be destroyed and defunded for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. Here's what these lawmakers said about the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago — and how it contrasts with their pro-law enforcement stance. READ MORERepublicans rail against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the FBI to be destroyed and defundedRepublican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were among several Republican lawmakers calling for the FBI to be destroyed or defunded.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe far-right faction of the Republican party is up in arms about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the agency to be defunded and destroyed. Trump ally and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of the first to tweet her disapproval of the search, posting on Twitter: "DEFUND THE FBI!"Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert tweeted that she wanted the GOP to "set up a Select Committee to investigate the FBI's politically-motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago and on ALL the fraudulent persecution of President Trump from our government."House Republicans' calls to defund and destroy a law enforcement organization stands in contrast to legislation their party introduced in May 2021 to "back the blue" in opposition to a progressive push to defund the police. As recently as May 2022, top-ranking Republicans like Rep. Elise Stefanik were still pushing the "back the blue" slogan — something that both Greene and Boebert have themselves staunchly supported.READ MORELawyers received instructions to secure Trump's document room months before the FBI search at Mar-a-LagoFormer President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on April 2, 2022, near Washington, Michigan.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesMonths before the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former President Donald Trump's lawyers recieved instructions to "secure the room" in which he stored his documents, sources told CNN.The sources told CNN Trump aides added a padlock to his basement after investigators met with his lawyers at the Florida resort.Read MoreEric Trump says he was the 'guy who got the call' that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-LagoEric Trump said on Monday night that he was the one who informed his father Mar-a-Lago was being searched.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesTrump — speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity — said he was "the guy that got the call this morning." "I called my father and let him know that it happened," Trump said. "So I was involved in this all day." After the search, Eric Trump complained to Hannity that he thought there is "no family in American history that has taken more arrows in the back than the Trump family." "Every day, we get another subpoena," Trump said. "That's what this is about today, to have 30 FBI agents — actually, more than that —descend on Mar-a-Lago give absolutely, you know, no notice. Go through the gate, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet. You know, they broke into a safe. He didn't even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break." READ FULL STORYFeds likely obtained 'pulverizing' amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts sayFormer President Donald Trump speaks at a "Save America" rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.AP Photo/Morry GashFor months, as new details emerged about the end of the Trump administration, the Justice Department confronted criticism over its slow, cautious approach to investigating the former president.Again and again, Attorney General Merrick Garland met that criticism with what has almost become his personal mantra: The Justice Department, he says, will follow the "facts and the law."On Monday, the facts and the law led FBI agents to former President Donald Trump's home.Read Full StoryTrump's 2024 rivals are swooping in to support him, claiming the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is politically-motivatedFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis — largely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024 — tweeted in support of the former president.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesTrump's potential rivals for a 2024 ticket quickly came to his defense on Monday night after the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals in a 2024 GOP primary, tweeted his support for the former president around an hour after Trump's statement about the FBI search dropped on Truth Social. "The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime's political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," DeSantis tweeted, adding that he thought the US was becoming a "banana republic."DeSantis was referencing an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden's finances. Biden has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.READ FULL STORYTrump supporters protest the execution of a search warrant against the former president outside Mar-a-Lago and FBI headquartersSupporters of former President Donald Trump hold flags in front of his home at Mar-A-Lago on August 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI raided the home to retrieve classified White House documents.Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty ImagesAfter the FBI executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, supporters of the former president gathered outside the Florida resort and FBI headquarters to protest.Though it was initially unclear which of several pending investigations into the former president the warrant was related to, ABC News cited sources saying it was in connection to 15 boxes of potentially classified documents Trump took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency. Read Full StoryTrump was perched in Trump Tower as he decried 'unauthorized raid on my home' at Mar-a-Lago resort: CNNTrump Tower in ManhattanSpencer Platt / Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump was in the comfort of his Trump Tower in New York City as federal agents executed a search warrant on his home in Mar-A-Lago, Florida, according to CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins.The search warrant was carried out in the early hours of Monday morning and was first reported by Florida Politics. Trump confirmed the search warrant in a statement, calling it an "unauthorized raid on my home.""Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," his statement said. "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate."Read Full StoryThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home until the former president announced it on social mediaFormer President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty ImagesThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, White House officials said.The former president accused the bureau of prosecutorial misconduct in a statement and suggested the search was part of a politically motivated plot to stop him from running for president in 2024.A senior White House official told CBS News' Ed O'Keefe that the Biden administration wasn't made aware of the search warrant until Trump released his statement about it."No advance knowledge," the official said. "Some learned from old media, some from social media."Read Full StoryDonald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was searched by the FBI. Take a look inside his exclusive resort that the public never sees.Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesDuring former President Donald Trump's time in the White House, his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach presidency exclusive resort was often referred to as "the winter White House."Now, it's just his house.Following the end of his presidential term, Trump decamped to the ornate resort. Mar-a-Lago has hosted a number of high-powered visitors over the years, as it has seemingly always served as the Trump family's gilded weekend getaway. Mar-a-Lago has served as a lavish backdrop to host important dignitaries with its elaborately decorated halls. It was built to impress.Case in point: the property was closed for 57 days amid the coronavirus pandemic after visitors like the press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil's Chargé d'Affaires Ambassador Nestor Forster tested positive for the coronavirus in March.Here's a look inside the sprawling complex, which was built in the early 20th century, where the Trumps have hosted opulent holiday parties and watched Super Bowls alongside members of the exclusive private club.Read MoreTrump says FBI accessed his safe during raid at Mar-a-Lago: 'They even broke into my safe!'Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump said the FBI went through his safe when they executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. "They even broke into my safe!" Trump said in a Monday statement confirming the search.Read Full StoryThe FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago homeRepublican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference after the closing of Super Tuesday polls in a dozen statesJohn Moore/Getty ImagesFederal agents descended on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida on Monday, Trump announced in a statement.The former president denounced the raid as politically motivated, although he himself appointed the FBI's director, Christopher Wray.Read Full StoryRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 9th, 2022

