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Bill O’Reilly: Secret Tape Exists Of Woman Offered $200K To File Sexual Harassment Charges Against Trump (AUDIO)

Hours after several of Donald Trump’s accusers assembled for a Monday press conference to call on congress to launch an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against the President, Bill O’Reilly appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio show to discuss what he claims is the existence of a tape showing a woman being offered $200,000 to accuse Donald Trump of ‘untoward behavior.’ 


O’Reilly told Beck that his lawyer listened to the tape and that there are at least three crimes contained on it:

O’Reilly: There is a tape, Beck, an audio tape of an anti-Trump person offering $200,000 to a woman to accuse Donald Trump of untoward behavior. 

Beck: Is this tape going to be released?

O’Reilly: I may have to go to the US Attorney myself. I don’t wanna have to do that and inject myself into the story, but I had my lawyer listen to the tape. He’s listened to it. There are at least three crimes on the tape. So as a citizen, I may have to do this.

Beck: I will tell you Bill, the first thing that you say – well I’m trying to get it, I’m trying to get it so it can be released. You weren’t talking about getting it for YOU to release it, but it had to be out there. And I think the first time I said to you, I mean, if they don’t – you’ve gotta bring it to the US Attorney.

O’Reilly: Again, it’s in the hands of someone who knows the seriousness of the situation.

Beck: What is their hesitancy?

O’Reilly: You know, I can’t really get into that at this point. But I can tell you that Donald Trump knows about the tape. And I’m, for the life of me, sitting here going “Why on earth are you allowing a movement to try to smear you when you have a powerful – and I mean it’s powerful – piece of evidence that shows that this is an industry. That there are false charges and money changing hands.” It’s so frustrating but I wanted your listeners to know it, it’s there, it’s amazing, and it will change the whole discussion if it ever gets out.

Watch below: 

O’Reilly first divulged the existence of the tape six weeks ago in a largely unnoticed interview with Newsmax

O’Reilly told Newsmax on Monday that investigators working for him had uncovered an audio recording of “an anti-Trump attorney” offering an unidentified woman $200,000 to file sexual harassment charges against then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.

“It exists,” O’Reilly said. “We have urged the person who has the tape to hand it over to the U.S. attorney, because my investigative team believes there are three separate crimes on the audio tape.

O’Reilly tells Newsmax his attorneys have listened to the tape. O’Reilly stated he is not in possession of the recording, but the conversation is believed to have taken place before last year’s presidential election.

“It’s related to my situation,” O’Reilly insists, “and when the tape emerges, you will see why. I can’t say any more than that, but it is related to my situation.

With the ‘Russiagate’ witch hunt fizzling out amid revelations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is stacked with several anti-Trump team investigators, O’Reilly warns that there’s going to be a huge push to rehash sexual misconduct allegations against the President. While several of these claims have been debunked or refuted, and Trump even threatening to sue the NYT at one point, it will come as a surprise to exactly nobody if and when ‘Russiagate’ shifts into ‘Gropegate’ in 2018.

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Rex Tillerson Talks Détente With North Korea, Rocket Man Agrees

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled that the United States is preparet to negotiate with North Korea without preconditions – aside from one; no more nuclear or missile tests for an undetermined “quiet period.”

Let’s just meet. We can talk about the weather if you want,” Tillerson told an audience at the Atlantic Council in Washington. “We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about.”

In response, North Korea signaled back on Tuesday evening, stating:

  • N.Korea agrees “it is important to avoid war. “
  • We have left the door open for negotiations.
  • N.Korea did not offer any type of commitment to talks.

Tillerson said earlier in the day that the Trump administration is pleased with the “progress” made in imposing “extreme” sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang, which includes heightened UN sanctions along with pressure from China. Tillerson said that more than 22 countries have recalled diplomats from North Korea.

The timing of Tillerson’s potential overture is interesting – not only does it come two weeks after a missile launch that experts confirmed could reach much of the North American continent, but at a time when South Korea is feverishly preparing to host the upcoming Winter Olympic games in February 2018.

