Screenshot 2020-02-28 at 9.20.35 AM - Edited

Roger Jenkins leaves the Old Bailey Criminal Courthouse on February 25 2020

In a blow to the UK’s taxpayer-funded Serious Fraud Office (SFO), a jury has cleared Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris, and Richard Boath of fraud. This marks the likely end of efforts by prosecutors to hold top bankers to account for decisions taken when the global financial system was brought to its knees, forcing taxpayers into bank bailouts totaling hundreds of billions of pounds.
The men, aged between 61 and 64, all denied any wrongdoing. Qatar, which is still a significant Barclays shareholder, was neither investigated nor accused of wrongdoing.
The SFO said the bankers used an advisory services agreement (ASA) to mask the fact Barclays was paying Qatar more than twice the fees it was paying other investors that June.   The men said the ASAs were intended as genuine mechanisms to pay Qatar what it wanted while extracting lucrative, commercial business from Qatar, that such side deals were common in banking, that senior directors had authorized the parameters of negotiations and, along with lawyers, had approved the deals.

[ April 8 2019   Required to discharge jury in Barclay CEO fraud trial ‘I cannot underestimate the effort…’   ]

 

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Robert Jay

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – A London jury has been dismissed in a landmark fraud trial of four former Barclays executives, including the former chief executive, John Varley, accused of paying Qatar undisclosed fees to help rescue the bank at the height of the credit crisis in 2008.  They secretly paid £322m to Qatar in return for funding of billions in two emergency capital calls.

The deal was the subject of a five-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, but April 8, after a month-long break in the court case, Mr Justice Jay brought the jury back to formally discharge them.

At Southwark Crown Court, he said: ‘I cannot underestimate the effort everyone has put on.’

The bankers raised £11bn in emergency fundraising in 2008, but that £4bn-worth of the investment which came from Qatar was secured by making secret payments to the Gulf state. The money was paid in fees after ‘essential’ investments of approximately £1.9 billion and £2.05 billion were made by the Qataris to Barclays ‘to shore up their capital base’ and to avoid a Government bailout.

Judge Robert Jay told the jury at Southwark Crown Court on April 8 he was required to discharge them.
The others charged were investment banker Roger Jenkins, head of wealth management Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath, former head of Barclays’ European Financial Institutions Group.

The four denied the charges.

china-5g
As the leader of a country currently considering the choice recently put it, Washington is trying to persuade other countries not to buy Chinese hardware because it will make it easier for China to spy and instead to buy American hardware, which would make it easier for the United States to spy.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-02-10/new-spheres-influence
https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-communications/the-terrifying-potential-of-the-5g-network

Britain and, to a lesser extent, Germany have said it is possible to keep Huawei away from the core network, and not allow the firm greater than 35% access.There have been reports of a highly charged phone call between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump in the wake of the UK decision. Johnson has postponed a planned visit to the US until the summer, citing the pressure of domestic work, but also reflecting the tensions between the two allies.

If states do have concerns about the security risks involved in allowing Chinese telecom companies, and these cannot be ruled out completely, there are effective mitigation measures such as using multiple vendors for 5G equipment or keeping Huawei out of sensitive parts of the network, like the U.K. is doing.

[October 29 2019 Meng Wanzhou: police in effect violated her rights? ]
Screenshot 2019-10-29 at 10.08.35 AM - Edited

Before Meng was formally arrested on 1 December, she was questioned for nearly three hours by Canadian border agents. She was also asked to surrender her electronic devices, which border agents searched.

By leading her to believe her detention and questioning were immigration-related – and not the result of a US arrest warrant – police in effect violated her rights under Canada’s charter, her legal team said in court filings.

[July 15 2010 Huawei’s 5G equipment in play ]

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada is likely to postpone a decision on whether to allow China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to supply 5G network equipment until after the October federal election. The question of whether Huawei’s 5G equipment could contain backdoors allowing access to spies is dividing Canada and its partners in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network. The United States, Australia and New Zealand have bans in place while Britain is taking a less firm line, indicating Huawei’s 5G products could be used in less sensitive areas.

Canada is watching what Britain does very closely, Ottawa could take a similar decision. Huawei has repeatedly insisted Beijing has no influence over it.

[June 26 2019 Canada should drop extradition proceedings? ]

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Canada should drop extradition proceedings argued a statement signed by the four legal heavyweights preparing Meng’s defence in the lead-up to her B.C. Supreme Court extradition hearing, which is expected to begin next January. Their argument speaks to the principle of “double criminality” at the heart of extradition law: that a crime in the country seeking extradition should also be considered a crime in Canada.
Besides — Meng’s legal team says the lies she is accused of making allegedly took place in Hong Kong in the presence of non-Canadian bankers. The Department of Justice said “Canada is a country that respects the rule of law”

[June 7 2019 extradition hearing January 20 2020 ]
British Columbia’s Supreme Court on June 6 3019 accepted a proposal by Meng Wanzhou’s defense team to start her hearing January 20, more than a year after she was taken into custody at Vancouver’s airport.

Defense lawyer David Martin said the schedule could allow the case to wrap up within two years, which he says would be a “record” for such a complicated case.

[May 5 2019 extradition process could take years ]

Meng Wanzhou, who is under house arrest at her Vancouver mansion, next appears in court on May 8 ahead of an extradition hearing, in a process that could take years. Canada says the United States is obliged to help, given that the U.S. arrest warrant triggered the crisis with Beijing. U.S. negotiators have rejected Chinese proposals to include the Huawei issue in their current trade deal discussions. Trump has previously suggested the charges against her could be dropped if that would help the trade talks. Officials in Ottawa have not forgotten that the president blew up last year’s Group of Seven summit in Canada by describing Trudeau as very dishonest and weak.