Live updates: Trump"s Mar-a-Lago home subject to an FBI search warrant

Former President Donald Trump confirmed that the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Trump was out of state when federal agents raided his property in Florida. Donald Trump answers questions from reporters after making a video call to the troops stationed worldwide at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on December 24, 2019.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images The FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. Trump released a statement about the raid. Follow our live coverage below. Republicans rail against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the FBI to be destroyed and defundedRepublican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were among several Republican lawmakers calling for the FBI to be destroyed or defunded.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe far-right faction of the Republican party is up in arms about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the agency to be defunded and destroyed. Trump ally and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of the first to tweet her disapproval of the search, posting on Twitter: "DEFUND THE FBI!"Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert tweeted that she wanted the GOP to "set up a Select Committee to investigate the FBI's politically-motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago and on ALL the fraudulent persecution of President Trump from our government."House Republicans' calls to defund and destroy a law enforcement organization stands in contrast to legislation their party introduced in May 2021 to "back the blue" in opposition to a progressive push to defund the police. As recently as May 2022, top-ranking Republicans like Rep. Elise Stefanik were still pushing the "back the blue" slogan — something that both Greene and Boebert have themselves staunchly supported.READ MORELawyers received instructions to secure Trump's document room months before the FBI search at Mar-a-LagoFormer President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on April 2, 2022, near Washington, Michigan.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesMonths before the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence, former President Donald Trump's lawyers recieved instructions to "secure the room" in which he stored his documents, sources told CNN.The sources told CNN Trump aides added a padlock to his basement after investigators met with his lawyers at the Florida resort.Read MoreEric Trump says he was the 'guy who got the call' that the FBI was executing a search warrant at Mar-a-LagoEric Trump said on Monday night that he was the one who informed his father Mar-a-Lago was being searched.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesTrump — speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity — said he was "the guy that got the call this morning." "I called my father and let him know that it happened," Trump said. "So I was involved in this all day." After the search, Eric Trump complained to Hannity that he thought there is "no family in American history that has taken more arrows in the back than the Trump family." "Every day, we get another subpoena," Trump said. "That's what this is about today, to have 30 FBI agents — actually, more than that —descend on Mar-a-Lago give absolutely, you know, no notice. Go through the gate, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet. You know, they broke into a safe. He didn't even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break." READ FULL STORYFeds likely obtained 'pulverizing' amount of evidence ahead of searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, legal experts sayFormer President Donald Trump speaks at a "Save America" rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.AP Photo/Morry GashFor months, as new details emerged about the end of the Trump administration, the Justice Department confronted criticism over its slow, cautious approach to investigating the former president.Again and again, Attorney General Merrick Garland met that criticism with what has almost become his personal mantra: The Justice Department, he says, will follow the "facts and the law."On Monday, the facts and the law led FBI agents to former President Donald Trump's home.Read Full StoryTrump's 2024 rivals are swooping in to support him, claiming the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is politically-motivatedFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis — largely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals for the GOP presidential ticket in 2024 — tweeted in support of the former president.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesTrump's potential rivals for a 2024 ticket quickly came to his defense on Monday night after the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely thought of to be one of Trump's key rivals in a 2024 GOP primary, tweeted his support for the former president around an hour after Trump's statement about the FBI search dropped on Truth Social. "The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime's political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," DeSantis tweeted, adding that he thought the US was becoming a "banana republic."DeSantis was referencing an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden's finances. Biden has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.READ FULL STORYTrump supporters protest the execution of a search warrant against the former president outside Mar-a-Lago and FBI headquartersSupporters of former President Donald Trump hold flags in front of his home at Mar-A-Lago on August 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The FBI raided the home to retrieve classified White House documents.Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty ImagesAfter the FBI executed a search warrant on Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, supporters of the former president gathered outside the Florida resort and FBI headquarters to protest.Though it was initially unclear which of several pending investigations into the former president the warrant was related to, ABC News cited sources saying it was in connection to 15 boxes of potentially classified documents Trump took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency. Read Full StoryTrump was perched in Trump Tower as he decried 'unauthorized raid on my home' at Mar-a-Lago resort: CNNTrump Tower in ManhattanSpencer Platt / Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump was in the comfort of his Trump Tower in New York City as federal agents executed a search warrant on his home in Mar-A-Lago, Florida, according to CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins.The search warrant was carried out in the early hours of Monday morning and was first reported by Florida Politics. Trump confirmed the search warrant in a statement, calling it an "unauthorized raid on my home.""Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," his statement said. "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate."Read Full StoryThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home until the former president announced it on social mediaFormer President Donald Trump speaks to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty ImagesThe Biden White House was unaware that the FBI was going to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, White House officials said.The former president accused the bureau of prosecutorial misconduct in a statement and suggested the search was part of a politically motivated plot to stop him from running for president in 2024.A senior White House official told CBS News' Ed O'Keefe that the Biden administration wasn't made aware of the search warrant until Trump released his statement about it."No advance knowledge," the official said. "Some learned from old media, some from social media."Read Full StoryDonald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was searched by the FBI. Take a look inside his exclusive resort that the public never sees.Donald Trump outside the entrance of Mar-a-Lago on December 21, 2016.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesDuring former President Donald Trump's time in the White House, his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach presidency exclusive resort was often referred to as "the winter White House."Now, it's just his house.Following the end of his presidential term, Trump decamped to the ornate resort. Mar-a-Lago has hosted a number of high-powered visitors over the years, as it has seemingly always served as the Trump family's gilded weekend getaway. Mar-a-Lago has served as a lavish backdrop to host important dignitaries with its elaborately decorated halls. It was built to impress.Case in point: the property was closed for 57 days amid the coronavirus pandemic after visitors like the press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil's Chargé d'Affaires Ambassador Nestor Forster tested positive for the coronavirus in March.Here's a look inside the sprawling complex, which was built in the early 20th century, where the Trumps have hosted opulent holiday parties and watched Super Bowls alongside members of the exclusive private club.Read MoreTrump says FBI accessed his safe during raid at Mar-a-Lago: 'They even broke into my safe!'Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesFormer President Donald Trump said the FBI went through his safe when they executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. "They even broke into my safe!" Trump said in a Monday statement confirming the search.Read Full StoryThe FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago homeRepublican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference after the closing of Super Tuesday polls in a dozen statesJohn Moore/Getty ImagesFederal agents descended on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida on Monday, Trump announced in a statement.The former president denounced the raid as politically motivated, although he himself appointed the FBI's director, Christopher Wray.Read Full StoryRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 9th, 2022

