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Tesla reportedly laid off about 200 workers in its Autopilot division

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 8:06pm
Elon Musk at the Tesla Grünheide site in May 2021.
  • Elon Musk has repeatedly said Tesla would begin layoffs and has been trimming its workforce.
  • Tesla laid off roughly 200 people in its Autopilot division, Bloomberg reported Tuesday
  • The cuts included the closing of an entire office in a Bay Area suburb.

Elon Musk's electric car company, Tesla, is doing another round of layoffs, this time in its Autopilot division, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. 

Tesla laid off an estimated 200 workers and closed an entire office in San Mateo, California; some of the office's 350 workers were moved to another location, Bloomberg added. 

This wasn't unexpected: In early June, Elon Musk said he wanted to cut jobs and he had a "super bad feeling" about the economy, Reuters reported. 

Most recently, he said via video at the Qatar Economic Forum last week he wanted to cut up to 3.5% of the company's total workforce, specifically those who have salaries. The company had about 100,000 employees at the end of last year. 

Two former Tesla workers in Nevada last week filed a lawsuit that said the company broke the law by letting go of people without giving notice required by the WARN Act, which requires large employers in certain circumstances to give people 60 day's notice about a big layoff event. Musk called the lawsuit "trivial." 

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment on the recent layoffs. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here are all the people who sought preemptive pardons from Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, per January 6 committee witnesses

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 8:03pm
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined from left by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a news conference on Dec. 7, 2021.
  • At least nine people close to Donald Trump reportedly requested preemptive pardons following Jan. 6.
  • Former Trump aides named six GOP lawmakers while testifying before the Jan. 6 panel this month.
  • A former aide also said Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani asked the then-president for pardons.

At least six Republican members of Congress requested preemptive pardons from former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Capitol insurrection, according to testimony from former Trump aides last Thursday.

The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot has hosted six public hearings so far revealing their findings, which also included public damning testimony from former staffers in the Trump administration.

GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene were among the six GOP lawmakers also asked Trump to pardon them for their efforts in trying to overturn the 2020 election.

During a surprise hearing on Tuesday, June 28, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, also testified that former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were among those who asked the former president for a preemptive pardon after the pro-Trump mob descended upon the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Hutchinson also previously testified that former Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio had discussed pardons with the White House but never asked for one.

On Sunday, Jordan responded to his mention during the hearing, accusing the January 6 House panel of "misrepresenting" a video clip of him saying "the ultimate date of significance is Jan. 6 in a presidential election in determining the winner."

"This committee, I think the country understands, is purely partisan," Jordan said. "And they're frankly not paying much attention to what's being said."

Here are all of the people who sought a pardon from Trump following the Capitol riot, per testimony:

 

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark MeadowsFormer White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Hutchinson, who served as a top aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows at the time of the insurrection, testified on Tuesday that her former boss asked the president for a preemptive pardon in the wake of the Capitol siege.

Rudy GiulianiFormer New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

In the surprise public hearing on Tuesday, Hutchinson also alleged that Giuliani asked Trump for a pardon over the January 6 attack. 

Media outlets previously reported that Giuliani had also requested a preemptive pardon ahead of the siege in December 2020 related to a criminal probe into whether the former New York City mayor violated foreign lobbying laws through his business dealings in Ukraine.

Giuliani did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

 

Rep. Andy Biggs of ArizonaRep. Andy Biggs.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified in a previous video deposition that Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona was among six GOP lawmakers who requested a pardon from Trump for any connection to the January 6 Capitol attack. 

The select committee in May requested that Biggs testify about any communications he'd had with Trump, Trump administration officials, and Stop the Steal rally organizers regarding efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. The lawmaker refused to cooperate with the probe and accused the committee of engaging in a "baseless witch hunt."

Following Hutchinson's public allegation that he sought a presidential pardon for January 6, Biggs denied the accusation in a Twitter statement and said the former aide was "mistaken" in her testimony. He accused the panel of "deceptively" editing Hutchinson's words to "make it appear as if I personally asked her" for the pardon.

Rep. Mo Brooks of AlabamaRep. Mo Brooks of Alabama.

In the days following the insurrection, Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama requested a blanket pardon not only for himself, but for all 146 GOP members of Congress who objected to the certification of President Joe Biden's 2020 win, per the January 6 committee.

In an email to Molly Michaels, Trump's former White House executive assistant, Brooks asked for "all purpose pardons" for the lawmakers. The January 6 panel earlier this month shared an image of the email with a subject line reading "Pardons."

In the correspondence, Brooks specifically said he was writing on behalf of Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, as well.

In a statement to Insider last week, Brooks confirmed the legitimacy of the email and said he had made the request because there was "concern" that Democrats would prosecute and jail Republicans following January 6.

"Fortunately, with time passage, more rational forces took over and no one was persecuted for performing their lawful duties, which means a pardon was unnecessary after all," he said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of FloridaRepublican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida at the White House on May 8, 2020.

Former Trump aides also named Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida as one of the lawmakers who sought a preemptive pardon related to the Capitol siege and efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential election.

Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann said Gaetz's pardon request covered "from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things," asking for a pardon similar to the one received by President Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal. 

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson also testified that Gaetz's requests for a pardon dated back as early as December 2020 — weeks before a mob of Trump supporters laid siege to the US Capitol. 

Following the aides' testimony, Gaetz did not deny having asked for a pardon. Instead, he attacked the select committee as "an unconstitutional political sideshow" in a Twitter statement.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of TexasU.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, listens during a news conference at the Capitol Building on December 07, 2021 in Washington, DC.

After former Trump aides testified last Thursday that Gohmert sought a pardon from Trump, the Texas lawmaker denied doing so and accused the January 6 committee of spreading "propaganda."

"I have never sought a pardon for myself and anybody who says otherwise is a liar and possibly a lot worse," Gohmert tweeted last Friday.

Ahead of the Capitol riot in January 2021, GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert attempted to overturn the 2020 election by filing a suit maintaining that former Vice President Mike Pence, not US voters, had the power to decide the presidency.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of GeorgiaRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia

Cassidy Hutchinson, the former White House aide, testified that she heard that Greene had asked for a pardon from the White House Counsel's Office following the Capitol riot.

In response, Greene tweeted a clip of Hutchinson's testimony, writing "Saying 'I heard' means you don't know."

"Spreading gossip and lies is exactly what the January 6th Witch Hunt Committee is all about," she wrote in the tweet.

Greene, a staunch Trump ally, has been vocal about disputed claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, though in July 2021 she was among those who rejected the conspiracy theory that Trump will be reinstated as president in August.

Rep. Scott Perry of PennsylvaniaRepublican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania outside the Capitol on December 3, 2020.

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves on the January 6 House panel, said during a hearing that Perry had requested a pardon for his role in seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Perry, along with several other Republican lawmakers, has refused to testify before the committee.

According to the January 6 committee, the Pennsylvania Republican played a significant role in the then-president's efforts to stay in power by introducing Trump to sympathetic DOJ official Jeffrey Clark and pushing then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to set in motion a plan to keep Trump in power. 

In response, to the allegation, Perry tweeted: "The notion that I ever sought a Presidential pardon for myself or other Members of Congress is an absolute, shameless, and soulless lie."

Lawyer John EastmanJohn Eastman testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

Conservative lawyer John Eastman, who pushed a plan to overturn the 2020 election results, asked Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to put him on a pardon list following the insurrection, the House Select Committee revealed earlier this month.

"I've decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," Eastman wrote in an email to Giuliani. The committee read the email out loud during a June 16 hearing. 

When Eastman was deposed by the committee, he ultimately pleaded the Fifth Amendment 100 times, the panel said. 

Eastman did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

RESULTS: Illinois held congressional, state, and local primary elections

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 8:00pm

Illinois held congressional, gubernatorial, and local primary elections on Tuesday. Polls closed at 7 p.m. CT.

US House

 

Each of Illinois' 18 congressional districts is up for election this November.

Rep. Sean Casten defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Marie Newman on Tuesday in the state's 6th Congressional District. Casten currently holds the seat. But redistricting following the recent US Census shifted district lines, pitting him against Newman, who currently represents the 3rd Congressional District.

Redistricting also caused two Republican incumbents to run against each other in the state's 15th Congressional District. There, Trump-endorsed Rep. Mary Miller defeated Rep. Rodney Davis in the GOP primary, and Miller will advance to face Democrat Paul Lange in November.

US Senate

 

A slate of seven Republicans vied for a chance to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth in the November general election. GOP nominees included Navy veteran Peggy Hubbard, pastor Anthony Williams, attorney Kathy Salvi, and Casey Chlebek. Duckworth was unopposed in her primary.

Illinois Governor

 

Incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker bested Army veteran and nurse, Beverly Miles, in the Democratic primary. He'll face off against the victor of the state's Republican primary, Darren Bailey, who's among six candidates who vied to unseat Pritzker, including Richard Irvin and Gary Rabine.

Pritzker and other Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars influencing the primary to boost Bailey, who they perceive as extreme and less electable in a general election. 

State Senate and House

Each of Illinois' 59 state senate seats and 118 state house districts is up for election in the fall.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

In his first interview since being released from a mental hospital, John Hinckley Jr. talks Jodie Foster, becoming a touring musician, and feeling 'true remorse' for trying to kill Ronald Reagan

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 7:55pm
Quantico, Va.: John W. Hinckley Jr., who is accused of an assassination attempt on President Reagan, arrives at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., 8/18, after completing extensive psychiatric tests at the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, North Carolina.
  • In his first interview since his release from custody, John Hinckley Jr. apologized for trying to kill Ronald Reagan in 1981. 
  • He told CBS he was unable to tell right from wrong at the time, saying: "I have true remorse for what I did." 
  • Hinckley Jr. spent 34 years in custody in a Washington, DC, mental hospital following the shooting. 

During his first interview since his release from a psychiatric hospital in Washington, DC, John Hinckley Jr. apologized for trying to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981. 