[April 16   Meng extradition ‘is a serious political incident’ -China   ]

The foreign ministry in Beijing and the Chinese embassy in Ottawa both issued strongly worded statements after Canada’s announcement on April 12 2019 .
“China strongly opposes Canada’s insistence to proceed with the so-called extradition of Ms Meng Wanzhou, and it has made a solemn representation,” the ministry said in a statement released on April 13 2019.
“It is a serious political incident. We again urge the US to rescind its request for the extradition of Ms Meng and call for Canada to release her immediately.”

Meng faces 13 charges of bank and wire fraud, violating US sanctions against Iran, and obstructing justice. When arrested she was carrying a iPhone 7 Plus, a MacBook Air, and an iPad Pro,

[March 22 2019 RCMP must show what was found on Sabrina Meng Wanzhou ]

The RCMP to provide copies of the content on seven electronic devices, an iPhone, an iPad, a Macbook Air, a Huawei phone, two SIM cards and a flash drive, on Meng Wanzhou when she was arrested at Vancouver’s airport. Within three days a representative of the Mounties must provide the electronics to the force’s technical crime unit so content can be extracted onto devices provided by Meng. Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court

[March 4 2019 sues about her arrest ]
Screenshot 2019-03-04 at 8.40.14 AM - Edited

Extradition could be a long process, and Meng’s lawsuits could draw it out further.

[March 1 2019 Sabrina Meng Wanzhou’s extradition to proceed March 6 2019 ]
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47046264

An extradition hearing against a Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive can proceed, a court in the Pacific province of British Columbia to start a formal extradition hearing. “The United States is a country with which we share a legal culture” and which Canada trusts, said Joanna Harrington, a law professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, an international human rights law specialist.

Screenshot 2019-03-01 at 9.21.22 AM - Edited.png

What came up after author posted the above

[   January 30 2019   ]

The judge moved the start of her extradition hearing to March 6, a month later than previously scheduled, in order to allow the defense time to review the evidence.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1125021/download

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chinese-telecommunications-device-manufacturer-and-its-us-affiliate-indicted-theft-trade

A spokesman for Canada’s justice department confirmed receipt of the extradition request. A copy of the request wasn’t immediately available.

United States will proceed with the formal extradition from Canada of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States said.

[December 13 2018 , arrested as she travelled to Mexico ]
December 20 2018: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying identified the third Canadian as Sarah McIver, who was serving “administrative punishment” due to “illegal employment”.

Michael Spavor is a businessman based in Dandong, near the Chinese border with North Korea. He has ties to the North Korean government and has met its leader Kim Jong-un many times. Canadian foreign ministry spokesman Guillaume Bérubé confirmed that Mr Spavor had contacted them earlier in the week because “he was being asked questions by Chinese authorities”.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/doj-tool-trade-chinese-exec-case-official-vows/story?id=59775531

“If I think it’s good for the country, if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump

The US has until January 8, 60 days from the arrest date to turn over its full extradition case with supporting evidence.

A British Columbia justice granted bail of $10 million Canadian (US$7.5 million) to Meng, but required her to wear an ankle bracelet, surrender her passports, stay in Vancouver and its suburbs and confine herself to one of her two Vancouver homes from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was detained. Kovrig works for the International Crisis Group, an independent conflict resolution think-tank. Saying he was “deeply concerned,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed that Canada was aware a Canadian citizen was detained in China.

Screenshot 2018-12-08 at 8.30.45 AM - Edited

Shi Yinhong, director of Renmin University’s Centre for American Studies and an adviser to the State Council, said that the Meng incident put China in a bind between the need to show it can protect its business people abroad without spooking other advanced industrial nations with a strong response against Canada.

The Global Times’ editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin,

“It is also one of China’s core interests to improve China’s relations with the U.S. and the West, and not to lead Sino-U.S. relations to the direction of a Cold War,” Hu said, at one point holding up his iPhone.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, John Gibb-Carsley, the lawyer representing Canada’s attorney general told a Vancouver bail hearing ,refused to visit the US, where her son attends school, which was evidence of a sustained effort to evade a criminal investigation.

Meng was arrested on December 5 as she travelled to Mexico.

[December 7 CFO of Huawei arrested while changing planes   ]

Screenshot 2018-12-05 at 8.41.07 PM - Edited.png

Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies, 46, faces “unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York” and was arrested when she was transferring flights in Canada.
In April, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into whether Huawei, which manufactures smartphones and other electronics, sold equipment to Iran despite sanctions on exporting to the region.  The Trump administration urged America’s allies to stop using Huawei telecommunications equipment because the Chinese company poses a security threat,    Last month New Zealand blocked Huawei from rolling out 5G mobile coverage over national security fears, following scrutiny of the firm by the UK, Japan and others.   CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou allegedly told employees in an earlier internal talk on compliance that there are scenarios where the company can weigh the costs and accept the risks of temporary non-compliance.

[December 3   Rise of China’s technology: 5G fearmongering?   ]

china 5g

5G development has become a bogeyman for the Trump administration .

