Saturday, April 29, 2017

Corruption

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Corruption Case

Defense attorneys say that the FBI’s use of a staff member to then-Rep Aaron Schock (R-Ill), as an informant could make the prosecution’s case against him much more complicated than previously thought.

In new court filings, lawyers argue that the staffer working at Aaron Schock’s office secretly provided investigators with a trove of credit card receipts, emails, and several other documents that violated the former congressman’s constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizures. The former congressman was indicted with 24 counts last year, and his trial is set to begin this summer.

Lawyers called the use of the informant, in the latest court filings, troubling, and said that it puts a question mark on provisions that mandate a separation between various government branches.

“It threatens the core architecture of our system of government. It’s not something that people should gloss over here,” said Steve Ross, the co-leader of the congressional investigations practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Details about how investigation officials gathered information against Schock were made public for the first time after the court filing from Schock’s attorneys last week. In the filing, they asked for more information about how authorities engaged the informant who recorded private conversations and took documents from the lawmaker’s office in Peoria, Illinois.

The informant is reported to have taken several documents from the office, including travel receipts, office purchases invoices, and credit card statements of Schock’s personal American Express account. He also gave content from another staffer’s email account, to the FBI.

“Let’s address the overall feel of it, this kind of thing is very unusual — it’s very unusual to use someone on congressional staff to act in an undercover capacity at all, much less to have them pilfering documents,” Solomon L. Wisenberg, the co-chair of the white collar practice at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.

The audio recordings from the informant, acquired by the defense attorneys through the court discovery process, reportedly contain conversations between Schock’s staff and the attorney representing them, in addition to attempts made to “deliberately elicit attorney-client privileged information.”

The informant, who worked in Schock’s district office, but is not named in the court documents, had been subpoenaed in the government investigation. According to the court filing, he was the first person to be interviewed by the investigators.

However, prosecutors have said that they don’t intend on using some information obtained from the information, in the trial.

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Karma will eventually catch up with health insurance pigs.

According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report, average premium for the silver plan of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will rise by 19 percent if the government fails to fund the program’s cost-sharing subsidies.

The Affordable Care Act used cost-sharing subsidies as a means to curtail the cost of out-of-pocket expenses for low-income households by reimbursing insurance providers.

Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce, the two House committees investigating the source of the funding for the subsidies, said they were unconstitutional. They found that the Obama administration had been funding the program without permanent adoption from the Congress. They also filed a lawsuit challenging the payments.

“With a legal appeal pending, the federal government and Congress are in a position to choose whether to continue reimbursing insurers for their cost,” Kaiser said.

The report states that if the government fails to fund the program through cost-sharing subsidies, premiums will rise significantly; from 9 percent in North Dakota to 27 percent in Mississippi.

“The analysis—based on cost-sharing subsidy payments and benchmark premiums in federal marketplace states in 2016, the most recent data available—finds that the estimated premium increase for silver plans would be higher (21%) in states that did not expand Medicaid under the ACA than in states that expanded Medicaid (15%),” the report notes.

“Cost-sharing subsidies are generally higher in states that have not expanded Medicaid because they have a larger share of enrollees with incomes from 100% to 150% of the poverty level, who get the biggest cost-sharing reductions.”

There are currently around 7.1 million Americans who receive these types of payments, accounting for almost 58 percent of the people who chose an Obamacare plan in 2017.

Additionally, it has been noted that these potential premium hikes would come after the Obama administration’s announcement in 2016 that premiums would increase by approximately 22 percent in 2017, after several insurers faced heavy losses.

President Donald Trump and several other Congressional Republicans have also repeatedly warned that Obamacare will ultimately collapse due to its own shortcomings, if it isn’t repealed soon enough.
With that said, health insurance providers continue to experience soaring profits. In February, one of the largest insurance providers, Aetna, doubled it’s quarterly cash dividends and announced a $3.3 billion share buyback. The company generated $2.3 billion in net income in 2016.

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You will never know what happened . . .

The media is repeating a stream of quotes from FBI Director James Comey from his congressional testimony today.