Especially worrisome is that Pyongyang’s recent November 28th ICBM launch was reported to have flown for 50 minutes on a very high trajectory reaching 4,500 km above the earth (more than ten times higher than the orbit of Nasa’s International Space Station) before coming down nearly 1,000 km from the launch site off the west coast of Japan. The test prompted the US Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, to reiterate that Kim Jong Un’s provocative actions constitute “the biggest threat to humankind right now.

Ratcheting up

In response to North Korea’s nuclear overtures, the US decided to whip its dick out and conduct military exercises with allies in the region such as Japan. While Russia cautioned the US to be careful and exhibit restraint with the exercises, South Korea was the loudest voice requesting the United States tone down the drills.

This comes amidst talk of what’s being called a “freeze-for-freeze” deal in which the North would agree to halt all missile launches and nuclear tests and in return the US would suspend all military exercises in the area. This is something both Moscow and Beijing are currently pushing hard for, and Tillerson’s remarks before the Atlantic Council today could signal that the White House is seriously considering the plan.

At minimum, Tillerson’s comments leave the door open to a diplomatic solution – and North Korea’s response was highly encouraging. No word on whether or not special agent Dennis Rodman was involved.

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Massive DDOS Attack Cripples Bitcoin Exchanges, Again

 

Hackers are hitting the world’s second largest bitcoin exchange with a large DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack, crippling the network and preventing users from accessing their accounts – while wallet-provider Coinbase’s website showed “service unavailable” early Tuesday.

Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges said it’s been getting hit, and that the API (application programming interface) is also down in a Tuesday tweet.

At first Bitfinex said the network was simply under heavy load, as the API and phone app were “functioning smoothly,” however that’s since been upgraded to a full DDOS attack.

Last week Bitfinex reported that it had similarly come under a “significant denial-of-service attack for the past several days.”

Bitfinex announced it would stop serving US customers on December 2nd, citing the expense of doing busienss with them. This move was followed by Wells Fargo’s decision earlier in the year to halt their relationship with Bitfinex, through which customers could send digital currency to Bitfinex in Taiwan – along with digital currency Tether.

Meanwhile, coinbase is also down and users are reporting all sorts of problems.

 

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FBI’s McCabe Cancels Senate Testimony, Sources Suspect ‘Far More Sinister’ Link To Fusion GPS

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe abruptly cancelled his scheduled closed door testimony to the House Intel committee today, as news emerged that the wife of Senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr worked for Fusion GPS and the CIA. Fusion is the opposition research firm behind the infamous “Trump dossier,” while Ohr was demoted from his position with the Department of Justice last week for allegedly trying to conceal his ties to Fusion.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

Fox News reporter Chad Pergram tweeted that his sources tell him “McCabe has an Ohr problem,” and they believe “FBI DepDir McCabe not coming to Hse Intel Cmte tomorrow because he’d be asked about Bruce Ohr & Ohr’s wife Nellie who worked for Fusion GPS,” adding “something far more sinister.”

Pergram also tweeted “Expect subpoenas to compel McCabe to appear this wk.”

As ZeroHedge notes: House Intel Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced last week that they were prepared to hold McCabe and assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in contempt for the DOJ’s failure to comply with a previous subpoena. He also accused the FBI and the DOJ of willfully refusing to comply with an Aug. 24 subpoena in part by refusing the committee’s request “for an explanation of Peter Strzok’s dismissal from the Mueller probe.”

Bruce and Nellie Ohr

Nellie Ohr, the wife of disgraced DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was employed by Fusion GPS last yearHer term of employment overlapped with the period when the Trump dossier was being compiled. Though Fox was unable to discern the exact nature of her role at the firm, its reporters discovered that she has done extensive research on Russia-related topics for think tanks based in the Washington, DC area.

Fox News reports:

A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than have been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.

Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr’s duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.

Not only that, Nellie Ohr represented the CIA’s “Open Source Works” group in a 2010 “expert working group” on international organized crime, along with her husband Bruce and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.

Open Source Works is described as the “CIA’s in-house open source analysis component, devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source information.