"I have true remorse for what I did," Hinckley told CBS News' Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett. "I know that [the victims] probably can't forgive me now, but I just want them to know that I am sorry for what I did."

On March 30, 1981, Hinckley fired six shots toward then-president Ronald Reagan as he left a speech at the Washington Hilton hotel. While Reagan was not struck directly, one of the bullets ricocheted off the waiting presidential limo and struck him under the arm, breaking a rib and puncturing a lung. Reagan underwent emergency surgery and was released from the hospital 12 days later. 

"I was right there and I fired shots at him, which, so unfortunately hit other people too," Hinckley told CBS as he described the shooting. He said he could not remember how he was feeling at the time and described the incident as "traumatic."

White House Press Secretary John Brady was paralyzed by the shooting. Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy, and a police officer named Thomas Delahanty were also wounded. All four men survived.

Hinckley, who was found not guilty of the shooting by reason of insanity, was sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. 

At the time, Hinckley said the attack was meant to impress then-18-year-old actress Jodie Foster. He had a romantic obsession with the actress after seeing her play a 12-year-old sex trafficking survivor in the movie "Taxi Driver" and was stalking her, repeatedly calling and sending letters.

Foster has rarely spoken about the incident, even canceling interviews where the topic may be brought up. In a 1982 essay for Esquire titled "Why Me?", Foster wrote of the attack: "I started to cry a bit, then my tears turned to laughter. I couldn't stop laughing. It was simply too funny, too incredibly bizarre, too painful...My laughter was strange and hollow, and I couldn't control it. It was beyond me. My body jerked in painful convulsions. I hurt. I was no longer thinking of the President, of the assailant, of the crime, of the press. I was crying for myself. Me, the unwilling victim. The one who would pay in the end. The one who paid all along—and, yes, keeps paying. That kind of pain doesn't go away." 

The former director of forensics services at St. Elizabeth's hospital, the psychiatric facility where Hinckley was incarcerated for decades, told CNN that Hinckley suffers from narcissistic and schizoid personality disorders. He underwent extensive individual and group therapy while in custody and was granted conditional release in 2016 after it was determined he was no longer a threat to himself or others. 

Hinckley acknowledged to CBS he remains on medication to manage his illnesses. Last year, a judge granted his unconditional release from custody.

"After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!," Hinckley tweeted on June 15, after a judge freed him entirely from court oversight.

The 67-year-old now aspires to become a touring musician, though several planned shows have been canceled due to security concerns. As Hinckley continues to reintegrate into his Williamsburg, Virginia, community, he maintains that he is "not just some crazy person" and wants to show people he is "kind of an ordinary guy."

"If I could take it all back, I would," Hinckley told CBS. "I swear I would take it all back."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Supreme Court sides with Louisiana GOP in redistricting fight, orders state to use congressional map accused of suppressing Black votes

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 7:46pm
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
  • The US Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with the Louisiana GOP in a redistricting fight.
  • The court put a hold on a lower court's ruling that found a Republican-drawn congressional map suppressed Black voters. 
  • The high court's three liberal justices — Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan — dissented in the case. 

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with the Louisiana GOP in a redistricting fight, putting a hold on a lower court's ruling that found a Republican-drawn congressional map suppressed Black voters. 

The high court's three liberal justices — Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan — dissented in the case. 

The court did not provide any reasoning behind its order, which blocked a federal judge's order that required a new map with the creation of a second district where Black voters are the majority. 

In its ruling, the court said the case will be held pending its decision in a similar case out of Alabama. 

"The stay shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court," the order read. 

Earlier this month,  a federal court found that a Republican-drawn map of Louisiana's six congressional districts violated the US Voting Rights Act and needed an additional Black-majority voting district.  

Statistics show that roughly a third of Louisiana's population is Black. 

Louisiana's Republican-dominated legislature approved the congressional map in February, prompting Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards to veto the map. 

"This map is simply not fair to the people of Louisiana and does not meet the standards set forth in the federal Voting Rights Act," Edwards said in a statement at the time, adding, "The Legislature should immediately begin the work of drawing a map that ensures Black voices can be properly heard in the voting booth. It can be done and it should be done."

However, the legislature voted to override Edwards' veto.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking girls for Jeffrey Epstein. Here's what we know about the British socialite's finances and assets.

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 7:27pm
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at an event in New York on June 13, 1995.
  • The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison after her conviction in December 2021.
  • Maxwell is said to have been in the inner circle of the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
  • She was found guilty of recruiting victims and abusing them alongside the convicted sex offender.

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for trafficking girls to have sex with financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The British socialite was one of the most prominent and mysterious figures linked to Epstein, who died by apparent suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy.

In December, she was convicted for acting as Epstein's madam, recruiting and abusing underage victims alongside the convicted sex offender. Maxwell previously denied these allegations.

Born in France, Maxwell, 60, is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, the British media mogul who mysteriously drowned after falling or jumping from his yacht near the Canary Islands in 1991. Maxwell moved to New York City from England in 1991, reportedly living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund.