The media’s talking points including Comey saying that “no president” could order a wiretap and that they found no evidence to support President Trump’s twitter claim that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the election.

What the media has ignored was Comey’s admission that he could not discuss any activity within the FISA court that could approve a request to electronically spy on an American.

FISA which is the abbreviation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was enacted in 1978 and allows for collection of information on foreign agents and foreign powers.

Under the administration of George W. Bush, FISA powers were expanded to allow surveillance of any communication that occurs with entities overseas regardless if the conversation includes an American citizen on U.S. soil.

Additionally, FISA Courts grant approval for specific requests and the court is strictly secret.

If you were to read in between the lines of Comey’s testimony, you would find that he can’t rule out any spying on the Trump campaign as he cannot divulge any activity that occurred within the FISA Courts.

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IRS: Satan Club? Yeah, cool, you're approved.

While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes conservative groups wait years for tax-exempt status an “After School Satan Club” launched to hinder Christian-based counterparts got its nonprofit ranking in just ten days, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. The classification is offered to charitable, religious and educational organizations that operate as nonprofits. Under the Obama administration IRS political appointees illegally targeted conservative groups, either making them wait up to seven years for tax-exempt status or denying their application altogether. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal and has obtained piles of government records showing how the IRS illegally colluded with another federal agency to single out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as patriot and Tea Party in their titles when applying for tax-exempt status.

In the meantime, leftist groups like the Satan club got fast tracked. The principle goal of establishing the Satan clubs in public schools throughout Washington State appears to be to counter existing enterprises operated by a Christian-based group. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch include the process of establishing an after-school Satan club at Point Defiance Elementary in Tacoma. The entity behind the club is a nonprofit called Reason Alliance, which is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, and operates in Washington State as the Satanic Temple of Seattle. Its director, Lilith X. Starr, established the Point Defiance Elementary Satanic club, the records show. In its application the club states that its purpose is “character development” and that adult instructors are vetted by the Satanic Temple’s “Executive Ministry.” Children ages 5-12 will develop basic critical reasoning, character qualities, problem solving and creative expression, according to the Satanic Temple filings included in the documents. The club logo is a pencil with devil’s horns. Records obtained by Judicial Watch from the Treasury Department show that the Satanic cult applied for tax-exempt status on October 21, 2014 and received it on October 31, 2014.

The parent permission forms ask for the name of the child’s church and pastor, the records show. They also reveal that Starr, the Seattle Satanic Temple director, told Tacoma School District Superintendent Carla Santorno that the clubs are led by “caring Satanists” and each child receives a membership card. Starr also tells the superintendent that the effort to establish after-school Satan clubs in Tacoma schools is in direct response to the Christian-based Good News Clubs operating in campuses throughout the district. This ignited concern among some Tacoma district officials, the records show. In one electronic mail exchange, Tacoma Schools official Andrea O-Brien-Henley sends colleague Paul Koch a citation from the Satanic Temple’s website noting that the temple only wants to establish after-school Satan clubs in school districts with Christian Good News Clubs. O’Brien-Henley notes that it’s odd that the Satanic Temple only targets schools that have Good News Clubs, writing to hear colleague: “If they really want to get their message out to kids it seems kind of odd that they would only be targeting schools with a Good News Club; one would think that they would want to start clubs anywhere there is an *interest* in them.”

Here’s the citation that O’Brien-Henley forwarded to fellow school district official Koch from the Satanic Temple’s website: “How do I start an After School Satan Club in my school district? If there isn’t a chapter of The Satanic Temple near you, but you’re interested in starting and After School Satan Club in your school district, please contact The Satanic Temple. Please keep in mind that the Satanic Temple is not interested in operating After School Satan Clubs in school districts that are not already hosting the Good News Club. However, The Satanic Temple ultimately intends to have After School Satan Clubs operating in every school district where the Good News Club is represented.”