Open Source Works, which is the CIA’s in-house open source analysis component, is devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source information. Oddly, however, the directive that established Open Source Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization. In fact, CIA says the very existence of any such records is a classified fact. “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request,” wrote Susan Viscuso, CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator, in a November 29 response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Jeffrey Richelson of the National Security Archive for the Open Source Works directive and charter.

During the 2016 election, Bruce Ohr met with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, and shortly after the 2016 election, he met with Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS – who commissioned Steele to create the infamous “Trump-Russia” dossier.

Another factor in McCabe’s sudden cancellation, according to ZeroHedge, is a report from The Hill‘s John Solomon that Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) recently interviewed a retired FBI supervisor who told him he was instructed by Deputy Director Andrew McCabe not to call the 2012 Benghazi attack an act of terrorism when distributing the FBI’s findings to the larger intelligence community – despite knowing exactly who conducted the attack.

The agent found the instruction concerning because his unit had gathered incontrovertible evidence showing a major al Qaeda figure had directed the attack and the information had already been briefed to President Obama, the lawmaker said. –The Hill

If true, it means McCabe lied for the Obama administration in a clear, partisan violation of the FBI’s mandate to “detect and prosecute crimes against the United States,” not “lie for the President so as not to offend Islam.” As Rep. DeSantis told The Hill:

What operational reason would there be to issue an edict to agents telling them, in the face of virtually conclusive evidence to the contrary, not to categorize the Benghazi attack as a result of terrorism? By placing the interests of the Obama administration over the public’s interests, the order is yet another data point highlighting the politicization of the FBI.”

Whether McCabe cancelled over his “Ohr problem,” or for instructing a retired FBI supervisor to lie about the Benghazi attack, or because he doesn’t want to talk about Peter Strzok’s dismissal from the Mueller probe – one thing is for sure; Devin Nunes can’t be happy, and we can probably expect subpoenas to start flying off his desk as soon as this morning.

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LA Sheriff’s Dept Maintains Secret Misconduct List Of 300 Officers To Avoid Embarrassment In Court

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has maintained a secret list of around 300 officers with histories of misconduct, according to documents viewed by the Los Angeles Times. Approximately two-thirds of the names on the list are still with the department.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell (RINGO H.W. CHIU/AP)

The “Brady list,” created in 2014 and named after a landmark 1963 Supreme Court decision requiring prosecutors to alert defendants to favorable evidence, was compiled under former interim Sheriff John Scott to keep track of officers who had been accused or convicted of misconduct that might affect their credibility in court. Current Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, wants to grant prosecutors access to the list – who are required by law to tell criminal defendants about evidence which might affect an officer’s credibility if called as a witness – however McDonnell’s efforts were met with a lawsuit from the Deputies’ Union, which argued that the move would violate California police confidentiality laws.

The deputies have been identified as potential witnesses in more than 62,000 felony cases since 2000, according to a Times analysis of district attorney records. In many of those cases, the deputies’ misconduct would probably have been relevant in assessing their credibility.” LA Times

The officers on the Brady list have come under fire for a wide variety of misconduct, including writing a false report after pepper-spraying and elderly man in the face, forcing strangers to perform oral sex, disposing of evidence, domestic battery, and molesting an underage girl who told The Times she dropped out of school and considered suicide. Indeed, the Los Angeles police force is so corrupt that the FBI performed an extensive investigation – which led to nearly two dozen convictions, including former Sheriff Lee Baca, who obstructed FBI efforts to investigate abuses in county jails. Baca was sentenced in May to three years in prison.

“An FBI investigation of inmate abuse by deputies found years of excessive force and coverups. More than 20 officials, including former Sheriff Lee Baca, were convicted of crimes in the wake of that investigation.

In 2014, after Baca stepped down, officials combed through officers’ histories for misconduct involving “moral turpitude.” Deputies added to the list were found by internal investigators to have made false statements, written false reports, misappropriated property, obstructed an investigation, engaged in discrimination or harassment, accepted bribes or other improper gifts, used unreasonable force or been violent with a family member.”