Maxwell integrated herself into the city's high society, attending parties, charity galas, and other events with celebrities, presidents, CEOs, and other members of the city's wealthy and powerful elite. For seven years she ran an ocean-conservation nonprofit, which abruptly shut down in July 2019.

Until 2016, Maxwell lived in a 7,000-square-foot Manhattan townhouse with links to Epstein. It was sold in 2016 for $15 million.

Here's what we know about how Maxwell's finances.

The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell became one of the most prominent and mysterious figures linked to the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died by apparent suicide in a Manhattan prison in August 2019.

Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for acting as Epstein's madam, recruiting and abusing underage victims alongside the convicted sex offender. Maxwell previously denied any wrongdoing.

Born in France, Maxwell is the daughter of the British media mogul Robert Maxwell.Robert and Ghislaine Maxwell watch an Oxford-Brighton football match in October 1984.

Robert Maxwell was a member of Parliament from 1966 to 1970 and the owner of the British tabloid the Daily Mirror.

In March 1991, months before his death, he bought the New York Daily News.

In England, Maxwell was an Oxford-educated socialite.Ghislaine Maxwell in 1986.

Maxwell attended one of England's top private boarding schools and later graduated from Oxford University. She went on to found a social club for women in London.

In 1991, Robert Maxwell died while cruising on his yacht, called the Lady Ghislaine after his daughter.The Lady Ghislaine in Spain in 1991.

His body was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean after he disappeared from his private yacht. According to The Guardian, it was ruled that he died from a heart attack combined with accidental drowning, but his daughter reportedly believed her father was murdered.

After his death, his yacht was sold to an American buyer and is now known as Lady Mona K. The 190-foot-yacht sleeps up to 12 guests in six cabins.

Maxwell moved to the US in 1991, reportedly living off a $100,000-a-year trust fund set up by her father.Maxwell at a party at her New York City home on March 13, 2007.

Her father's business was more than $4 billion in debt following his death, so Maxwell didn't move to the US as a lavishly wealthy heiress.

The British socialite, about 30 years old at the time, quickly became a staple of the city's high society, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, presidents, CEOs, and other members of the city's wealthy and powerful elite.

According to a 2000 article by the New York Post, she started out in New York working in real estate and living off about $100,000 a year from a trust fund set up by her father.

Soon after she moved to New York, Maxwell reportedly began a relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell at a 2005 benefit for Wall Street Rising at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005.

According to the Post, Maxwell started dating Epstein around 1992.

Maxwell is said to have introduced Epstein to many of her high-flying friends.Donald Trump, Melania Trump (then Melania Knauss), Epstein, and Maxwell at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, in February 2000.

Maxwell reportedly socialized with high-profile people including John F. Kennedy Jr., Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, and the Clinton family.

Maxwell introduced Epstein to Bill and Hillary Clinton, whom she knew through their daughter, Chelsea, according to Politico. Maxwell was a guest at Chelsea Clinton's wedding in July 2010.Bill and Chelsea Clinton.

According to Politico, Maxwell grew close with Chelsea Clinton after her father left office.

"Ghislaine was the contact between Epstein and Clinton," a person familiar with the relationship told Politico in July. "She ended up being close to the family because she and Chelsea ended up becoming close."

When reached for comment by Business Insider, Bari Lurie, Clinton's chief of staff, said Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, were not aware of the allegations against Maxwell until 2015.

"Chelsea and Marc were friendly with her because of her relationship with a dear friend of theirs," Lurie said. "When that relationship ended, Chelsea and Marc's friendship with her ended as well."

A person close to Clinton told Business Insider that she and her husband knew Maxwell through a close family friend, Ted Waitt, and that Clinton and Maxwell were never "close."

Maxwell was at Clinton's wedding only because she was Waitt's girlfriend at the time, the person said.

Waitt cofounded the personal-computing company Gateway in 1985 and is now chairman of the Waitt Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the oceans.

Maxwell's social life wasn't confined to New York City.Calvin Klein, Aby Rosen, and Maxwell at a dinner on December 3, 2009, in Miami Beach, Florida.

She attended events like a dinner in Miami Beach, Florida, hosted by the New York real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen, where guests included the fashion designer Calvin Klein.

Maxwell is accused of approaching and recruiting girls to visit Epstein in his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.

Until 2016, Maxwell lived in a $5 million New York townhouse bought by a company with the same address as Epstein's business office.A Google Maps street view of Maxwell's former home.

Tax records reviewed by Business Insider show that the Manhattan townhouse was purchased for $4.95 million in October 2000 by an anonymous corporation with the same address as Epstein's finance office on Madison Avenue.

The seller was Lynn Forester.

Business Insider was unable to confirm that the seller of the home is the same Lynn Forester who has been linked to Epstein. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the chair of the E. L. Rothschild family investment office and the wife of the British billionaire financier Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild, was one of the names on Epstein's private-jet log. In October 2000, she was not yet married to de Rothschild.

Forester sold the mansion for about $8.5 million less than its assessed market value, which was more than $13.4 million. Forester bought the home in 1997 for $4.475 million, according to tax documents.