In another exchange, the Executive Director of Communications for the Tacoma School District, Dan Voelpel, expresses concern to colleagues that people will confuse the school district’s message of tolerance toward the Satan Club with tolerance toward alleged “hate-related activities around the country in the wake of the presidential election.” In the records the principal of Point Defiance Elementary reveals that, two weeks after the Satan club was launched, no one had signed up for it. The fact remains however, that the IRS fast-tracked a deranged Satanic cult to operate as a nonprofit in taxpayer-funded elementary schools.

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Speaking in Nevada before the International Association of Fire Fighters, Tucker Carlson explained the past and current culture of Washington, D.C. (which is the same by the way).

The most telling statement was, “I’ve never had a lunch that lasted less than two hours, and I’ve never paid!”

Watch above and remember.

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Judicial Watch announced that a federal court judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to produce this week any “preservation requests” for emails sent to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chief of Staff Christian Marrone, and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell. The order from U.S District Court Judge Randolph Moss came in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking agency records in the personal email accounts used by the four top Homeland Security officials (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:16-cv-00967)).   The court order, issued last week after a hearing, requires DHS to comply by January 12 (Thursday).

At last week’s January 5 hearing, Obama Justice Department lawyers confirmed that nothing had been done to retrieve government records from Jeh Johnson or the other officials’ accounts.  According to the hearing transcript:

THE COURT: But you say to me there’s no reason to doubt that the agency will pursue the records and that they’ll be returned, but it’s been six months. Is there any evidence that anything has been done to retrieve those documents or records?

[Justice Department Lawyer Bailey] HEAPS: I think that the six months though, your Honor, refers to the time in a FOIA request which is independent of any obligations under the Federal Records Act. And I don’t think we would be in this position with respect to the FOIA case had a valid request been filed or submitted.

THE COURT: But put that aside for a second. I mean, the government has been on notice at least since May though that there’s reason to believe that there are e-mails that are residing on individuals’ private servers that are government records, right?

HEAPS: Your Honor, the first thing I would point out — and I think it’s important because we’re going back and forth between FOIA and the Federal Records Act, is we don’t have reason to believe — or let me be clear, we don’t know that there are federal records that are in the personal e-mail accounts.

THE COURT: So has anyone checked to see if there are? Has anyone asked a question, anything to try and figure that out?

HEAPS: I can’t represent one way or the other to that, your Honor.

Judge Moss’s order, issued shortly after the hearing, reads in part:

On or before 1/12/2017, the Government is to produce, under seal, for in-camera submission, the preservation requests that it sent to all four of the individuals; The Government is also to file a notice on the public record, on or before 1/12/2017, regarding the in-camera filing, and to indicate the individuals intentions with respect to abiding by the preservation requests.

The January 5 hearing came in response to a Motion for Preservation Order filed by Judicial Watch . In that filing Judicial Watch asked the court to issue a “preservation order” for the non-.gov emails of Johnson, Mayorkas and Bunnell because their departure from government service is anticipated upon the installation of the new administration and Homeland Security will no longer have any control over these individuals:

The records at issue are in the physical possession of three current agency officials and one former agency official. With the upcoming change in administrations on January 20, 2017, it is likely that the three officials currently in office (Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell) will leave government service.

Counsel for DHS has informed [Judicial Watch’s] counsel that DHS has “asked” these officials to preserve the agency records in their possession. DHS’ counsel declined to provide any evidence supporting this assertion. Because [Judicial Watch] does not know specifically what DHS asked its employees to do and what, if any, other steps DHS has taken to ensure preservation, Plaintiff is concerned DHS’s mere requests to its employees are insufficient. This will be particularly concerning once the officials possessing the emails leave government employment, as the agency will have no control over the actions of these officials.

***

A court order requiring preservation of these emails is particularly necessary now as DHS has suggested that these officials may have been acting without authorization by sending emails from these accounts…. As such, there is no assurance that these officials will abide by a “request” by the agency to preserve these emails, particularly after their employment ends.