Watch: Warrantless ATF Agents Show Up At Man"s Home To Perform Gun Inventory

Watch: Warrantless ATF Agents Show Up At Man's Home To Perform Gun Inventory A Delaware man was stunned when two Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents and a state trooper rang his doorbell and asked if they could do an inventory of seven of his legally-obtained firearms.  The gun owner has remained anonymous, but describes himself as a law-abiding citizen and small business owner. He captured doorbell camera video of the unsettling incident and shared the video and his account of the incident with Armed American News: “I was embarrassed. My neighbors saw the whole thing -- guys in these police vests standing in my yard. I was really uncomfortable. I felt really confused, like I was in some way being accused of something even though I didn’t commit a crime. It was quite embarrassing." In a screen shot from a Delaware gun owner's doorbell video, ATF agents and a state trooper ask to perform a surprise inventory of his firearms (via Armed American News)  One of the ATF agents explained the surprise inspection was prompted by the gun owner simply having simultaneously purchased multiple firearms:  “When you purchase more than two guns at a time, it generates a multiple-sales report and it comes to us and we have to check them out...There’s an email from the federal side saying, 'Can you make sure this guy’s got his guns?' " The state trooper explained the agents were trying to police "straw purchases" -- the purchase of firearms with the intent to sell them to someone who's prohibited from buying a firearm, or otherwise doesn't want to go through a background check or have their name associated with a purchase. It's a felony offense.  Though they didn't have a warrant, the agents implied that if the gun owner didn't produce his weapons for inspection, it wouldn't be the end of the matter: "We can look at them and write which ones you just bought, so we can save a trip from coming back,” one of them said.  Even as the ATF agents reassured the gun owner, they added to the authoritarian flavor by bringing up an apparent recent traffic stop: "You did nothing wrong – absolutely zero. I noticed you were stopped in Philly, though, with one of your guns?” The reference to nearby Philadelphia seems to confirm these surprise inspections are part of the Biden administration's crackdown on the so-called "Iron Pipeline," a term used to describe the trafficking of firearms legally purchased in the South and then transported north for illegal resale along the I-95 corridor.  ATF agents and a #Delaware state officer showed up to a man’s house without a warrant demanding to see his #firearms. #2A pic.twitter.com/DKuRd8UtKt — Sarah Fields (@SarahisCensored) July 20, 2022 When the gun owner said he had the weapons in his safe, an ATF agent asked him to unload them and bring them out so the agents could check the serial numbers against their records. "All I'm doing is verifying that you have it...you got two different purchases. If you have them, I'm outta here," he said.  The gun owner, who'd purchased seven weapons since January, decided to consent to the request, telling Armed American News:  "I knew they couldn’t come in, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to get put on some watch list. We just got new gun laws here. I didn’t want them coming back again. I felt like they were invading my privacy.”  Montana Congressman Matt Rosendale wants the ATF to explain their actions. He told the Washington Times:   “I’m extremely concerned by the reports of a surprise and unwarranted firearms inspection conducted by the ATF. This incident occurred the same day Steve Dettelbach was sworn in to head the ATF, and it is exactly the kind of action I was concerned about under his leadership. ATF agents did not have a search warrant, and they had to rely on pressuring the homeowner for consent.”  Responding to an inquiry from Washington Times reporter Kerry Picket, the ATF said , “We are unable to comment on the details of any ongoing investigations; however, interviews are an entirely appropriate part of the investigative process for any law enforcement agency.” The gun owner produced one rifle for the ATF to inspect. Apparently having quickly convinced themselves that they weren't dealing with a gun-runner, the agents checked the serial number, skipped the rest of the inventory, apologized for the inconvenience and went off to the next stop on their 2022 summer tyranny tour.   Tyler Durden Mon, 07/25/2022 - 12:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 25th, 2022

A former nurse at embattled telehealth startup Cerebral said that in her experience, nurse practitioners were handing out antipsychotic medicines like "candy"

Workers and internal documents suggest the SoftBank-backed online mental-health provider put growth ahead of patient safety. A box of medications Cerebral medical providers can prescribe.Cerebral SoftBank-backed telehealth startup Cerebral is under federal scrutiny for its prescribing practices. 30 interviews and over 2,000 documents suggest the company put growth ahead of patient safety. A Cerebral spokesperson said the reports represented a small fraction of patients and that the former nurse's comment is baseless. An online mental health startup that launched just ahead of the pandemic appears to have cast aside clinical psychiatry standards in the pursuit of growth, an investigation by Insider's Shelby Livingston and Blake Dodge has found.Cerebral, the SoftBank-backed telehealth company that raised $462 million in funding, is currently under investigation by federal agencies including the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Trade Commission.Now, a trove of internal documents including more than 2,000 incident reports and interviews with more than 30 current and former employees paint a detailed picture of Cerebral's business and medical practices.A spokesperson for Cerebral, Dan Childs, said in a statement to Insider that the volume of incident reports should be placed in context with the size of the company's patient population.  The reports are from a seven-month period in 2021, and Childs would not provide the total number of patients Cerebral treated in 2021. The startup had more than 210,000 active patients across 50 states and the UK at the end of March 2022, according to a presentation by Cerebral leadership obtained by Insider.Under a temporary rule change due to the pandemic, healthcare providers have been allowed to prescribe certain controlled substances, such as Adderall, after an online visit, without an in-person consultation first.The investigation also found the company relied heavily on hiring family nurse practitioners, who are trained in a wide range of primary-care services. Many FNPs were assigned to treat patients with serious conditions outside their training, the documents and workers said.Prescriptions of controlled substances ballooned, ranging from around 7,800 to more than 13,000 per week earlier this year, according to company documents.A psychiatric nurse practitioner who formerly worked for Cerebral told Insider they commonly saw Cerebral clinicians incorrectly treat conditions such as mood swings or depression."FNPs will just throw antipsychotics around like it's fucking candy — and it's not," the nurse said. "These are very serious medications with very serious side effects."Childs said this comment is baseless and unsupported by any evidence.Cerebral nurses in some instances also prescribed addictive medication to some patients who were already on medications like buprenorphine and Suboxone, resulting in potentially lethal drug combinations, according to several incident reports."The synergistic effects between these drugs slows respiration and heart rate, puts them to sleep, and they don't wake up again," said Dr. Anna Lembke, a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine at Stanford University's school of medicine, describing the worst outcome.Childs said the company conducts weekly drug screenings to monitor and prevent this.An incident report quoted a Cerebral patient as saying, "You're sending me powerful neurological modifiers in a happy-colored box filled with Easter egg grass without doing the due diligence required to make sure none of these agents could kill me."One former senior employee told Insider that cofounder and former CEO Kyle Robertson mostly didn't attend meetings about compliance matters."Kyle doesn't care," the employee said. "If it's not about profit, he just doesn't want to hear it." When reached for comment independently, Robertson deferred to his lawyer, who did not return Insider's request for comment.Leaders who did attend compliance meetings, including cofounder and then-chief medical officer Dr. David Mou, would typically spend a just a few minutes reviewing incident reports before growing overwhelmed and defensive, two former senior employees told Insider.Childs said the reports are monitored by various teams at Cerebral and used to identify areas of improvement.When urgent patient-safety matters were raised, the executives refused to investigate, the former senior employees said.Read Insider's investigation into Cerebral here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

Watch Live: Jan. 6 Panel Prime-Time "Show-Trial"