The 7,000-square-foot home on Manhattan's Upper East Side has 12 rooms, eight fireplaces, and an elevator.

Lynn Forester de Rothschild did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

The townhouse Maxwell lived in is about six blocks from Epstein's former home on 71st Street.

The home was sold in the spring of 2016 for $15 million.

For seven years Maxwell operated an ocean-conservation nonprofit organization, which was abruptly shut down in July.

Maxwell founded the TerraMar Project in 2012 to promote conservancy of the world's oceans.

Days after Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking, the organization's website was shut down and now includes only a statement announcing its closure: "The TerraMar Project is sad to announce that it will cease all operations. The web site will be closed ... TerraMar wants to thank all its supporters, partners and fellow ocean lovers."

Business Insider's Áine Cain reviewed the nonprofit's tax documents and found that it was a relatively small enterprise. No employee was ever paid more than $100,000, and most of its funds went into website development, office expenses, travel, phone and utilities fees, merchant fees, contractor fees, professional fundraising services, and insurance policies.

Maxwell reported working 60-hour weeks and pouring thousands into the organization, but by 2017 TerraMar was $550,546 in the hole in terms of revenue.

INSIDER's Ellen Cranley recently reported that investigators were looking into the nonprofit for possible connections to Epstein.

Tax documents reviewed by Business Insider show that Epstein donated $57,000 to the organization in the tax year ending in January 2013.

Through a private foundation, Maxwell has donated to various charitable organizations — including a charity for victims of sex trafficking.Maxwell in New York in September 2005.

According to tax filings published by ProPublica and reviewed by Business Insider, Maxwell is the trustee of a philanthropic organization called Max Foundation Tr.

Tax filings show that in 2008, Maxwell's foundation donated $350 to Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, a charity whose stated mission is to end the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and young women.

When reached by email, Rachel Lloyd, GEMS's founder and CEO, told Business Insider they could not find a record of the donation, noting that it was for less than $500 and that they had changed donor databases since 2008.

"We would never knowingly accept monies from anyone who was working against [our] mission," Lloyd said. "We fully support all the victims who have been brave enough to come forward against Jeffrey Epstein and hope that they will still be able to find a measure of justice from those [who] perpetuated his crimes."

Maxwell's other donations through her foundation include $275 in 2011 to the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, a chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America that provides after-school programs for under-resourced youth in New York City.

In 2007, she donated $300 to Hale House, a New York charity that took in homeless infants and toddlers. In 2008, Hale House ended its residential program and became a daycare service known as the Mother Hale Learning Center.

The tax filings also show that Maxwell donated $2,500 to the Clinton Library and Foundation in 2003, as well as at least $1,625 from 2003 to 2008 to the Wayuu Taya Foundation, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of Latin American indigenous communities.

According to the tax filings, from 2002 to 2018, Maxwell's foundation held an average of about $20,000 in total assets each year and appeared to be used to make a few small donations per year, possibly to purchase tickets to some of the fundraisers and charity galas at which she was often photographed.

The foundation's total recorded assets peaked in the tax year ending in June 2003 at $42,947, according to available tax filings. By 2018, that number had dwindled to $1,245.

Maxwell's whereabouts have been unknown, and authorities have had trouble locating her, The Washington Post reported.

The Post reported on August 11, 2019, that Maxwell was believed to be living abroad and that authorities had not been able to locate her.

A Daily Mail report from August 14, 2019, said Maxwell had been living in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, with the tech CEO Scott Borgerson.

However, when contacted by Business Insider, Borgerson denied that Maxwell was staying at his house. He said that he had been out of the country traveling for work for the past week and that the house had been empty.

Maxwell's legal team did not previously respond to Business Insider's request for comment on her location.

But after a year of laying low, Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on July 2, 2020, according to multiple reports.Ghislaine Maxwell at Spring Studios in New York City on October 18, 2019.

Senior law enforcement officials told News 4 New York, an NBC affiliate, that Maxwell faces "Epstein-related" charges and will appear in federal court in the Southern District of New York later Thursday.

Her arrest comes a year after Epstein himself was arrested.

Read the original article on Business Insider

RESULTS: South Carolina holds primary runoffs

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 7:20pm
State Rep. Krystle Matthews, a Democrat seeking to challenge GOP U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, speaks at the South Carolina Democratic Party convention on Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Columbia, S.C.

South Carolina is holding primary runoffs on Tuesday. Polls closed at 7 p.m. local time.

The races & the stakes: 

State Rep. Krystle Matthews defeated author Catherine Fleming Bruce in the runoff to challenge Republican Sen. Tim Scott for the US Senate in November. 

Scott, who was first elected in 2014, is seeking a second full term and third term overall. A potential 2024 presidential or vice presidential candidate, Scott is heavily favored to win in the general election in deep-red South Carolina. 

Scott, a prolific fundraiser, has raised $42.3 million, spent $22.2 million, and has $24.7 million in cash on hand so far this cycle. That's exponentially more than the $104,000 raised and roughly $61,000 spent by Matthews and a little over $26,000 raised and roughly $17,000 spent by Fleming Bruce. 