If “big data” is the new oil of the digital era, then 5G is the next set of pipes that will deliver it – and unlike previous generations, China is determined to own more of this infrastructure, giving it mastery of its own industrial future. This not only sets it up a competitive technology clash, it also raises a number of national security issues for Western governments concerned about the integrity of 5G networks.
Phones, tablets, computers – devices such as home appliances, cars, dog collars, and many more are getting connected via the Internet of Things. 5G, which stands for “fifth generation,” is an upcoming standard for mobile telecommunications service. 5G technology will utilize a higher-frequency band of the wireless spectrum called millimeter wave that allows data to be transferred much more rapidly than the lower-frequency band dedicated to 4G. The downside is that millimeter wave signals don’t travel as far: The new 5G networks will require many more (albeit smaller) antennas spaced closer together than previous wireless generations. 5G home broadband, is essentially broadband without the cable. Of course, 5G is also much faster.

“Basically, power, money and politics is going east,” Younger said. “That’s a new political reality we need to adjust to.”

He said 5G reliance on Chinese technology was something Britain needed to discuss, though a bigger issue was the likely Chinese future dominance of emerging technologies.

Younger said he had been struck by President Xi Jinping’s “made in China” ambitions and that Beijing could within decades dominate all of the key emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics.

“This is something we really need to think about,” Younger said. “The future of knowledge is in play.” The head the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, Alex Younger.
Huawei dismisses American fears about its intentions as nationalistic fearmongering. It says it has no more connection to the Chinese government than Apple or Google and that installing backdoors for spies in its network hardware or software would be tantamount to market suicide.

[ July 29 2011  China Oil corruption: Zhou Yongkang, the backer of Bo Xilai, now ensnarled   ]

China’s ruling Communist Party has put former security chief Zhou Yongkang — one of its most powerful men — under investigation.
Zhou had been a patron of Bo Xilai, who he is said to have backed for a slot on the PSC. Bo was jailed for life in September 2013 for corruption and abuse of power. Bo’s fall from grace, and that of his convicted murderer wife Gu Kailai, was China’s most dramatic political scandal since the trial of the Gang of Four after the Cultural Revolution. It was inevitable the Bo investigation would soon ensnarl Zhou too.

Zhou, 71, was born in the eastern industrial city of Wuxi in 1942, the son of a senior Communist defence procurement bureaucrat. Three years after entering Suzhou Middle School in 1958, he enrolled in the Beijing Petroleum Institute, now called the China University of Petroleum. He got his start in the 1970s as a technician for the Liaohe Oil Exploration Bureau in the northeastern province of Liaoning, home to China’s third-largest oil field.

In ordering the investigation of Mr. Zhou, Xi has broken with an unwritten understanding that members of the Standing Committee will not be investigated after retirement.
Two of Zhou’s former secretaries – Yu Gang and Ji Wenlin – and one of his former security guards, Tan Hong, faced charges over accepting bribes. Xinjiang’s former No 2 party official, Yang Gang, faced similar charges.
Mr. Zhou’s son, a sister-in-law and his son’s mother-in-law held assets worth some $1 billion, much of it in the oil and gas sector that was Mr. Zhou’s political fiefdom.
3/31/2014 China has seized at least $14.5 billion of assets from family and associates of the country’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang in the biggest corruption scandal since the Communist Party came to power in 1949
More than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, political allies and staff have been taken into custody or questioned.
The amount of money involved vastly exceeds the $2.7 billion of assets said in 2012 to be controlled by the family of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao.
If the reported $14.5 billion of assets were ultimately owned by Zhou and excluded debt, his fortune would rank at No. 69 on Forbes magazine’s latest tally of the world’s billionaires.
7
1 September 2013 Jiang Jiemin is also the subject of a corruption investigation. Until March Mr Jiang was head of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which has faced a number of corruption allegations. Another four CNPC executives were under investigation for corruption.

Historian Zhang Lifan said the investigation into Zhou showed factional struggles within the party were intensifying.

“We need to watch whether the struggle stops with Zhou. Xi might have won the ultimate victory, and it could stop there,” Zhang said. “After all, such a struggle is hurting the party, too, because it reveals to the public so many ugly things.”

[October 4 2011 Financial contagion from Chinese export dip

Yuan contagion

Yuan contagion

Now Beijing is expanding the use of the RMB in other financial centers, to allow for foreign holdings of the currency to be used for direct investment in China. According to Arvin Subramanian of the Financial Times, “the process is micro-managed, interventionist, and enclave-based – not a day seems to pass without some foreign entity, or country being granted greater but selective access to the renminbi.” Last week, the Financial Times reported that “China is for the first time to give formal backing to moves by British banks to turn the City of London into an offshore trading center for the renminbi.” Furthermore, the Economist reports that “in Singapore, banks now offer yuan deposits and bond funds. Its central bank is one of a dozen that have agreements with the Peoples Bank of China to swap their currencies for yuan.” here

As Premier Wen Jiabao famously put it back in 2007, the country’s growth is “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable.” In such a crisis, China’s economic weight would become a liability. The IMF estimates that the impact of Chinese demand on the world’s largest economies has more than doubled over the past decade. A deteriorating outlook for Chinese imports could send commodity prices plummeting, precipitating heavy losses for investors and risking financial contagion. more

piercebush

Pierce Bush, r, wife & dog, l

Pierce Bush, son of Neil Bush and grandson of George H.W. Bush is in the Republican primary for the open-seat race in Texas’s 22nd District, which spans the southern suburbs of Houston. Only 41 percent of the district’s residents are white.