The types of misconduct vary, however dishonesty ranks #1 at 69% of officers on the Brady list, followed by family violence, immoral conduct, stealing and sex. The officers in question are overwhelmingly deputies, followed by seargents, detectives, and lieutenants.”

 

In one incident reviewed by The Times from 1995, officer Casey Dowling was accused by a 14-year-old girl of molesting her after she told him she had been the victim of a knife attack. The girl said Dowling grabbed her breast while she sat in his patrol car, according to a DA’s memo at the time. The girl then said Dowling drove her home, followed her into her bedroom, and felt her up again after asking if she was wearing panties.

Officer Casey Dowling (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

Dowling, who claims he has evidence that he’s not on the Brady list, was discharged in 1997 for “immoral conduct,” only to file an appeal and get his job back – earning $189,000 last year. His attorney claims he was never fired.

In another incident, officer Christian Chamness – recently named “deputy of the year,” at the Lancaster sheriff’s station, pepper sprayed a 73-year-old man in the face. In his arrest report, Chamness claimed the elderly man blocked deputies trying to leave a barber ship where they had arrested the man’s son and a friend.

Christian Chamness (LASD County Services Bureau)

Chamness, who arrested the man and charged him with resisting or delaying a police officer, wrote in his official report: “He began to advance on me,” adding “I … ordered him once more to step aside. He refused so I sprayed him with a 3- to 4-second burst.”

Except video evidence showed this wasn’t true. In reality, video evidence obtained by The Times depicts the elderly man outside of the barbershop speaking with deputies – one of whom is holding the elderly man’s left arm. After words were exchanged, Chamness whipped out his pepper spray and hit the 73 year old with three bursts to the face. The county paid $195,000 to settle the lawsuit, and officer Chamness was suspended for 25 days for filing a false report and using unreasonable force. Chamness made $135,000 last year. 

In several other cases, deputies known for misconduct were given jobs as detectives or on patrol – assignments which often include appearances in court to bear witness. While the department fired several of the officers on the list, at least 13 have appealed their dismissal and gotten their jobs back.

The list reviewed by The Times includes some deputies who, despite previous misconduct, were given jobs in patrol or as detectives — assignments in which testimony can be crucial. The department fired some deputies whose names are on the list, but at least 13 appealed and got their jobs back.

The fight to keep the list private

When Sheriff McDonnell attempted to give the Brady list to prosecutors, the Deputies’ Union sued – arguing the move would violate California’s officer confidentiality policies.

“Do we go back and overturn every conviction now?” asked Elizabeth Gibbons, a lawyer who has represented the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs. “That’s a can of worms that gets opened if the court adopts the department’s argument in this case.”

According to The Times, “In July, a state appeals court ruled that the names cannot be revealed even in pending criminal cases in which the officers could testify. The court concluded that defendants are already able to gather the information they need by asking a judge to review the officer’s file for relevant information that could affect the case. State law, however, bars judges from handing over information about complaints more than five years old. And many defense attorneys say that even if they can persuade a judge to review the records, they are rarely given enough to assess the credibility of police witnesses.”

The California Supreme Court will decide next year on whether or not prosecutors should be able to see internal lists of officer misconduct. As one of 22 states which keep officer discipline from the public, California is known for having some of the nation’s strictest laws when it comes to secrecy of police misconduct – and is the only state which blocks prosecutors from seeing entire police personnel files.

In a recent interview, District Attorney Jackie Lacey said she’s “in a tough spot,” because while she supports Sheriff McDonnell’s efforts to release the Brady list, over 200 investigators who work for her office are members of the union suing the sheriff. “I think the sheriff is trying to do the right thing,” said Lacey.

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CNN’s Chris Cillizza Pens Furious Screed After Sarah Sanders Suggests MSM ‘Purposefully Misleading’ People

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spit-roasted the MSM during Monday’s briefing – calling them out for recent #FakeNews, and suggesting that they were purposefully misleading the public.