Two state House districts are also holding Democratic primary runoffs and four state House districts are holding Republican primary runoffs. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here are all the famous people Jeffrey Epstein was connected to

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 7:14pm
American financier Jeffrey Epstein (L) and then-real-estate developer Donald Trump (R) pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1997.

Former L Brands CEO Les Wexner may have been Jeffrey Epstein's only confirmed client, but he was far from the only billionaire paying the convicted sex offender.

Epstein, who pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007, ran a years-long "trafficking pyramid scheme" from the US Virgin Islands, prosecutors alleged in a lawsuit against the former wealth manager's estate in January 2020.

Meanwhile, the convicted sex offender maintained a vast social and professional network both on and off the Islands, which even included the wife of the US Virgin Islands' former governor

In October 2020, Wall Street billionaire Leon Black acknowledged to The New York Times through a spokesperson that he hired Epstein as an advisor and paid Epstein at least $50 million in consulting and other fees between 2012 and 2017.

Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, kept his client list under wraps, but he often bragged of his elite social circle that included presidents and Hollywood stars.

"I invest in people — be it politics or science," Epstein was known to say, according to New York Magazine. "It's what I do."

Epstein, 66, died by apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2020, as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking of minors. He had been in police custody since his arrest on July 6, shortly after exiting his private jet in New Jersey's Teterboro Airport. He pleaded not guilty on July 8 and was being held without bail in New York City, where he was already on suicide watch after an earlier reported suicide attempt that had led to his hospitalization, at the time of his death. 

Here's what we know about the famous people who crossed paths with Epstein.

Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and madam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking young girls for Epstein.Epstein with Maxwell.

Maxwell is a British socialite and the daughter of media tycoon Robert Maxwell.

She started dating Epstein shortly after moving to New York in 1991, Business Insider previously reported. After they broke up, court documents allege that Maxwell started recruiting underage girls for him to have sex with.

The FBI began investigating Maxwell's relationship with Epstein in 2019 as the British heiress hit out with armed guards in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Maxwell was ultimately found in New Hampshire, where she was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and perjury in New Hampshire on July 2, 2020.

A federal jury in December 2021 convicted the former socialite of five sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors alleged Maxwell worked with Epstein to "recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse" children. 

In June 2022, a federal judge sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison for trafficking girls to have sex with Epstein and sexually abusing them herself. She was also fined $750,000, the judge said, and will have to remain on probation for five years following her time in prison. 

 

Outgoing L Brands CEO Les Wexner is Epstein's only confirmed client.

Epstein became a trusted confidant of Wexner's while Epstein managed the CEO's fortune, according to Vanity Fair. Wexner has a net worth of $7.15 billion, Bloomberg reported. The magazine reported that Wexner allowed Epstein to take an active role in L Brands, which owns Bath & Body Works, Express, and Victoria's Secret.

In 1989, Wexner used a trust to buy an Upper East Side townhouse that is believed to be the largest private residence in Manhattan for $13.2 million, Vanity Fair reported. Epstein moved in after Wexner and his wife, Abigail Koppel, moved to Ohio in 1996. Wexner's trust transferred ownership of the house to Epstein in 2011 for $0, Bloomberg reported.

Wexner later fired Epstein as his money manager. "Mr. Wexner severed ties with Mr. Epstein more than a decade ago," an L Brands spokesperson told Forbes in July 2019.

In February, L Brands announced that Wexner would step down after nearly six decades as the company's CEO. L Brands also announced that it would sell the majority stake in Victoria's Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners and spin-off Bath & Body Works into a separate company. The company has been marred in controversy following reports of the mistreatment of models and plummeting sales.

More information about Wexner's relationship with Epstein may soon be revealed after US District Judge Loretta Preska ordered that Wexner's correspondence with Epstein's former lawyer Alan Dershowitz be unsealed as a part of Dershowitz and Giuffre's defamation suits against each other, Business Insider reported on August 11.

Former President Donald Trump once considered Epstein a friend.From left, Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.

The future president claimed in 2002 that he had a long friendship with Epstein. "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy," Trump said, according to New York Magazine. "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

According to Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Trump now believes the crimes Epstein was charged with are "completely unconscionable and obviously criminal." She also labeled them "disgusting," according to a July report from the Associated Press.

"The president told me this morning he hasn't talked to Epstein, he doesn't think he's talked to him or seen him in 10 or 15 years," Conway added.

Prince Andrew and Epstein were close friends, the Guardian reported in 2015.

Maxwell introduced Epstein and the Duke of York in the 1990s, the Guardian reported, and the two became close friends.

The Duke is the son of the UK's Queen Elizabeth. He has also been criticized for frequently taking flights on the taxpayer's dime while serving as the country's special representative for international trade. This earned him the nickname "Airmiles Andy," according to the Washington Post.

Court documents reviewed by the Guardian allege that Epstein instructed Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a 15-year-old employee at Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort, to have sex with Prince Andrew on three separate occasions. Buckingham Palace said in 2015 that the allegations against Prince Andrew were "false and without any foundation," according to the Guardian.