[Novwmber 11 2020 Rick Perry walks the plank? Confirmed ]
walk-the-plank

Perry handed the new Ukrainian president a list of people he recommended as energy advisers. One of the four names was his longtime political backer Michael Bleyzer.
A week later, Bleyzer and his partner Alex Cranberg submitted a bid to drill for oil and gas at a sprawling government-controlled site called Varvynska. They offered millions of dollars less to the Ukrainian government than their only competitor for the drilling rights, but their newly created joint venture, Ukrainian Energy, was awarded the 50-year contract little more than a month after the U.S. energy secretary attended Zelenskiy’s May inauguration.

perryzelensky

Michael Bleyzer

[November 2 2019]
“The Secretary will not partake in a secret star chamber inquisition where agency counsel is forbidden to be present,” spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said in a statement, referring to James Richard “Rick” Perry.

“In our conversations dealing with this issue, I never heard the president say the words Biden,” Petry said. “I never heard the word Biden mentioned, not from him, not from staff, not from the EU ambassador [Gordon Sondland], not from [former U.S. special representative for Ukraine] Kurt Volker. Never one time was that said.”

[October 17 2019]
Energy Secretary Rick Perry notified President Donald Trump October 17 2019 that he will soon be leaving the post.

Trump acknowledged Perry’s planned departure while visiting a Louis Vuitton plant in Texas, saying he’d done a “fantastic job.” The president added that a replacement would be announced soon: “We have the man that we’re going — in this case it’s a man that we’re going to be putting in Rick’s place. We’ll be announcing it very shortly.”

[October 7 2019]

VILNIUS (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said October 7 2019 he had no plans to resign. “No. I’m here, I’m serving. it’s not today, it’s not tomorrow, it’s not next month,”

President Trump told House Republicans that he made his now infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry — a call Trump claimed he didn’t even want to make.
https://www.axios.com/trump-blamed-rick-perry-call-ukraine-zelensky-8178447a-0374-4ac6-b321-a9454b0565d4.html

Department of Energy Press Secretary Shaylyn Hynes told NBC News late October 5 2019 that “Secretary Perry absolutely supported and encouraged the President to speak to the new President of Ukraine to discuss matters related to their energy security and economic development.”

“He continues to believe that there is significant need for improved regional energy security — which additional options for natural gas supply will provide — and this is exactly why he is heading to Lithuania tonight to meet with nearly two dozen European energy leaders (including Ukraine) on these issues.”

Speaking on the Christian Broadcasting Network on October 6 2019, he denied any impropriety.   “Not once, as God as my witness, not once was a Biden name — not the former vice president, not his son — ever mentioned,” he said. “Corruption was talked about in the country but it was always a relatively vague term of, you know, the oligarchs and this and that and what have you.”

Chairmen of three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Friday demanded Vice President Mike Pence turn over documents related to the president’s campaign to pressure Ukraine for political objectives, including records from Energy Secretary Rick Perry and the department he runs.

Reps. Eliot L. Engel, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee; and Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent the letter.

They also want Pence to turn over records about a May 23 meeting at the White House involving Trump, Perry, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Sen. Robert Menendez, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked Perry on Tuesday about the trip he led to Ukraine on May 20, when he attended the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The House investigators demanded files on the Ukraine trip, as well as two others: a July 10 White House meeting with Ukrainian and American officials, including Perry; and a separate meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on or around Sept. 1.

[September 3 2019 in Ukraine inquiry? ]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment investigation about Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to look into investigating former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The complaint mentioned Perry, who led a small U.S. delegation to Zelenskiy’s inauguration in May, replacing Vice President Mike Pence who had been scheduled to go.
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is expected to announce his resignation in November,three people said his expected departure was not related to the Ukraine controversy.

[August 21 2019 pushes nuke data to Saudis ]
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/davidmack/rick-perry-instagram-hoax-meme

[July 30 2019]

Oversight Committee Democrats say they fear that the administration is allowing the founders of IP3, an energy consulting firm with close ties to former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, to sell nuclear technology to the Saudis with no non-proliferation safeguards. DOE has approved 37 “Part 810” authorizations for U.S. companies to discuss sale of civil nuclear technology overseas, including seven to Saudi Arabia. Emails indicate IP3 had at least two meetings with Rick Perry; he met with IronBridge, an IP3 subsidiary, three weeks after taking his own oath of office, on March 23, 2017. The collaboration was an effort to avoid forcing the Saudis to sign a so-called Section 123 agreement, a strict non-proliferation accord designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, referred colloquially as the “gold standard.”

https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/multiple-whistleblowers-raise-grave-concerns-with-white-house-efforts-to

[Apeil 17 2019 to Texas? ]
Rick PerryBloomberg News reports that Rick Perry is preparing to leave his post as Energy Secretary.
A department spokesperson says “There is no truth that Secretary Perry is departing the administration any time soon.”

[January 11 2019 George P. Bush, future face of the Texas Republican party? ]

5c02db6560267-image

George Prescott Bush 2016

“George P. Bush ran ahead of Ted Cruz, got more votes and a higher percentage of the vote than Ted Cruz,” He was the first statewide elected official to call for the Tarrant County Republican Party to stop efforts to remove a Muslim vice chairman from his post. Jeb’s son, George P. Bush, was elected Texas land commissioner in 2014. Bush, whose mother is a Mexican immigrant, was touted as a future face of the party who could help diversify it and make inroads with the growing Latino population in Texas.

The current Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing three felony indictments and is widely seen by Texas Republicans as a political liability who adversely affects the party’s image among general election voters.

If Paxton is forced to resign prior to 2022, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott could appoint Bush to fill the vacancy, or, if not, Bush could file to run in the 2022 election.