“There’s a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people. Something that happens regularly. You can’t say — I’m not done. You can’t say that it’s an honest mistake when you are purposely putting out information that you know to be false or when you’re taking information that hasn’t been validated, that hasn’t been offered any credibility and that has been continually denied by a number of people including people with direct knowledge of an incident. This is something that — I’m speaking about the number of reports that have taken place over the last couple of weeks. I’m simply stating that there should be a certain level of responsibility in that process.”

Sanders was, of course, talking about three incidents “over the last couple of weeks.”

First, ABC reporter Brian Ross was suspended after he put out a report that Michael Flynn was prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Donald Trump told him to contact the Russians, when in fact Trump told Flynn to do so after he’d won the election – a totally normal thing to do for an incoming administration. As a result, the Dow tanked 350 points before the story was corrected.

Trump called Ross a “fraudster” in response, and tweeted that anyone who lost money “based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross” should hire an attorney and sue ABC.

The second bit of fabricated  news was CNN’s report from last Friday that Donald Trump Jr. received documents from Wikileaks on September 4, 2016 before they had been officially released, when in fact, a random person emailed him a link to publicly available documents on September 14.

CNN corrected the report, issuing the following statement:

CNN originally reported the email was released September 4 — 10 days earlier — based on accounts from two sources who had seen the email. The new details appear to show that the sender was relying on publicly available information. The new information indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported.

Trump shot back, tweeting “Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday. They were caught red handed, just like lonely Brian Ross at ABC News (who should be immediately fired for his “mistake”),” adding “Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?” It is worth noting that Ross was not fired but rather suspended for 4 weeks.

The THIRD piece of Fake News was when the Washington Post’s David Weigel put out a photo of Trump’s speech last weekend, hours before it started, with the quote “Packed to the rafters.”

The event was, in fact, packed to the rafters:

Weigel apologized and deleted the FakeNews tweet:

Chris is Pissed

In response to Sanders’ admonishment, CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza lashed out like an angry purse-dog, penning quite the screed over Sanders for going “way, way beyond the pale of the usual give and take between the White House and press corps.”

Cillizza addressed JUST ONE of the three #FakeNews controversies – that of Brian Ross,  suggesting Ross’s mistake wasn’t intentional by using a stupid Baseball analogy.

Nowhere in anything we know about Ross’ erroneous reporting is there even a whiff of intentionality. Where is the evidence that Ross purposely pushed out the Flynn-Trump report — knowing it was wrong — solely to make Trump look bad?

There is a massive difference between making an honest mistake — in this case trusting a source too much — and purposeful intent to deceive. A massive difference.

Think of it this way: I am up to bat with the bases loaded and my team down one run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series. I strike out. Game over. My team loses.

If I tried my best to hit the ball but failed, that means one thing.
If someone paid me $50,000 to strike out anytime I was up in an important moment in the game, that’s something else altogether. It’s not even in the same, ahem, ballpark.

“It’s not even in the same, ahem, ballpark.”

This is why the left can’t meme, by the way. That was a terrible analogy and a stupid joke. Moreover, Sarah Sanders is well within her right to suggest that intentional misreporting or a failure to validate a claim has taken place. She doesn’t need proof to hold that opinion.

It’s also hilarious that Cillizza totally failed to include his own network’s massive retraction over the Trump Jr. Wikileaks debacle, when – just like the Brian Ross story – the implications of what the networks were asserting would have had a serious, material impact on world affairs – as evidenced by the Dow’s 350 point kneejerk meltdown before Brian Ross corrected his story.

Cillizza closes by saying “But, to suggest — or believe — that the mistakes made by the media, including CNN, are purposeful is beyond offensive to anyone who spends their days in this profession.”

Right – which is why three CNN employees admitted to Project Veritas that they think the Russia story is “Fake News” pushed for ratings.

CNN Producer John Bonifield was caught on camera saying:

I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime.

I know a lot of people don’t like him and they’d like to see him get kicked out of office…. but that’s a lot different than he actually did something that can get him kicked out of office.

Meanwhile, CNN’s Van Jones said Russia is a “nothingburger.