Watch Live: Jan. 6 Panel Prime-Time 'Show-Trial' Watch the fully-produced circus live here (due to start at 2000ET) As WaPo reports, while the committee is bipartisan, both Republicans on it are fierce Trump critics. McCarthy (Calif.) pulled his handpicked members from the panel last year after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vetoed two of his picks. Many of the details of the proceedings have been kept secret, but Politico reported Tuesday morning that the proceedings will include testimony from US Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards and a documentarian named Nick Quested who was embedded with the Proud Boys during the attack, but it’s unclear what the focus of his testimony will be. In fact, while expectations have been set for a 'smoking gun', 'gotcha' moment for Trump - just like Schiff and his pals did with Russia collusion - WaPo reports that committee aides sought to temper expectations of any shocking revelations during Thursday’s hearing and instead framed the session as an opening argument. “[Thursday] night is connecting the dots,” said a second aide. “A lot of this has been reported and bits and pieces of it have been shared. But our aim is to tie all that together in a comprehensive narrative and to show how it’s a pattern that started before the election and went all the way through January 6.” We look forward to seeing the ratings for this must-watch TV... sigh. *  *  * As we detailed earlier, the Jan. 6 panel will use never-before-seen documentation and closed-door depositions on Thursday to present their grand unifying theory to connect former President Trump to the Capitol riot, as part of a broader effort to keep him in power. Tonight's televised 90-minute hearing, which begins at 8pm ET and is being produced by a former network television executive, will show that the Jan. 6 2021 attack on the Capitol was the result of a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden," a House Select Committee aide told reporters during a Thursday call. "And indeed, that President Donald Trump was at the center of that effort," the aide added. House Democrats will also feature live testimony from Nick Quested - a British documentarian who was creating a project about the Proud Boys and was present at a meeting between that group and the Oath Keepers, who participated in the Capitol breach. "You’re talking about two witnesses who were there at the very initial breach," said the aide. "We’re going to hear about their experiences from that day — particularly sort of what they heard, what they saw from the rioters." Democrats are expected to connect how the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers interacted with Trump's tweets on Reddit and other message boards, according to Axios, which pointed out two other 'areas of interest.' 1. Efforts by Trump and aides to destroy documents. Trump often tore up White House documents that should have been preserved as presidential records. Some of the presidential records sent to the Jan. 6 committee by the National Archives had been ripped up, then taped back together, the Washington Post reported. A committee witness testified that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows burned papers in his West Wing fireplace after meeting with a House Republican about challenging the 2020 election, the N.Y. Times and Politico reported. 2. Trump's consideration of invoking the Insurrection Act, a federal law that allows the president to deploy the military domestically. Committee members have studied how close Trump came to invoking the act immediately after the election and leading up to Jan. 6. -Axios Other witnesses include Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who was the first law enforcement officer injured on the day of the 'insurrection' attempt. Both Edwards and Quested, the documentarian, plan top recount their experiences - "particularly what they saw and heard from the rioters," said a committee aide. January 6 was the violent culmination of an extensive effort to overturn a presidential election. The American people know a lot about those events, but soon they will learn more, and see how close we came to losing our democracy. On Thursday, we will begin to tell that story. pic.twitter.com/hX6RAS9GFR — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 5, 2022 House Republicans, meanwhile, say that the Democrats' use of former ABC News president James Goldston on the presentation may have violated House rules. As the Epoch Times notes, in a letter (pdf) to the Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Committee on House Administration Chairperson Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), GOP lawmakers asked for confirmation that Goldston has been hired as an employee of the committee, and not as a consultant or in an “unofficial capacity.” The letter was signed by Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and others. It comes after Axios first reported Monday that the former network news executive had joined the committee as an “unannounced adviser” and is “busily producing Thursday’s 8 p.m. ET hearing as if it were a blockbuster investigative special.” Goldston has previously served as a producer for some of the network’s biggest news programs like “20/20,” “Nightline,” and “Good Morning America.” He left ABC in March. Citing congressional laws pertaining to committee staff, the lawmakers noted that a letter is required requesting approval of the Committee on House Administration regarding Goldston’s hiring, along with a signed contract agreement and resume. Under that same law, Goldston would be unable to commence work for the committee until the contract has been approved by the Committee on House Administration. “To our knowledge, the Committee has not received or considered such a request,” wrote the representatives. The GOP lawmakers also cited reports from CNN that Goldston is working with the select committee “to help produce their upcoming hearings” and “helping the committee with the planning of the hearings and their presentation.” They noted that the committees are allowed to “obtain temporary or intermittent services of individual consultants or organizations, to advise the Committee with respect to matters within its jurisdiction,” but that Goldston would not be able to act as an employee of the committee. “The Committee on House Administration will not approve a contract if the services to be provided by the consultant are the regular duties of Committee staff,” lawmakers wrote. “Planning, preparation, and production of hearings are unquestionably the ‘regular duties of Committee staff’.” Republican lawmakers also noted in their letter that Goldston would be barred from working for the Jan. 6 Committee free of charge, noting that such an arrangement would “violate House Rules and the House Ethics Manual regulations which clearly states that no logical distinction can be drawn between the private contribution of in-kind services and the private contribution of money.” Finally, the big question is: Could Trump face criminal charges? Inciting an insurrection or riot is a federal crime, but the Justice Department would have to charge him separately. That’s unlikely, according to Frederick Lawrence, a lecturer at the Georgetown University Law Center. Not only would prosecutors have to prove Trump intentionally whipped up his supporters, Lawrence said, but also that he intended for them to break into the Capitol, loot and cause bodily harm. A further complication is a 1969 Supreme Court precedent that shields inflammatory speech under the First Amendment unless it’s aimed at “imminent” lawless behavior. Apart from what Trump said in his speech, prosecutors could take an alternative path if they uncover evidence that the former president or his advisers were involved in planning the riot. Whether such conspiracy charges are viable would depend on the nature of the plotting and how close Trump and his inner circle was to it. “It would all turn on who was in the room and what they are prepared to testify to,” Lawrence said. More than 850 people have been criminally charged in connection with the riot at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 by a mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters. Most are accused of conventional offenses such as trespassing and assault, while 16 members of two right-wing groups are facing a more exotic charge: seditious conspiracy. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/09/2022 - 19:52.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 9th, 2022

Tonight: Jan. 6 Panel To Accuse Trump Of "Coordinated, Multi-Step Effort" To Overturn Election

Tonight: Jan. 6 Panel To Accuse Trump Of 'Coordinated, Multi-Step Effort' To Overturn Election The Jan. 6 panel will use never-before-seen documentation and closed-door depositions on Thursday to present their grand unifying theory to connect former President Trump to the Capitol riot, as part of a broader effort to keep him in power. Tonight's televised 90-minute hearing, which begins at 8pm ET and is being produced by a former network television executive, will show that the Jan. 6 2021 attack on the Capitol was the result of a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden," a House Select Committee aide told reporters during a Thursday call. "And indeed, that President Donald Trump was at the center of that effort," the aide added. House Democrats will also feature live testimony from Nick Quested - a British documentarian who was creating a project about the Proud Boys and was present at a meeting between that group and the Oath Keepers, who participated in the Capitol breach. "You’re talking about two witnesses who were there at the very initial breach," said the aide. "We’re going to hear about their experiences from that day — particularly sort of what they heard, what they saw from the rioters." Democrats are expected to connect how the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers interacted with Trump's tweets on Reddit and other message boards, according to Axios, which pointed out two other 'areas of interest.' 1. Efforts by Trump and aides to destroy documents. Trump often tore up White House documents that should have been preserved as presidential records. Some of the presidential records sent to the Jan. 6 committee by the National Archives had been ripped up, then taped back together, the Washington Post reported. A committee witness testified that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows burned papers in his West Wing fireplace after meeting with a House Republican about challenging the 2020 election, the N.Y. Times and Politico reported. 2. Trump's consideration of invoking the Insurrection Act, a federal law that allows the president to deploy the military domestically. Committee members have studied how close Trump came to invoking the act immediately after the election and leading up to Jan. 6. -Axios Other witnesses include Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who was the first law enforcement officer injured on the day of the 'insurrection' attempt. Both Edwards and Quested, the documentarian, plan top recount their experiences - "particularly what they saw and heard from the rioters," said a committee aide. January 6 was the violent culmination of an extensive effort to overturn a presidential election. The American people know a lot about those events, but soon they will learn more, and see how close we came to losing our democracy. On Thursday, we will begin to tell that story. pic.twitter.com/hX6RAS9GFR — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 5, 2022 House Republicans, meanwhile, say that the Democrats' use of former ABC News president James Goldston on the presentation may have violated House rules. As the Epoch Times notes: In a letter (pdf) to the Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Committee on House Administration Chairperson Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), GOP lawmakers asked for confirmation that Goldston has been hired as an employee of the committee, and not as a consultant or in an “unofficial capacity.” The letter was signed by Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and others. It comes after Axios first reported Monday that the former network news executive had joined the committee as an “unannounced adviser” and is “busily producing Thursday’s 8 p.m. ET hearing as if it were a blockbuster investigative special.” Goldston has previously served as a producer for some of the network’s biggest news programs like “20/20,” “Nightline,” and “Good Morning America.” He left ABC in March. Citing congressional laws pertaining to committee staff, the lawmakers noted that a letter is required requesting approval of the Committee on House Administration regarding Goldston’s hiring, along with a signed contract agreement and resume. Under that same law, Goldston would be unable to commence work for the committee until the contract has been approved by the Committee on House Administration. “To our knowledge, the Committee has not received or considered such a request,” wrote the representatives. The GOP lawmakers also cited reports from CNN that Goldston is working with the select committee “to help produce their upcoming hearings” and “helping the committee with the planning of the hearings and their presentation.” They noted that the committees are allowed to “obtain temporary or intermittent services of individual consultants or organizations, to advise the Committee with respect to matters within its jurisdiction,” but that Goldston would not be able to act as an employee of the committee. “The Committee on House Administration will not approve a contract if the services to be provided by the consultant are the regular duties of Committee staff,” lawmakers wrote. “Planning, preparation, and production of hearings are unquestionably the ‘regular duties of Committee staff’.” Republican lawmakers also noted in their letter that Goldston would be barred from working for the Jan. 6 Committee free of charge, noting that such an arrangement would “violate House Rules and the House Ethics Manual regulations which clearly states that no logical distinction can be drawn between the private contribution of in-kind services and the private contribution of money.” Tyler Durden Thu, 06/09/2022 - 12:45.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 9th, 2022