[  Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Rick Perry deciding on A-bomb “very dangerous”   ]

Rick Perry

U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act on May 24, approving their funding plan for the military and mapping out some policy priorities.
The bill, known as H.R. 5515, passed the House with bipartisan support in a 351-to-66 vote. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted overwhelmingly, 25-2, to advance the legislation to the Senate floor.

Proposed National Defense Authorization Act for 2019 [ndaa 2019] will allow the Secretary of Energy to pursue development of a low-yield nuclear weapon without first receiving specific authorization from Congress, the matter will be unilaterally decided by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. The bill would grant the energy secretary new authority to carry out the weapon’s energy development phase, or any subsequent phase, without Congress’ specific approval. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., authored the bill’s language. Sen. Dianne Feinstein alerted colleagues to the Cotton amendment, reading it at the Democratic Caucus lunch meeting.

She has expressed objection to a Cabinet-level secretary being able to initiate the advanced engineering a new nuclear weapon without Congress’ specific approval.

“The amendment, I think, is very dangerous,” she said June 6.   The 1,140-page 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which still faces months of congressional debate before becoming law,

[March 7   George P Bush clears 50 percent in Texas primary   ]

Bush relied heavily on his support from both Trump and Donald Trump Jr. to clear 50 percent in a race against a field that included former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

[March 3 2018]

[ July 7 2017 Perry economics “pretty simple”]

Rick Perry

Rick Perry gave an ‘economics lesson’ where he got the basic concept of supply and demand completely wrong

‘You put the supply out there and the demand will follow,’ Donald Trump’s Energy Secretary. said.

“I mean, that’s really pretty simple.” Mr Perry said, responding to a question about a shale gas boom,

[Martch 4 Perry confirmed]

Rick and Anita Perry

Rick and Anita Perry

The Senate has confirmed former Texas governor Rick Perry to serve as Energy secretary under President Trump.
The vote was 62-37 on Thursday.
Perry — who once pledged to eliminate the department — has repeatedly promised be an advocate for the agency and to protect the nation’s nuclear stockpile. Perry also has said he’d rely on federal scientists, including those who work on climate change.
Perry has said he’ll work to develop American energy in all forms — from oil, gas and nuclear power to renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

[August 8 2016 President George Prescott Bush]

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/07/politics/george-p-bush-donald-trump-jeb-bush/#

George P. Bush urges Republicans to back Trump. “The guy probably wasn’t his 10th choice. But he is the nominee we have, and George P. is doing what he needs to do, and I’m sure his father has absolutely no trouble with it.”

sp_bush   Samuel P. Bush

[June 2015 Rick Perry: candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president ]

Hunting lodge of Gov Rick Perry  Texas,  Image is Photoshopped,

Hunting lodge of Gov Rick Perry Texas, Image is Photoshopped

“It was the weakest Republican field in history, and they kicked my butt,” Perry said in a self-deprecating speech at the 2012 Gridiron Club dinner. Rick Perry formally announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president at an event in Addison, Texas, June 4, 2015 Perry, 65, has worked tirelessly to shed his image as a failed presidential candidate. Though he left office on Jan. 20, Perry has unfinished business back home in Austin. He was indicted last year on felony counts of abusing his power as governor by threatening to veto funding for a district attorney unless she resigned because of a drunk-driving arrest. Perry has denounced the case as a political witch hunt, and conservatives have rallied to his cause. Perry served as lieutenant governor of Texas before becoming the 47th governor of the state in 2000, when George W. Bush resigned from the position to assume the presidency.

[August 23 2014 Republican judge, prosecutor got indictment from Grand Jury]

Many reporters in Texas know Perry and are much more familiar with the details in this case, the fact that these are Republicans investigating this and that Perry has a history of hardball politics in forcing people out. This is a much more nuanced story than some in the Beltway understand.” Forrest Wilder, who is covering the story for the Texas Observer, noted in a recent piece that the criminal complaint against Perry filed in June 2013 by Texans for Public Justice was assigned to a Republican judge who then appointed a former prosecutor in the George H.W. Bush administration as special prosecutor.
“There is nothing about this indictment process that suggests partisan bias,” said Wilder. “You had a Republican judge who appointed a special prosecutor who has largely a Republican pedigree who presented testimony from 40 individuals. There were hundreds of documents reviewed and the grand jury decided to indict.”

He also called much of the national coverage “mystifying.”
Mike Norman, editorial director of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said
“The indictment is not the case and the national analysis is attacking the indictment and they don’t seem to see how this can be anything other than politics,” “If you’re saying that that process which our legal system set up produced only a political result, then you are saying the whole justice system is corrupt and I don’t believe that is the case.”

[August 16 Rick Perry indicted in Austin ]

Rick and Anita Perry

Rick and Anita Perry

A potential 2016 presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, was indicted in Austin on August 15 for improperly withholding money from a state prosecutorial unit because its Democratic district attorney refused to resign after pleading guilty to drunken driving last year.
He faces felony counts of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. The first charge carries a maximum punishment of five to 99 years in prison, while the second could lead to two to 10 years behind bars

[October 2 2011 Rick Perry’s West Texas ranch lease documents]

Rick Perry's hunting lease

Rick Perry’s hunting lease

The hunting camp was simple in the 1980s, just a cabin with a long table for cleaning fish and deer, a few bunks and a porch set along a riverbank
A second story was added to the old cabin, along with brown wood siding and an outdoor staircase.

wp

fullsizerender-2
Trial suspended until February 26 2020 due to lawyers strike. Vive la liberté.