Boy Chris, it sure seems like CNN employees have the very clear impression that the Russia story is Fake News being pushed intentionally to mislead the public for ratings.

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Reporter Who Got Scaramucci Fired Is Canned For Sexual Misconduct, Did Mooch Know?

The New Yorker has just canned up and coming journalist Ryan Lizza – the guy who published the full transcript of his call with very brief Trump admin comms director Anthony Scaramucci, in which “The Mooch” famously said “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” among other things.

Well, turns out karma is a bitch – as “The New Yorker has severed ties with Ryan Lizza in response to behavior the magazine believes to be “improper sexual conduct””

Full statement:

The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct. We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza. Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further.”
Lizza – who was accused of improper behavior in an anonymous list of “Shitty Media Men” passed around earlier this fall, says he is “dismayed” that the New Yorker has characterized “a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate.”

As ZeroHedge points out,  Lizza had been rather silent in recent weeks. He has not appeared on CNN, where he is a contributor, since November 22; and aside from a smattering of retweets, his normally buzzing Twitter feed has been absent of reporting or commentary since around the same time.

Sad!

Did Mooch know?

Joe Concha of The Hill posits that Scaramucci knew of Lizza’s sexual misconduct, telling New York morning talk show host Craig Carton that Lizza may have some bad karma headed his way.

“This guy’s obviously a very bad actor,” Scaramucci told Carton on Monday. “Karma’s a bitch. It’ll come back and bite him. You’ll see.

“You’re a transactional guy,” he added, addressing Lizza. “And you’re gonna have a transactional, miserable life.”

Veddy interesting…

Also interesting is a report from former Hillary Clinton CA field director Michael Trujillo, who says that WaPo and CNN are working on 20-40 sexual misconduct stories involving members of congress. Meanwhile, several Trump accusers have assembled into a sexual-misconduct voltron – and will attempt to take advantage of the “new precedent” set by members of congress stepping down – such as Al Franken, John Conyers and Trent Franks, in the hopes of getting rid of Drumpf once and for all.

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Forbes: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Flat Out Lying About $2 Billion Of Net Worth

In what may be the largest overstatement of a public official’s net worth in history, Forbes claims that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Jr. flat out lied about being worth $3.7 billion, and the former Rothschild banker and investor has less than $700 million in assets. 

In an article to be published in the December 12 issue of Forbes, journalist Dan Alexander performed a deep-dive into disclosure forms filed by Ross, which revealed a net worth of under $700 million, putting the Commerce Secretary at serious risk of removal from the coveted Forbes 400 list . The 79-year-old Ross didn’t take the news sitting down – claiming he transferred over $2 billion into family trusts “between the election and the nomination.”

“As long as you explain that the reason is that assets were put into trust, I’m fine with that,” Ross told Forbes. 

Forbes then spent the next month digging for the truth about Ross’ missing $2 billion, only to come to the following conclusion: “That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004.”

It was 2004 when Ross first appeared on the Forbes 400 list, with a net worth listed at $1 billion – an amount Forbes claims was around four times the real figure.

I told him we’re going to start him at $1 billion,” added the reporter, who no longer works at Forbes . “And he said ‘Yep, fine, thank you.’ ”

Everyone that I knew that worked with Wilbur knew it wasn’t true,” says a former colleague of Ross. A legend was born, and like most legends, this one had its roots in a myth. –Forbes

In 2015, Ross sent Forbes a detailed list of holdings for the Forbes 400 list, noting $1.1 billion in municipal bonds, $1.25 billion in partnership interests, $500 million in equities, $200 million in art, $110 million in real estate and $200 million in cash – for a total of $3.4 billion.  Forbes felt the figure was bogus, but listed him at $2.9 billion, where he currently sits – perhaps for not much longer.

Former associates and employees of Ross were apparently well aware of Ross’ overinflated pocketbook. When Ross took the job as Trump’s Commerce Secretary, one ex-employee stated “It was surprising because he would have to reveal to the world that he wasn’t a billionaire,” adding “I was surprised that he would take that risk.”