An order requiring DHS to take steps to preserve the agency records at issue is consistent with an agency’s recordkeeping responsibilities to retain and manage government records subject to the Federal Records Act….If the agency officials are permitted to leave their employment while retaining agency records in their personal email accounts, it risks creating a situation comparable to that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In that instance, it is undisputed that only a portion of Secretary Clinton’s emails eventually were returned to the agency.

[Judicial Watch] respectfully requests expedited consideration of this motion in light of the likely imminent departure from government service of the three agency officials possessing agency records in their personal email accounts.

“The Obama gang is creating another email scandal with Jeh Johnson and the Department of Homeland Security,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We know there are likely government records on Jeh Johnson’s and other top DHS officials’ personal email accounts. That the Obama administration hasn’t lifted a finger to retrieve these public records is criminal.”

In June, Judicial Watch in a related case obtained 693 pages of Homeland Security records revealing that Secretary Jeh Johnson and 28 other agency officials used government computers to access personal web-based email accounts despite an agency-wide ban due to heightened security concerns.  The documents also reveal that Homeland Security officials misled Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) when Perry specifically asked whether personal accounts were being used for official government business.

The waivers were granted to Johnson and other senior staffers after Homeland Security’s Sensitive Systems Policy Directive 4300A was promulgated on April 30, 2014.   The Directive was issued after hackers breached the Office of Personnel Management computer system.  Directive 4300A states, “The use of Internet Webmail (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) or other personal email accounts is not authorized over DHS furnished equipment or network connections.”

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james o'keefe

No organization has done more to expose political corruption than James O’Keefe and his team at Project Veritas Action.

Some detractors say that O’Keefe is a felon and misleads the public, but the truth is quite the opposite.

James O’Keefe is not a felon and he informs the public of statements made by public officials in private. Project Veritas Action and O’Keefe don’t just tell us the truth, they show us, and that is what makes them so effective.

Over the past four years, Project Veritas has taken down some big names in American politics by exposing their corruption with undercover videos. This is a list of the most powerful people exposed by James O’Keefe and Project Veritas Action.

START >

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corruption

Years before Pennsylvania’s first Democrat and first female Attorney General got convicted of crimes, Judicial Watch helped expose the corrupt way in which she ran her public office. The state’s disgraced top prosecutor, Kathleen Kane, was hauled away from a courtroom in handcuffs this week after getting sentenced to 10 to 23 month in jail. In August, a jury found Kane guilty perjury and obstruction for illegally disclosing details from a grand jury investigation to retaliate against a political rival then lying about it under oath.

Philadelphia’s largest newspaper described Kane’s sentencing this week as “capping a spectacular downfall for a woman once seen as one of the state’s fastest-rising stars.” Kane’s first year in office was marked by political and public relations successes, the paper states, but it went downhill from there.

After “her star began to dim in 2014, she leaked confidential grand jury material to a newspaper in a bid to embarrass a political enemy, then lied about her actions under oath,” the story says. At this week’s five-hour sentencing hearing in Montgomery County the judge blasted Kane and rejected calls for leniency. The former prosecutor used and exploited her position to battle perceived enemies instead of focusing on the business of fighting crime, the judge, Wendy Demchick-Alley, said during the hearing.

The leak stems from a feud that Kane had with a former prosecutor in her office named Frank Fina, who Kane accused of planting a damaging media story. Before Kane got elected the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office ran a years-long, undercover sting operation that busted leading state Democrats embroiled in a bribery scheme. At the time the Attorney General was Republican Tom Corbett.

When Kane took office in 2013, she shut the operation down. Before Kane ended the investigation, sources familiar with the inquiry said, prosecutors amassed 400 hours of audio and videotape that documented at least four city Democrats taking payments in cash or money orders, and in one case, a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet.

Back In 2014 Judicial Watch testified before a Pennsylvania House State Government Committee investigating Kane for refusing to uphold Commonwealth laws that she didn’t agree with. Judicial Watch Attorney Michael Bekesha explained to the panel that Kane had consistently failed to honor her sworn oath to uphold the state’s constitution by, among other things, refusing to defend the state’s marriage laws and failing to prosecute elected officials for accepting cash and other gifts in exchange for political favors. Bekesha also pointed out to the committee that the State Ethics Commission concluded that the promotion of Kane’s sister to Chief Deputy Attorney General in the child predator section created a perception that the promotion was not free from Kane’s influence. “Attorney General Kane is lawless,” Bekesha testified, adding that just the appearance of impropriety or misbehavior damages the office.