111012266_060194335

February 24 entering court

186535-francois-fillon-et-sa-femme-penelope-950x0-3

François Fillon and his wife Penelope at the Elysée August 14 2019 for a dinner in honor of the Lebanese President

The trial opens on February 24 2020 in Paris and is expected to last until 11 March. Fillon faces up to 10 years in prison and a €1m fine if convicted of misusing public funds.

[August 15 2019 trial March 10 2020 ]

[July 11 2019] French former Prime Minister Francois Fillon and his wife will stand trial between February 24 and March 10, a Paris court said.

[March 23 2019] Investigating judges have recommended a trial for the 65-year-old conservative and his British wife Penelope on charges of misusing public money, conspiracy and failing to fully disclose their financial situation to a French watchdog. Under France’s legal system, Fillon can appeal the decision to put him on trial.

1mdb

Three arms of Goldman Sachs reportedly pleaded not guilty February 24 2020 in Kuala Lumpur after a judge read out the charges related to the bank’s alleged role in raising $6.5 billion in bond sales for the state-backed fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

[October 23 2019]
Screenshot 2019-10-23 at 10.57.07 AM - Edited

Malaysia’s finance minister said the government would be ready to discuss dropping the charges against Goldman if it agreed to pay $7.5 billion in reparations. Goldman has not commented on any figure but said last year it had set aside $1.8 billion to cover potential losses related to 1MDB legal proceedings.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was keen to reach a deal with Goldman this year itself as the government grapples with a high debt burden.

[September 19 2019]
Screenshot 2019-08-09 at 8.00.04 AM - Edited
tem-deepakandlawyer

It is the 10th day of the 1MDB trial in Malaysia (Sept 19). the DoJ has not yet brought criminal charges againstGoldman Sachs.
[August 9 2019]
Malaysia filed criminal charges against 17 current and former directors of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in a case linked to 1MDB.
Those charged include Goldman Sachs Group Vice-Chairman Richard J. Gnodde, who served as co-chief executive officer at Goldman Sachs International, and Brian Griffiths, once an adviser to former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. John Michael Evans, who retired from the U.S. bank to become president of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., was also charged.
Other Goldman directors charged include Michael Sydney Sherwood, Robin Antony Vince and Claes Ake Gustaf Dahlback from Goldman Sachs International; and Goh Boon Leng and Liow Chang Lee from Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte.
Ten Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC officials were also charged, including Dimitrios Kavvathas, John Michael Evans, Amol Sagun Naik, Keith Leslie Hayes, Richard Mark Campbell-Breeden, Ronald Suk Bae Lee, Archie William Parnell, Frederick Towfigh, Matthew Thayer Freemont-Smith and Oliver Robert Morgan Bolitho. The charges say the Goldman Sachs units omitted material facts in the bond offerings, among them that Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho was the operator and key intermediary for 1MDB.    Three subsidiaries charged: Goldman Sachs International, Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte.
https://wp.me/pEe9-12Y

Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorneys are following a classic strategy, seizing on what they say are prosecutorial missteps and misguided judicial rulings to build a case for a potential appeal after the Hollywood producer’s rape trial.

Donna Rotunno, defense attorney, said Harvey Weinstein was having heart palpitations and was admitted to the hospital.

 

Marianne Bertuna

weinstein mike

Not guilty on sexual predator charges one and three.

[February 21 2020 deadlocked ” not uncommon” says Judge ]

harvey-weinstein-releaseing-less-indiependent-movies

Jurors in the trial against Harvey Weinstein were deadlocked. The jury is hung on the first and third charges — of predatory sexual assault — and unanimous on the other three charges. To convict Weinstein of predatory sexual assault, the jury must be convinced that he committed a first-degree sexual offense against Annabella Sciorra and either Miriam Haley or Jessica Mann, or both.
There are a variety of ways in which the jury is limited as to possible outcomes. They will present their decision under the form of a verdict sheet, which comes with instructions. Jurors are supposed to begin by deciding on the predatory sexual assault counts – the very ones they seemed to struggle with this Friday – before tackling or skipping the other three. The verdict sheet forbids certain combinations, too – finding Weinstein not guilty on a specific count would mean issuing an identical verdict on another count, etc.

The prosecution issued their disapproval. The Weinstein legal team said they would accept a partial verdict.

“It is not uncommon for a jury to believe they will never reach a unanimous verdict but on further deliberation, they are often able to reach a unanimous verdict,” Burke told the courtroom.

[February 11 2020 Defense rests ]

Outside the presence of the jury, one of Weinstein’s lawyers told Justice James Burke that Weinstein would not be taking the stand.

“That’s correct,” Weinstein confirmed when asked by the judge.

The defense rested its case shortly after this exchange

[January 23 2020 Annabella Sciorra the prosecution’s second witness ]

Annabella Sciorra took the stand on the morning of January 23 2020— as the prosecution’s second witness — to testify about the night in the winter of 1993 or 1994 when she claims that Harvey Weinstein raped her after an industry dinner.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/annabella-sciorra-testifies-harvey-weinstein-raped-her-1272310

[July 11 2019 his two new female attorneys, Marianne Bertuna and Diana Fabi Samson ]
12756178-6963907-formation_harvey_weinstein_appeared_in_court_on_friday_with_his_-a-33_1556290964994

his two new female attorneys, Marianne Bertuna, New York Law School, and Diana Fabi Samson, Villanova University School of Law

Judge approved a new Weinstein legal team. After approving Baez’s request to withdraw from the case, Burke called him to the bench for a one-on-one chat that lasted about five minutes with no court reporter to transcribe the conversation.