Wilbur doesn’t have an issue with bending the truth,” according to Forbes contact David Wax, who worked alongside Ross for 25 years and served as the No. 3 person in his firm. Another former colleague, who requested anonymity, was less circumspect: “He’s lied to a lot of people.”

Known as the “King of Bankruptcy,” Ross took a job at the Rothschild investment – pocketing nearly $6 million a year by the early 1990s and helping the bank raise $200 million for an internal private equity fund that would leverage his bankruptcy experience to identify, restructure and flip companies in financial trouble.

Three years later in 2000, Ross bought the fund out and named it after himself. Two years after that, his firm invested in a bankrupt steel company, LTV, which had gotten itself into trouble after overextending itself with a $1.2 billion investment into new plants while having to lay off 7,500 union employees and face a $3.4 billion pension burden. Ross turned the company around and flipped the company to Indian billionaire Lakshmi MIttal in 2005 for around $4.5 billion cash and stock.

That looked great on paper, however Forbes determined that Ross’s cut was an estimated $260 million – far less than the $1 billion needed to be on the Forbes 400 list.

In the ensuing years, Ross raised a $1.1 billion investment fund and sold WL Ross & Co to Invesco for $100 million up front plus a $275 million optional payment depending on how much money Ross could raise. With a fire lit under him, Ross raised $4.1 billion in 2007 – putting about $70 million of his own money into that and another fund, according to three former employees.

Forbes says Ross lied to them in 2007, listing his net worth at $1.7 billion when it was most likely around $400 million.

That wasn’t enough. “I would say the total now is a bit more than $2 billion,” Ross wrote in a 2011 email, according to notes taken at the time. In 2013, a different Forbes reporter realized that prior estimates seemed to include not just Ross’ money but that of the investors in his funds. Ross strung us along, leading us to believe he would provide evidence of his assets, but never did. Just months later, he was insisting that he was even richer, and Forbes continued to largely fall for it. “2.75 [billion] is a bit low but probably close enough,” he wrote in an email around the start of 2014. In September, he was arguing for a valuation of $3.45 billion but begrudgingly accepted a smaller figure: “3.1 [billion] is low, but I understand why you wish to be conservative.” -Forbes

In 2010, Ross opened a new private equity fund, hoping to raise $4 billion in the wake of the financial crisis. After two years, he was able to raise just $640 million, while telling the media he had raised $2.2 billion by including assets which came from other funds or accounts that paid virtually no fees. Invesco clarified the matter on an earnings call.

Then, in 2016, Invesco-owned WL Ross settled charges related to fund transparency amid claims that the firm had overcharged investors between 2001 and 2011, paying a $2.3 million fine. Invesco also paid an additional $43 million in reimbursements and regulatory expenses incurred over the previous two years. While public filings don’t explicitly mention WL Ross, four former employees told Forbes they were all tied to Wilbur Ross’ firm. 

Several former employees have also gone after Ross for various allegations. Via Forbes: 

In 2012, Ross’ longtime No. 2, David Storper, left the firm but said he retained interests in many of the funds. Three years later, Storper alleged in a lawsuit that the firm sent him inaccurate financial information after his departure and that Wilbur Ross stole his interests outright. Ross denied the allegations, and the lawsuit remains ongoing. A few years earlier, a vice chairman of WL Ross sued Wilbur Ross for more than $20 million, alleging that Ross tried to cut him out of interest and fees he had been promised. The parties had reached a settlement by 2007, which former employees say cost about $10 million.

The Storper case has other ex-employees looking back to be sure they were sent proper information. Joseph Mullin, a former member of WL Ross’ 15-person investment team, filed his own suit against WL Ross & Co., also alleging that Ross took his interests after he left. The firm filed a motion to dismiss in February, but the case remains active. A third ex-colleague, who is not in litigation, argues that Ross’ tactics went beyond hard-nosed negotiating: “Everybody does some cheating, everybody does some lying. Not everybody steals from their employees.”