Check out these 45 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingDeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

Check out these 44 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Deploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 18th, 2022

Mexican Drug Cartels Launched 9,000 Drone Incursions Into US Airspace 

Mexican Drug Cartels Launched 9,000 Drone Incursions Into US Airspace  Border security continues to suffer significantly as Mexican drug cartels conducted more than 9,000 drone incursions into US airspace in 2021, Judicial Watch revealed this week.  Judicial Watch spoke with a senior Homeland Security, interviewed federal officials at the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas, and even filed a Freedom of Information Act request with CBP to investigate the use of drones by Mexican drug cartels to surveil federal, state, county, and city agencies and conduct nefarious activities on the border. CBP officials on the ground told the conservative activist group that cartels used drones for surveillance during human smuggling and drug trafficking operations into the US. They said the drones, many of which can be readily bought off the internet or at a big box retailer, are being used to spot gaps in the border coverage, as well as create diversions in certain areas to confuse CBP agents while smugglers move high-value assets across the border in other locations. Brandon Judd, the union president representing 20,000 CBP agents, told Judicial Watch the drones are also "dropping fentanyl" packages into the US.  "They fly into certain locations, drop them to the ground and fentanyl is taken off of them and they take back off into Mexico," Judd said.  Readers may recall that we've covered cartels flying drugs into the US via these drones over the years.  Judd said the drones aren't "military-grade" and "can be purchased anywhere." He didn't mention which drone brands are widely used by cartels, but one can only assume it's Chinese drone maker DJI.  One concerning topic not covered by Judicial Watch is the militarization of consumer drones. We noted earlier this year that a modified consumer drone went on a bombing raid against a rival drug cartel in Mexico. The video from the drone was absolutely stunning and mimicked the ones used in Syria by terror organizations. This is alarming because what's to say that these drones could be used against CBP and or other US personnel protecting the border.  The fact that Mexican drug cartel drones are penetrating US airspace represents a significant failure by the Biden administration and could be a national security threat.  This revelation comes as the Biden Administration lifts the Title 42 public health authority, and an unmanageable number of illegal immigrants could soon pour across the border.  Tyler Durden Fri, 04/15/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytApr 15th, 2022

Jassy Touts Explosive Pandemic Growth In First Investor Letter As Sales Finally Revert In 2021