Harvey Weinstein’s sex assault trial delayed, is now set for Sept. 9. Weinstein lawyer Marianne Bertuna argued that news coverage could influence potential jurors and that “the court cannot be complicit with the press in denying the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”

[June 11 2010 opens film in China ]

John Cusack, Chow Yun-Fat

Shanghai, John Cusack, Chow Yun-Fat

“Shanghai” is the first fruit of a $285 million Weinstein Co. fund announced in August 2007, which planned to produce two dozen films over six years.

The film screens Friday in Hong Kong and at the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 13.

SHANGHAI

SYNOPSIS
The story of an American spy who arrives in Shanghai during the winter of 1941 to discover his friend has been killed. Driven to investigate the murder, he is drawn into an ever increasing web of mystery, conspiracy and deceit.

CAST
John Cusack, Chow Yun-Fat

more

sarkozy

Private interview with Ivory Coast Pres, Alassane Ouattara on February 21

Nicolas Sarkozy will stand trial on corruption charges in a case in which he is accused of trying to obtain classified information from a judge.
The trial will start on 5 October 2020 and will last until 22 October, a Paris court said.
This will be the first trial in several corruption investigations against Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012.

[September 9 2016 Another dose of Sarko? EuroTrump ]

President Hollande stands low just now in opinion polls. Nicolas Sarkozy’s problem is that he first needs to win a primary in November. He is no longer the champion of the right, but rather the challenger: His former foreign minister, Alain Juppé, 71, leads in the primary race. And a former prime minister, François Fillon, who is also running, is crucifying his ex-boss for comparing himself to de Gaulle. (“Can you imagine de Gaulle under investigation?” he lashed out recently, in a reference to long-running charges against Mr. Sarkozy of illegal campaign financing.)

So why should France need Mr. Sarkozy in 2017 if it did not want him in 2012? Because, as he explains in his new book, this is not the same country. The situation created by the recent wave of terrorist attacks requires a strong, experienced man at the helm, this argument goes. “I felt I had the strength to lead this battle at such a tormented moment in our history,” he wrote. Some saw in the title “All for France” a reference to a book written by Jacques Chirac for his 1995 campaign, “La France pour tous” (“France for All”). By reversing the proposition, Mr. Sarkozy hopes that his new patriotic spirit will prevail

41ljz8ma0wl-_sx309_bo1204203200_

If this book has any meaning, perhaps its utility is that the time has come for clarity. I wanted to make the effort to go and get, in my heart, my truth on my mistakes as on my successes. I mean to say, without artifice, what I really believe in for the future. The only verdict that really important to me is yours, the readers.    In any political horizon that I may seek I mean less to seduce than to encourage understanding of the complexity of situations and the sequence of events.

[June 27 2015    Sarkozy: IMSI, Bettencourt, Bygmalion, “Kazakh-gate” ]

Keeping track of all those cases can be difficult. So here is a rundown of four of the most current and high-profile investigations involving Nicolas Sarkozy, with ratings on a scale of 1 to 10 of the potential to damage him.

1. The IMSI-catcher — 8/10

The case: In 2013, investigating judge Serge Tournaire was looking into allegations that members of Sarkozy’s entourage solicited funds from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to finance their boss’s 2007 presidential campaign. As part of that probe he ordered police to tap the mobile phones of Sarkozy and his lawyer, Thierry Herzog.

Suspicious of surveillance, the two men took to communicating instead over throwaway phones that had been purchased under a false name, Herzog told Le Monde in an interview last year.

The police caught on to this scheme, too. Using a scanning device known as an IMSI-catcher, they picked up the signal emanating from Sarkozy’s residence in western Paris and put new taps on both phones, which delivered the most problematic evidence yet revealed in public about the former president.

In excerpts of recorded conversations between Sarkozy and Herzog, which were originally published in the Mediapart newspaper, the two men allegedly discuss the planned seizure of evidence in yet another investigation, involving heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

They refer to a “friend” who is informed and can intercede to stop the evidence being seized. According to Mediapart and Le Monde, Herzog mentions that the man wants a posting in the principality of Monaco and Sarkozy says that he can help.

Judge Tournaire, arguing that the offer to help amounted to an attempt to grant a favor in exchange for information about a secret investigation, placed Sarkozy under formal investigation for violating the secrecy of legal proceedings, corruption and influence-peddling.

In French criminal law, a formal investigation means there is “serious or consistent” evidence of implication in a crime. It brings a suspect one step closer to trial. However, some are dropped without going to court.

What Sarkozy says: He has denied all wrongdoing. In a TV interview last July, Sarkozy pointed out that the friend discussed in the taped conversation, a magistrate named Gilbert Azibert, never got his job in Monaco. He refers to a another taped conversation that was never leaked to the press in which he allegedly withdrew his offer of help to Azibert.

Sarkozy also rejected the notion that he had used an intermediary to influence the Bettencourt investigation. He said that Azibert had exerted no influence because the court authorized the seizure of evidence — an appointment diary — against his wishes. “Where is there influence-peddling?” Sarkozy asked.

Still, Sarkozy’s lawyers appealed to have the tapes suppressed as evidence — an appeal that a court rejected after eight months of deliberation. Sarkozy’s legal team has lodged another appeal motion with the high Court of Cassation, but the investigation is ongoing while the motion considered.
If it is rejected, Sarkozy could be indicted on charges related to the accusations in the formal investigation. A state-appointed prosecutor would then try the case.

2. The Bettencourt affair — 1/10

The case: In 2010, L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt’s accountant, Claire Thibout, told Mediapart that conservative politicians including Sarkozy collected envelopes stuffed with cash at the billionaire’s house. She alleged that Eric Woerth, treasurer of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign, had been given an envelope containing €150,000 in cash shortly before the vote.