Kane has close ties to the Clintons and she worked on Hillary’s 2008 failed presidential campaign. In 2012 Bill Clinton endorsed Kane for Attorney General over former Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy. At the time the former president said “Kathleen is a great Democrat who understands that an Attorney General’s job is to stand up for consumers and people,” according to a press release dug up by a news outlet this week. After winning the election and making history as the first woman and first Democrat to hold the office, Kane was considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. Some believed she had a bright future in the U.S. Senate. Instead, the disgraced Attorney General is going to jail and her license to practice law has been suspended.

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wells fargo

Wells Fargo is going to pay $124 million to the person who directed a group that created over two million fake accounts in customer’s name.

Carrie Tolstedt was put in charge of a new Well’s Fargo goal to get account holders to open multiple accounts. Her division performed very well.

So well, she was rewarded handsomely, for her efforts. She was paid around $9 million for her fantastic job. Her division grew by leaps and bounds and she made out like a bandit.

How did she do it? She cheated.

Under her supervision, many employees were creating fake accounts for current customers and even forging their signatures.

The new accounts would charge bogus fees to the account holder and making more money for Wells Fargo.

In all, over two million accounts were falsified, and the incredible growth in her division was fraudulent.

What is Wells Fargo going to do with Tolstedt?

When the 56-year-old Tolstedt retires at the end of the year, she will be paid $124 million for the phenomenal work she did at the bank.

There doesn’t look there will be any repercussions for Tolstedt or any of the employees that engaged in forging documents and creating false accounts. Wells Fargo was fined but that is it.

Anthony Try, a former Wells Fargo employee explained what the workers were doing.

“There would be days where we would open five checking accounts for friends and family just to go home early.”

It seems like the culture at Wells Fargo is corrupt. The unrealistic sales goals came from the top, and the employees did what they had to do to reach the goal.

Everyone had their hand in this mess and the bank and the employees should be held accountable.

As of right now, it doesn’t look like anything will happen to Wells Fargo, Tolstedt or any employee.

Apparently it is ok for the banks to sign your name to open an account for you, but try cashing a false check and see what happens.

This is just another example of the Wall Street corruption that has gone unchecked for too many years.

Will you start or continue banking with Wells Fargo? Let us know in the comments below.

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Lie

Hillary’s “untrustworthy” number has shot through the roof the past few months, but this takes it to a whole new level.

Former president Bill Clinton runs the Clinton Foundation and through his work, he has managed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars while the actual charities and grants only receive about 15%.

The foundation is under fire because we have learned of the unique access that foundation donors had to Hillary when she was at the State Department.

Some of the largest foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation have been able to receive favorable agreements between them and the U.S. government.

It is no surprise that Hillary doesn’t want this information exposed, mainly because it points to major conflicts of interest if Hillary was to win.

Hillary says it isn’t a problem when she spoke on ABC News.

“I don’t think there are conflicts of interest. I know that that’s what has been alleged and never proven. But nevertheless, I take it seriously.”

During an interview with Tim Kaine and Hillary, the Democratic candidate said this about the Clinton Foundation.

“I’m very proud of the work that the Clinton Foundation has done. It’s a world-renowned charity because of the work that my husband started and many, many people helped him with. … He started this great work. He has made it his life’s work, after the presidency. And he has said, if I am so fortunate enough to be elected, he will not be involved. And I think that is appropriate.”

The biggest question is why would he have to step down at all if there were not conflicts? We know the answer though.

There were conflicts when she was at Secretary of State and those conflicts and the Clinton corruption would only be magnified if she won the top office in America.

Do you think Bill should step down from the foundation if Hillary becomes president? Let us know in the comments below.

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