Jassy Touts Explosive Pandemic Growth In First Investor Letter As Sales Finally Revert In 2021 Update (0940ET): During his 'exclusive' interview with Squawk Box's Andrew Ross Sorkin on Thursday, Jassy touted the tremendous effort that Amazon applied to expanding its e-commerce operations during the pandemic. "We had a fulfillment network we built over 25 years that we had to double over 24 months," says $AMZN CEO @ajassy on growth during the pandemic. "We hired about 300,000 people last year alone ... even though we hired a lot of people we couldn't hire all the people we needed." pic.twitter.com/d06RbVD1Yq — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 14, 2022 He also claimed that it looks like "somebody else" is going to own Twitter. "it sounds like somebody else is going to own @Twitter."@ajassy tells @andrewrsorkin when asked if $AMZN has interest in owning $TWTR. pic.twitter.com/s7QhPRYfrw — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 14, 2022 During the early days of the pandemic, Amazon was responsible for absorbing costs. "In the early part of the pandemic ... right or wrong we just absorbed all those costs for sellers in part because we thought some of those would attenuate," says $AMZN CEO @ajassy on raising costs for sellers. "At a certain point you can't keep absorbing all those costs." pic.twitter.com/objYR7v0PW — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 14, 2022 He also claimed the federal minimum wage should be higher. "It's high time that change too," says $AMZN CEO @ajassy on the federal minimum wage. "I don't know the exact number but below $7.50 feels very wrong. I think it should be closer to that $14 minimum wage that we started a few years ago." pic.twitter.com/4NjV6TcM13 — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 14, 2022 But he opposes unions at Amazon. "We have a lot of things that we have supported the administration on and agree with them on ... we won't agree on everything though," says $AMZN CEO @ajassy on @POTUS comments about unions at Amazon. pic.twitter.com/KHUz7BvknN — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 14, 2022 He added that employees would probably "be a lot better off" if they didn't join a union. "It's employees' choice whether or not they want to join a union. We happen to think they're better off not doing so," says $AMZN CEO @ajassy on unions. "Regardless of how it all evolves we just won't compromise the customer experience. That for us is paramount." pic.twitter.com/WmaeSDWIZG — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 14, 2022 While Amazon has no plans to accept cryptocurrency in the near future, it's possible..."down the road." "I expect that #NFTs will continue to grow very significantly. We're not probably close to adding #crpyto as a payment mechanism in our retail business. But I do believe over time you'll see crypto become and it's possible ... it's possible down the road," says $AMZN CEO @ajassy. pic.twitter.com/6q6HVolzgU — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 14, 2022 * * * Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has just released his first letter to investors since taking over as CEO last year. In it, Amazon's first post-Bezos CEO assesses the company's growth during the second year of the COVID pandemic, a period of unprecedented growth for the company's e-commerce operation. In the letter, Jassy revealed that Amazon's e-commerce business boomed during the pandemic as management oversaw three years' worth of projected growth in the span of about 15 months. In last year's letter, Bezos (in his final missive to investors) promised that Amazon would become "Earth's Best Employer" as the company struggled to meet its workforce needs amid an unprecedented labor crunch that has persisted to this day. Notably, earlier this month employees at a Staten Island Amazon warehouse voted to unionize in a landmark labor victory that the company is aggressively combating. In Thursday's letter, Jassy highlighted a handful of issues facing the company, including the supply chain breakdown, rising fuel crises and ongoing hiring difficulties. Here are a few key takeaways from the letter: Jassy  noted improvements in the company's fulfillment network: "We spent Amazon’s first 25 years building a very large fulfillment network, and then had to double it in the last 24 months to meet customer demand." Rapid sales growth continued through Q1 2021 before slowing during the remainder of the year as COVID restrictions eased and people started venturing out again: "In 2020, Amazon’s North America and International Consumer revenue grew 39% YoY on the very large 2019 revenue base of $245 billion; and, this extraordinary growth extended into 2021 with revenue increasing 43% YoY in Q1 2021. These are astounding numbers. We realized the equivalent of three years’ forecasted growth in about 15 months." In the early 2000s, it took AMZN an average of 18 hours to get an item through its fulfillment centers and on the right truck for shipment. Now, it takes them just two. Supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic "were disrupted in ways none of us had seen previously." They had hoped that the major impact from COVID-19 would recede as 2021 drew to a close, but then omicron reared its head in December, which had worldwide ramifications, including impacting people’s ability to work." After AWS growth slowed to 30% year over year in 2020 on a $35 billion annual revenue base in 2019, growth re-accelerated to 37% in 2021. AMZN's growth by the numbers: In 2004, they had 7 fulfillment centers in the US and 4 in other parts of the world. By the end of 2021, that number had grown to 253 fulfillment centers, 110 sortation centers, and 467 delivery stations (which connect its fulfillment centers like waystations for the vans that make deliveries) in North America, with an additional 157 fulfillment centers, 58 sortation centers. Additionally, they had 588 delivery stations worldwide, with a delivery network that grew to more than 260,000 drivers. AMZN Air cargo fleet has more than 100 aircraft. This has represented a capital investment of over $100 billion and countless iterations and small process improvements by over a million Amazonians in the last decade and a half. After starting with the kindle in 2007, Amazon's devices have grown to include FireTV, Alexa/Echo, Ring, Blink, and Astro (plus the ultimately unsuccessful Amazon phone). Wages: after raising its minimum wage to $15 (2x the federal minimum) the average starting hourly salary is currently over $18. The company offers very robust benefits, including full health insurance, a 401K plan, up to 20 weeks of parental leave, and full tuition coverage for associates who want to get a college education. Here are the components of Amazon's approach: Hire the Right Builders: We disproportionately index in hiring builders. We think of builders as people who like to invent, who look at customer experiences, dissect what doesn’t work well about them, and seek to reinvent them. We want people who keep asking why can’t it be done? We want people who like to experiment and tinker, and who realize launch is the starting line, not the finish line. Organize Builders into Teams: That Are as Separable and Autonomous as Possible: It’s hard for teams to be deep in what customers care about in multiple areas. It’s also hard to spend enough time on the new initiatives when there’s resource contention with the more mature businesses; the surer bets usually win out. Single-threaded teams will know their customers’ needs better, spend all their waking work hours inventing for them, and develop context and tempo to keep iterating quickly. Give Teams the Right Tools and Permission to Move Fast: Speed is not pre-ordained. It’s a leadership choice. It has trade-offs, but you can’t wake up one day and start moving fast. It requires having the right tools to experiment and build fast (a major part of why we started AWS), allowing teams to make two-way door decisions themselves, and setting an expectation that speed matters. And, it does. Speed is disproportionally important to every business at every stage of its evolution. Those that move slower than their competitive peers fall away over time. You Need Blind Faith, But No False Hope: This is a lyric from one of my favorite Foo Fighters songs (“Congregation”). When you invent, you come up with new ideas that people will reject because they haven’t been done before (that’s where the blind faith comes in), but it’s also important to step back and make sure you have a viable plan that’ll resonate with customers (avoid false hope). We’re lucky that we have builders who challenge each other, feedback loops that give us access to customer feedback, and a product development process of working backwards from the customer where having to write a Press Release (to flesh out the customer benefits) and a Frequently Asked Questions document (to detail how we’d build it) helps us have blind faith without false hope (at least usually). Define a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP), and Be Willing to Iterate Fast: Figuring out where to draw the line for launch is one of the most difficult decisions teams must make. Often, teams wait too long, and insist on too many bells and whistles, before launching. And, they miss the first mover advantage or opportunity to build mindshare in fast-moving market segments before well-executing peers get too far ahead. The launch product must be good enough that you believe it’ll be loved from the get-go (why we call it a “Minimum Loveable Product” vs. a “Minimum Viable Product”), but in newer market segments, teams are often better off getting this MLP to customers and iterating quickly thereafter. Adopt a Long-term Orientation: We’re sometimes criticized at Amazon for not shutting much down. It’s true that we have a longer tolerance for our investments than most companies. But, we know that transformational invention takes multiple years, and if you’re making big bets that you believe could substantially change customer experience (and your company), you have to be in it for the long-haul or you’ll give up too quickly. Brace Yourself for Failure: If you invent a lot, you will fail more often than you wish. Nobody likes this part, but it comes with the territory. When it’s clear that we’ve launched something that won’t work, we make sure we’ve learned from what didn’t go well, and secure great landing places for team members who delivered well—or your best people will hesitate to work on new initiatives. Meanwhile, Amazon's year-over-year sales percentage growth slowed in 2021 to 22%, down from a staggering 38% in 2020. Operating income climbed to nearly $25 billion. Interestingly, the company also reported a drop in free cash flow. Jassy followed up the release of the letter with an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box where he reviewed many of the same details from the letter. Read the letter below: Amazon AR2021 by Joseph Adinolfi on Scribd Tyler Durden Thu, 04/14/2022 - 09:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 14th, 2022