If proven, this would have amounted to a violation of French campaign finance law, which limits contributions to €7,500 for political parties and €4,500 for individuals.

In 2013, two judges in Bordeaux placed Sarkozy under formal investigation for trying to take advantage of a vulnerable person to take money from her. They had by that time stopped trying to prove he used the money to finance his campaign. A few months later Sarkozy’s name was removed altogether from the list of suspects.

Woerth, however, was charged with influence-peddling and illegal political financing. The judges also charged several people in Bettencourt’s entourage, including her “confidante,” François-Marie Banier, and her accountant, Patrice de Maistre, with fraud, taking advantage of a vulnerable person and money laundering.

In May 2015, a Bordeaux court handed down jail sentences for Banier and De Maistre but acquitted Woerth. The president of the court said that while there was a “strong suspicion” that Woerth had taken advantage of Bettencourt’s weakness to take money from her, evidence was lacking to prove it.
What Sarkozy says: Sarkozy maintained his innocence throughout the investigation. In a Facebook post after he was removed from the list of suspects, he denounced people who had questioned his probity during his 2007 presidential campaign.

Woerth, who sweated out years of investigation, is now a senior official in Sarkozy’s party, Les Républicains.

While the case is officially over, it lives on as part of the IMSI-catcher investigation.

According to French media, investigating judges argued that in their secret conversations, Sarkozy and his lawyer were trying to curry favor with a magistrate so he would stop officials from seizing Sarkozy’s appointment diary as evidence in the Bettencourt investigation (the diary was ultimately seized).

While Sarkozy cannot be re-investigated for the Bettencourt allegations, any trial on the newer accusations of influence-peddling would delve into the circumstances of conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer. That, in turn, could dig up the freshly buried Bettencourt investigation, which took place under his presidency.

3. The Bygmalion affair — 4/10

The case: Judges have placed ten people under formal investigation for their alleged participation in a scheme to cover up campaign spending violations in Sarkozy’s 2012 campaign.

In France, the government sets a ceiling for how much money a campaign can spend in each of two rounds in the presidential election — €22.5 million for the second round in 2012.

Judges argue that Bygmalion, an events company that organized Sarkozy’s campaign rallies, used false invoices to underreport its spending. Then, using another set of invoices, it charged a much higher amount to the center-right UMP party for the same services. Witnesses cited in the French press claimed spending exceeded the legal limit by more than €15 million.

Former UMP chief Jean-François Copé stepped down from his post in the wake of the “Bygmalion” scandal.

What Sarkozy says: In a 2014 meeting with party members, Sarkozy told one who asked him about the Bygmalion affair: “There is a scheme, for sure. But the courts are taking care of it. Let me tell you one thing: The person most determined to make people who have done bad things pay is me!”
Sarkozy is not cited as a suspect in the formal investigation, although judges are trying to determine whether he knew of or encouraged the double-invoicing scheme.

So far, the investigation is ongoing. Here again, if the case is rumbling in the midst of the presidential campaign, Sarkozy could face embarrassing questions about the practices of his own party.

4. “Kazakh-gate” — 3/10

The case: Launched in 2012 by two Parisian judges, the investigation delves into the circumstances surrounding France’s 2010 sale of 45 Eurocopter helicopters to Kazakhstan in a deal worth about €2 billion, according to legal documents cited by Davet and Fabrice Lhomme in Le Monde.

The judges suspect that during a 2009 state visit to Kazakhstan, then-President Sarkozy was asked by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to help out three of his friends who were in legal trouble in Belgium, in exchange for the helicopter contract.

In March Jean-François Etienne des Rosaies, a former envoy under Sarkozy, was placed under formal investigation on suspicion that he received payment for pressuring a Belgian senator to adopt an amendment favorable to Nazarbayev’s three aides. Other close collaborators of Sarkozy are also named in the probe.

Sarkozy is not cited directly in the case. But a public trial of intermediaries allegedly paid by the Élysée to intervene on its behalf could prompt an unpleasant exploration of business practices under Sarkozy’s presidency.

What Sarkozy says: He has denied all wrongdoing.

[ June 22 Dominique Strauss-Kahn: live another day]

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will not testify in the conflict-of-interest trial of Groupe BPCE Executive Chairman Francois Perol. Sarkozy invoked his constitutional immunity as former head of state in refusing to appear as a witness. France’s central bank chief, Christian Noyer, is scheduled to testify Thursday, the court heard as the trial began Monday.
Perol, 51, who took over in 2009 at BPCE, is accused of violating a law prohibiting government officials from taking private-sector jobs in areas they oversaw. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros.
Perol was Sarkozy’s top economic adviser and deputy chief of staff from 2007 to early 2009, when the government propped up banks including customer-owned lenders Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne. The government encouraged the combination of these two lenders to create BPCE and stem losses at Natixis SA, their common investment-banking division.

[August 29 2011 Dominique Strauss-Kahn more popular than Carla-Bruni Sarkozy?]

Dominique Strauss-Kahn more popular than  Carla-Bruni Sarkozy?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn more popular than Carla-Bruni Sarkozy?

Although those left in the running are not scandal-tainted like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, they lack his charisma and broad appeal. Most come across as unreconstructed Left-wingers who have failed to capitalise on Mr Sarkozy’s current unpopularity. Mr Sarkozy is seeing his own approval ratings slowly climb. He plans to strike a “father of the nation” pose after the timely birth of his child with third wife Carla-Bruni Sarkozy by the end of the year.