So when Ross told Forbes that he transferred $2 billion in assets to a family trust, bringing his publicly disclosed net worth to under $700 million, Forbes had questions. Why would Ross have done this, triggering over $800 million in gift taxes – right before President Trump might be eliminating the estate tax?

After an October 16 report in Forbes detailing questions over Ross’ finances, six Senate Democrats wrote a letter to Trump’s top ethics official, asking him to figure out what was going on with Ross’ finances. “It is imperative that Congress and the Office of Government Ethics know the full extent of Mr. Ross’s holdings to ensure he is not putting personal gain ahead of the interests of the American people,” the letter read.

And after the Department of Commerce issued a statement saying the $2 billion gift never happened, Forbes points out:

The only problem with that statement: The person who told Forbes that the transfer had taken place, that it had happened after the election and that it had meant more than $2 billion of family assets weren’t on the disclosure was none other than the sitting secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross.

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Chicago Woman Who Filmed Kidnapping And Torture Of Disabled Teen Avoids Prison

A 19 year old Chicago woman who live-streamed the racially charged kidnapping, torture and mutilation of a mentaly disabled teen was given 200 hours of community service and four years of probation on Friday.

Brittany Herring (Covington) mugshot

Brittany Herring Covington – who went by “Herring” on Social Media before her arreest, and “Covington” in recent reports, avoided a possible 33 years in prison on multiple counts, including a hate crime, aggravated battery and aggravated kidnapping – a charge which was dropped along with several others as part of a plea agreement.

Cook County Circuit Judge William Hooks handed down the slap on the wrist to Covington, who pleaded guilty to a hate crime, aggravated battery and intimidation charges – telling the teen that he could have sent her to prison, but told her “I’m not sure if I did that you’d be coming out any better.

Judge William Hooks, Cook County IL

Hooks warned Covington that should she violate the terms of her probation – which includes a ban from social media for four years, she would face prison time. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop additional charges including kidnapping.

Do not mess this up,” Judge Hooks said to Covington, who stood in front of him in a blue jumpsuit. Hooks is notably the first African-American president of Chicago’s Federal Bar Association, a past president of the Cook County Bar Association, and a member of the Muslim Bar Association of Chicago.

Tanisha Covington, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Herring Covington, Jordan Hill and victim

The brutal attack took place in early January, after four black Chicago teens kidnapped the mentally disabled white teen and held him captive for nearly two days – binding his hands and feet with duct tape and gagging him with a sock, before using a knife to cut and stab the victim while laughing, shouting racial slurs and issuing death threats. In one segment of the livestreamed attack, one of the females can be seen laughing as she punches the victim. At another point, one of the male attackers wraps a cord around the victim’s neck while he groaned in pain, and in another a male approaches the victim with a knife and asks the others “Should I shank his ass?” Other notable quotes include:

Fuck Donald Trump, Fuck white people

There’s gonna be a murder. Pop pop pop

We gonna put this bitch in the trunk, put a brick on the gas, like aaaaaaaaah”

“Pistol whip his ass, fool“

After nearly 48 hours, the kidnapped teen escaped after the kidnappers left the apartment to confront a neighbor who had called 911 to complain about the noise coming out of their apartment where the torture was taking place.

The video, which can be seen here, or here immediately went viral. After the teens were arrested, Chicago PD initially said it was not racially motivated, despite it clearly being a hate crime. Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville; Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago; and Brittany Herring’s sister Tanishia, 24, were each charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crimes, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

After her arrest, Brittany Herring Covington bragged on Facebook from a smart phone she was able to sneak into jail, posting “yall mad?” and “Sittin in dis cell on my celly talking to yall trippin. Erbody got phones in her these day,” and typing “Tfse” which stands for “The Funniest Shit Ever.

And for her participation in the brutal crime, Herring-Covington only received 200 hours of community service and four years of probation. Meanwhile, a Broward County, Florida man who vandalized a Mosque and left bacon inside was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week.

The three other kidnappers charged along with Herring-Covington are still awaiting trial. Perhaps Judge Hooks will give them the key to the city.

Originally published by ZeroHedge

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