FBI Memos Suggest Agency Had Moles In Media

FBI Memos Suggest Agency Had Moles In Media Authored by Ken Silva via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Investigator Roger Charles was combing through records of the FBI’s Oklahoma City bombing investigation more than a decade ago, when he discovered a memo suggesting that someone working at ABC News provided a tip to the bureau a day after the deadly April 19, 1995, domestic terrorist attack. The FBI seal is attached to a podium at a news conference at FBI Headquarters in Washington on June 14, 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) It appeared that a senior ABC News journalist had been doubling as an FBI informant. The memo made a few headlines in 2011, but quickly passed through the news cycle with little impact and hardly any coverage by major outlets. However, Charles’s discovery stoked the curiosity of his friend, attorney Jesse Trentadue. The Utah resident was suing the FBI for records related to his brother’s murder, and began filing requests in 2012 to see if the bureau had other informants in the media, as well as places such as congressional offices, courts, churches, other government agencies, and the White House. Trentadue said the U.S. government’s response shocked him. “I thought they’d come back and say, ‘We would never do that because that would be illegal and unconstitutional,’” he said. “Instead, they came back and said, ‘Yeah, we do that. We have manuals on that, but you can’t have them because of national security.’” The FBI fought against Trentadue for years in federal court to keep its manuals secret, and was ultimately successful. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2015. However, Trentadue said the litigation helped him piece together what he calls the FBI’s “sensitive informant program.” According to his lawsuit over the matter, this program is used to place informants in the national media, among other institutions. The FBI has not responded to questions from The Epoch Times for this story, including about Trentadue’s description of the sensitive informant program. The bureau has defended the use of informants in sensitive institutions as a necessary to root out corruption and other crime, while former director J. Edgar Hoover deemed such tactics as necessary to fight communism. But in the wake of a recently released, scathing internal FBI audit—which found special agents breaking their own rules more than twice per reviewed case when investigating sensitive institutions—some lawmakers are beginning to question the bureau’s sweeping investigatory powers. “It has been nearly two weeks since this information was revealed, and the FBI has thus far declined to comment or provide additional transparency,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in a March 31 letter. “I believe the Senate would benefit from hearing directly from Inspector General Horowitz, FBI Director Wray, as well as any division directors with knowledge of the audit or the errors detailed in it.” Trentadue’s Records According to Utah attorney Trentadue, the redacted FBI audit only begins to scratch the surface of the bureau’s purported wrongdoing. He would know. His litigation against the U.S. government, spanning four decades, has unearthed numerous revelations about the FBI, including details about undercover right-wing infiltration operations and previously hidden databases. One of Trentadue’s findings that hasn’t received media coverage—until now—pertains to sensitive informants. Documents Trentadue provided to The Epoch Times included the initial FBI memo Charles discovered about the informant within ABC, as well as previously unpublicized memos written by special agents receiving information from ABC and NBC. Among those is a September 1996 FBI memo, reporting that a “confidential source who works for a news agency [learned] that ABC News was going to air an expose in the next few days concerning the OKC bombing.” “ABC will be interviewing a rescue worker who is going to state that ATF had stored a large amount of explosives in the MURRAH BUILDING, which contributed to the explosion. The rescue worker is also going to advise that evidence of these explosives was found by rescue workers, and this particular rescue worker had contacted the FBI with this information, and was told by the FBI to keep quiet,” the FBI memo says. “This rescue worker is currently upset because nothing has been done with this information and he feels the FBI has attempted to cover up the information.” The September 1996 memo identifies the person at the news agency as a “confidential source,” rather than referring to the person by a serial number—suggesting that this source may be different than the aforementioned informant. Trentadue said he didn’t know for sure, nor did he know whether the ABC report referenced in the memo was ever published. Then, there’s a series of FBI memos that also serve as the subject of controversy in another Trentadue lawsuit. These memos describe FBI agents who were allegedly trying to sell surveillance footage of the Oklahoma City bombing to NBC. No arrests resulted from the matter, and the U.S. government says the surveillance footage discussed in the memos does not exist. Trentadue is seeking to prove the existence of the footage in a separate, ongoing lawsuit against the FBI that has been sealed for the past seven years. Putting aside the surveillance footage controversy, the memos show that the FBI was receiving information from within NBC. The first tip from NBC came on Oct. 27, 1995, when a confidential source, whose identity is redacted, said the NBC show Dateline had been contacted by an attorney. According to the FBI memo, the attorney represented an FBI agent in Los Angeles who was seeking to sell surveillance footage for more than $1 million. “It was represented that the video tape would contain lapse photography of the arrival and then departure of a UPS truck. Then a Ryder truck pulls up and a male resembling Timothy McVeigh [sic] is seen exiting the driver’s side of the Ryder truck and then walking away,” the FBI memo says. “Next, a second male is seen exiting the passenger side of the Ryder truck and walking to the back of the truck. The second male then walks away in the same direction as the first male.” The FBI received five more tips through Nov. 7 about the matter—including someone offering to provide a prepublication copy of a story about “negotiations between an unknown Los Angeles Agent of the FBI and ‘Dateline,’” the memo said. Other records suggest that the FBI used reporters as sources of information—whether the reporter knew it or not. For instance, an April 25, 1995, FBI memo states that reporter Bob Norman, of the News Press, a daily newspaper in Florida, called the bureau to provide information. The FBI memo said Norman “advised” a special agent that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh had connections to Florida’s militia. But Norman, currently an active reporter who has recently written for the Florida Bulldog, said he was simply calling for comment on a story he was writing at the time. “I’m sure the agent wanted me to share my source material and, as his own report shows, I correctly refused to do so,” Norman said in a statement to The Epoch Times. The FBI memo indeed reflects that Norman declined to provide the bureau with a videotape—telling the special agent that “he was not convinced his superiors will approve of sharing this information with the FBI, and therefore he cannot provide a copy of the tapes or further information.” “While I disagree with the agent’s characterization of the reason for the call, this is what journalists do,” Norman said. “We present our found information to authorities in order to get confirmation, additional information, context, denials, etc. It is, in fact, an essential part of the fact-gathering process.” Along with the FBI memos about reporters, Trentadue provided a memo that suggests the FBI had advance knowledge of a new member joining McVeigh’s defense team. A special agent reported at the time that he received information from a confidential witness. Confidential witnesses differ from typical informants in that they often testify at trials. This particular confidential witness identified in the May 1995 memo provided information about a loan shark scam and a “special forces national convention” set to take place in Nevada that year. The confidential witness (CW) also provided information about McVeigh’s defense team, telling the FBI that a woman named Wilma Sparks was joining the team. “The CW advised that WILMA SPARKS is a close associate of the CW and that SPARKS is taking on the responsibility of investigating certain aspects of the investigation,” the memo said. “SPARKS advised the CW that although this was a distasteful assignment, she was willing to accept the assignment to ensure that the case against MCVEIGH will not be overturned due to incompetent counsel.” McVeigh’s lead defense counsel, Stephen Jones, declined to comment on the memo. Trentadue’s Court Case Trentadue used the FBI memos and other documents as evidence to support his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in 2012. At the time, Trentadue was seeking fully un-redacted copies of the FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), the FBI Confidential Human Source Validation Standards Manual, the FBI Confidential Human Source Policy Manual, and the FBI Confidential Human Source Policy Implementation Guide. The Utah attorney had received a few pages from those manuals that contained references to sensitive informants, but offered few details due to the heavy redactions. As part of his effort, Trentadue was seeking to conduct discovery. He wanted to know whether the FBI had informants in the courts, Congress, media, and other government agencies at any point since January 1995. He also sought information about how many sensitive informants the FBI had in each institution. The U.S. government resisted Trentadue’s efforts to conduct discovery at every turn. In email correspondence, prosecutors told him he had no legal standing. “This case is not one where you have asked the Court to declare an alleged ‘secret surveillance program’ illegal on any ground … nor have you sought to enjoin any activity that you allege any such program might be conducting,” the DOJ told him. “Instead, this case, like the numerous other FOIA cases that you have filed in this Court, is about nothing except for whether the FBI performed an adequate search for records responsive to your FOIA requests.” In a January 2013 motion for a Salt Lake City federal judge to order the FBI to answer his questions, Trentadue argued against the DOJ’s explanation. “The issue in this dispute between the parties is not the adequacy of the FBI’s search for the Manual. The FBI found the Manual,” Trentadue said in his motion, referring to an FBI book on using sensitive informants. “The issue for the Court to decide is whether the FOIA exemptions advanced by the FBI for withholding portions of the Manual apply and, even if they do apply, can those exemptions be lawfully asserted to conceal FBI activities that are unconstitutional and/or otherwise illegal? “Plaintiff submits that the answers to this two-part question are, ‘NO.’” However, federal judge Dale Kimball ruled in favor of the FBI in July 2013, writing in his decision that discovery is generally unavailable in FOIA litigation, and that he found no reason to deviate from that rule. In April 2014, the FBI moved for a summary judgment to end the lawsuit once and for all. FBI agents provided written declarations in support of the motion, articulating the bureau’s reasons for withholding information about sensitive informants. Eric Velez-Villar, then the assistant director of the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI), said revealing information in the manuals would compromise sources and methods for how the bureau handles informants. “The effectiveness of techniques involving undisclosed participation [by informants] is directly contingent upon the FBI keeping its involvement in such activities undisclosed,” Velez-Villar said. “The information was intended for an audience of FBI employees only.” As for information specific to sensitive investigations and informants, Velez-Villar said disclosing such policies would “disclose critical tools utilized by the FBI in its investigations and intelligence gathering efforts.” “Releasing the policies governing these sensitive investigative techniques and strategies would compound the harm of such a disclosure by also revealing how and when the FBI can/will utilize these tools,” he said. The FBI’s motion also included sworn statements from officials at the State Department and CIA, both agreeing that the sensitive informant manuals should be kept secret. The head of the CIA’s litigation support unit, Martha Lutz, said disclosing the FBI manuals could compromise CIA sources. “In this case, the FBI manual indicates certain traits or characteristics of FBI confidential human sources that should give rise to notification or coordination with CIA. By doing so, the manuals reveal the particular traits or characteristics that may be associated with CIA human sources, such as an individual’s national origin or travel habits,” Lutz said. “Publicly disclosing this information creates the risk that adversaries of the United States may gain insight into the traits and characteristics that CIA values in human sources.” Trentadue opposed the FBI’s motion for summary judgment and the two parties duked it out at a November 2014 hearing over the matter. But after reviewing the unredacted manuals in private, Judge Kimball granted the FBI’s national security exemptions in June 2015. Kimball noted that government agencies are “entitled to considerable deference” when they exercise national security or law enforcement exemptions. Unless there’s evidence of bad faith by government actors, then the courts have no power to make government agencies disclose secret information, he said. In this case—unlike in another, ongoing FOIA lawsuit between Trentadue and the FBI, where there’s an ongoing witness tampering investigation taking place—Kimball said he found no evidence of bad faith on the part of the U.S. government. “Having conducted a thorough in camera review of the documents (or portions thereof) withheld by the agency, in conjunction with the agency’s claimed reasons for so withholding the information, the court concludes that the claimed exemptions are valid,” the judge said. “The FBI has demonstrated … that it has withheld sensitive information because that information logically falls within the scope of the claimed exemption.” Kimball ordered the case closed on June 9, 2015. Trentadue’s Findings Trentadue argues that his FOIA litigation, coupled with the FBI memos he’s procured, demonstrates that the FBI has much to hide about its use of sensitive informants. “Yes, the FBI does need sensitive informants to, as you say, investigate corruption and potential violent groups.  Yes, the FBI should have manuals to make sure that these are done legally. But the key is that I asked for manuals governing ‘recruitment/management’ of specific informants, which FBI produced but redacted,” he told this reporter. “It is not a case of someone coming to the FBI offering to expose corruption. The bureau is recruiting spies.” Other FOIA and legal experts tend to agree. “My guess is that he’s probably right,” said Sean Dunagan, senior investigator at the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch. “It’s just very difficult to reach any conclusions with moral certitude, based on what the FBI didn’t hand over.” Attorney and author Alexander Charns, who chronicled how J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI infiltrated the federal judiciary in his book, “Cloak and Gavel: FBI Wiretaps, Bugs, Informers, and the Supreme Court,” said history supports Trentadue’s claims, and that Congress should look into the matter. Charns’s book, which covers thousands of Supreme Court and FBI records obtained by the author, details the many tactics Hoover used to influence the Supreme Court—from wiretaps to PR campaigns, and including the use of informants. “It is disturbing, but not surprising, to find that at least three Court employees reported directly to the FBI,” he wrote. Offering the qualifier that his expertise on FBI informants is limited to the Hoover era, Charns said the bureau has a natural tendency to push its spying powers to the legal limits—and sometimes beyond. “I don’t have evidence that this is occurring now, but it seems like law enforcement is opportunistic. So, if they have an opportunity to place an informant in an organization that raises constitutional questions, they often tend to look at it as: They’re not going to refuse information,” he said. Tyler Durden Tue, 04/12/2022 - 16:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 12th, 2022

Two men arrested in alarming plot to "bribe" someone in Jill Biden"s Secret Service detail

Feds say two men pretended to be gun-toting Department of Homeland Security agents to get close to federal law enforcement. Four Secret Service members have been placed on leave. First lady Jill Biden speaks at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J, last month.Seth Wenig/AP Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 35, are charged with impersonating federal law enforcement.  They obtained firearms for their disguise, and bribed Secret Service targets with gifts, the feds allege. One of the alleged bribe targets was assigned to the First Lady's security detail. The FBI has arrested two men in an alarming plot to bribe and gain access to members of federal law enforcement — including someone in Jill Biden's Secret Service detail.Four members of the Secret Service have been placed on leave as a result of the investigation, officials said without releasing their names.One Secret Service agent in the First Lady's detail was offered a $2,000 assault rifle by one of the men arrested, officials said. It's not clear if that agent is among those on leave.According to an FBI affidavit filed Wednesday night in US District Court in DC, Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 35, began the plot by posing as Department of Homeland Security employees.The two obtained handguns, rifles and other material as part of their disguise.Then, over the past two years, they allegedly cozied up to unnamed members of federal law enforcement and the defense community. One was a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the First Lady, the affidavit alleges.Taherzadeh treated members of the Secret Service and an actual employee of the DHS to a grab bag of valuable gifts, including free apartments and electronics and access to government vehicles, the feds charge.According to the affidavit, the gifts included "rent-free apartments (with a total yearly rent of over $40,000 per apartment), iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat screen television, a case for storing an assault rifle, a generator, and law enforcement paraphernalia."Taherzadeh allegedly offered to buy a $2,000 assault rifle for a Secret Service agent in Biden's detail. Other federal employees, also unnamed, were offered what Taherzadeh described as government vehicles.One of many bizarre details from the affadavit describes a bogus, DHS "task force" the two men claimed be part of. The "task force" was looking for members, Taherzadeh and Ali allegedly claimed.The two men invited an unnamed "individual" to apply for a position, and as part of the application process, the would-be recruit agreed to be "shot with an Airsoft rifle to evaluate their pain tolerance and reaction," the affadavit alleges.The recruit was also "assigned to conduct research on an individual that provided support to the Department of Defense and intelligence community," the affadavit alleges.Despite all of the apparant effort, the unnamed recruit was only told "that the hiring was in process," the feds allege.Both men are in custody and due to appear in court on Thursday.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 7th, 2022