According to a July 22 article from NY Magazine's Intelligencer, a number of royals and royal connections were among Epstein's contacts. That includes Prince Andrew's then-wife, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; and Charles Althorp, Princess Diana's brother. According to Intelligencer, all three were named in Epstein's black book; Ferguson and Prince Andrew were also named in his private jet log.

In a interview with the BBC in November, Prince Andrew said his relationship with Epstein brought him "opportunities," and that his slowness in ditching Epstein as a friend was because of his tendency to be "too honorable." The interview was widely criticized over Prince Andrew's lack of sympathy with Epstein's victims and his defense of his friendship with the convicted sex offender, Business Insider reported.

Prince Andrew resigned from public royal duties in November, Business Insider reported.

Former President Bill Clinton traveled with Epstein in 2002 and 2003, a Clinton representative confirmed.

A statement released in July 2019 by Clinton spokesperson Angel Ureña said the former president traveled to Europe, Asia, and twice to Africa on Epstein's private jet. Clinton's staff and Secret Service agents also went on these trips, which were to further the work of the Clinton Foundation, according to the statement.

Court documents unsealed on July 31 show Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre testified that Clinton also visited Epstein's island — something the former president has denied.

Last year, Clinton told New York Magazine through a spokesperson that Epstein was "both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science."

Ureña also said that Clinton and Epstein hadn't spoken in "well over a decade" and that Clinton "knows nothing about the terrible crimes" Epstein was charged with.

Actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Chris Tucker also took trips with Epstein.Kevin Spacey attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City.

Epstein, Clinton, Spacey, and Tucker spent a week in 2002 touring AIDS project sites in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, and Mozambique for the Clinton Foundation, according to a New York Magazine report.

Spacey was also charged with sexual assault, but in December, The New York Times reported that the case had been dropped by the plaintiff's estate. The plaintiff, a 62-year-old massage therapist, had died in September.

Former Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta worked with Epstein's legal team to arrange a plea deal after Epstein was charged with solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007.Alexander Acosta.

An investigation by the Miami Herald revealed that Acosta, then a US attorney, had enough evidence against Epstein to request a life sentence. Instead, he reportedly met with one of Epstein's lawyers, who happened to be a former colleague of Acosta's.

In the resulting plea deal, Epstein served 13 months in a private wing of a county prison, which he was allowed to leave six days a week to work in his office.

Business Insider previously reported that Acosta said he was "pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence," on Twitter.

—Secretary Acosta (@SecretaryAcosta) July 9, 2019

Acosta resigned on July 12, 2019.

Film publicist Peggy Siegal planned a star-studded dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at Epstein's New York mansion in 2010.

Siegal, known for hosting events to promote films including "The Big Short," "Argo," and "The Revenant" to Oscar voters, invited Epstein to screenings after he was released from prison in 2010, according to The New York Times.

"I was a kind of plugged-in girl around town who knew a lot of people," Siegal told The New York Times. "And I think that's what he wanted from me, a kind of social goings-on about New York."

Siegal also planned a dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at his Upper East Side home. The event was attended by Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, and Chelsea Handler. "The invitation was positioned as, 'Do you want to have dinner with Prince Andrew?'" Siegal said. Many of the guests didn't know who the host was or about his criminal history, The New York Times reported.

A spokesperson for Siegal told Business Insider that Siegal's relationship with Epstein was social, not professional. Siegal told The New York Times that she ended her relationship with Epstein at the height of the #MeToo era in 2017.

Netflix, FX and Annapurna Pictures severed their ties with Siegal in July 2019 after her connection to Epstein became public, Variety reported.

Epstein also told the Times that he spoke often with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.Saudi Arabia Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the G20 opening ceremony at the Hangzhou International Expo Center on September 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. World leaders are gathering for the 11th G20 Summit from September 4-5.

Epstein said that MBS had visited Epstein's Manhattan mansion many times and had a framed photo of the crown prince hanging on the wall, according to New York Times reporter James B. Stewart.

Representatives of MBS did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

According to the New York Times, Epstein claimed to have advised Tesla CEO Elon Musk.Tesla CEO Elon Musk was photographed at a 2014 Oscars after-party next to Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of being Epstein's madam in media reports and legal documents.

In an interview published in the New York Times on August 12, Epstein claimed that Elon Musk had sought him out to help manage the trouble he had gotten into with the SEC a year earlier, in August 2018.

Epstein told reporter James B. Stewart that he had promised to keep his work for Tesla private because of his prior conviction. Epstein also warned that both Musk and Tesla would deny their connection to Epstein if it ever became public, the Times reported. In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Musk denied Epstein's claims of having served as an adviser to the CEO.

Musk and Maxwell were photographed at an Oscars after-party hosted by former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014, in West Hollywood. The same Musk spokesperson told Business Insider that "Ghislaine simply inserted herself behind him in a photo he was posing for without his knowledge."

Musk has confirmed crossing paths with Epstein at least once, Business Insider reported. Musk, Epstein, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were all guests at a dinner hosted by LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman sometime after he was released from jail in 2008.

MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito quietly worked with Epstein to secure anonymous donations, Vanity Fair reported.

Ito worked with other directors and staff at the MIT Media Lab to quietly receive large anonymous donations from Epstein after he was convicted of soliciting underage girls for prostitution, a New Yorker exposé published on September 6 reports. The article contains emails sent between Ito and Epstein.

The emails show Epstein also worked as an in-between for other wealthy donors, including Bill Gates and Leon Black, and that Epstein had a role in determining what his donations would be used for at MIT, contradicting previous statements from Ito and the university.

Ito resigned from his posts at MIT, The New York Times Company, and the MacArthur Foundation on September 7, Business Insider reported.

Epstein worked as a go-between for the MIT Media Lab and Bill Gates to arrange donations, Vanity Fair reported.Bill Gates speaks ahead of former U.S. President Barack Obama at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City.

Emails obtained and published by The New Yorker show former MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito wrote that Gates was "directed by" Epstein to donate $2 million to the research lab in October 2014.

Gates also met with Epstein at least once in New York in 2013, and flew on one of his private planes to Palm Beach, Business Insider previously reported. "Bill attended a meeting in New York with others focused on philanthropy. While Epstein was present, he never provided services of any type to Bill," a Gates spokesperson told Business Insider.

A spokesperson for Gates told Business Insider that "Epstein was introduced to Bill Gates as someone who was interested in helping grow philanthropy. Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is simply not true. And any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates is completely false."

A New York Times investigation published in October found that Gates met with Epstein multiple times after Epstein's conviction in 2011, including at least three meetings at Epstein's Manhattan townhouse. Following the publication of that story, a spokesperson for Gates said Gates regretted the association, but Gates himself hadn't publicly addressed it until November, Business Insider's Aaron Holmes reported.

Gates said at The New York Times' Dealbook Conference in November that he believed "billions of dollars" would come from his meetings with Jeffrey Epstein. "I made a mistake in judgment in thinking those discussions would go to global health," Gates said. "That money never appeared."

"I gave him the benefit of my association," Gates said.

Reid Hoffman defended Ito after news of Epstein's connections to the MIT Media Lab broke.

A "few years ago," Epstein attended a dinner Hoffman hosted to honor an MIT neuroscientist, Vanity Fair reported in July. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk were also in attendance. Both denied having had ongoing relationships with Epstein to Vanity Fair through spokespeople.

Hoffman also implicated himself in the cover up of Epstein's donations to the MIT Media Lab. As pressure mounted on Media Lab director Joi Ito to resign, Hoffman defended Ito to author and fellow MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award jury member Anand Giridharadas in a private email, Giridharadas tweeted in September. "Hoffman basically hid behind bureaucracy and the old 'ongoing investigation' excuse," Giridharadas said in the now-unavailable tweet. "He said it would be complicated to release the correspondence publicly because other names might get dragged in. Someone should tell him about redaction."

According to Giridharadas, Hoffman wrote in a second email that Giridharadas was making the situation "all about you" by threatening to resign. In the end, Giridharadas resigned from the Disobedience Award jury.

Hoffman not only sits on the Disobedience Award's jury, but funds it personally, according to the Media Lab's website. In 2017, MIT awarded Epstein and other donors "orbs" to thank them for their support, according to The Boston Globe. The orb looks similar to the trophy given to winners of the Disobedience Award.

A lawsuit has also shined light on Epstein's connection to former U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh while he was in office.U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh participates in a meeting dealing with healthcare at the Southern Governors' Association convention in Little Rock, Ark., Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.

Gov. John P. de Jongh's wife Cecile de Jongh served on the board of Epstein's Financial Trust Co. for most of her husband's time in office, Business Insider's Becky Peterson and John Cook reported. Cecile de Jongh held the titles of secretary and vice president in her decade-long tenure with the company, even staying on board after Epstein was first charged with sexual assault in 2007.

Prosecutors in the US Virgin Islands alleged that Epstein was trafficking women and children through the US territory during that same time, as stated in a January lawsuit. The lawsuit describes one 15-year-old victim who was "forced into sexual acts with Epstein and others and then attempted to escape by swimming off the Little St. James island."

In a statement, a lawyer representing Epstein's estate told Business Insider that some of the allegations in the lawsuit were inaccurate — particularly allegations that the estate to this day engages in "a course of conduct aimed at concealing the criminal activities of the Epstein Enterprise."

"The Estate is being administered in accordance with the laws of the US Virgin Islands and under the supervision of the Superior Court of the US Virgin Islands," the statement said.

Barclays CEO Jes Staley is under investigation by British authorities because of his friendship with Epstein.Jes Staley, CEO Barclays, arrives at Downing Street for a meeting in London on January 11, 2018. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May mets with business leaders from the financial services sector at Downing Street. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga Akmen (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Staley had a "professional relationship" with Epstein that dated back to "early in his career," Barclays said in a statement

"In the summer of 2019, in light of the renewed media interest in the relationship, Mr. Staley volunteered and gave to certain executives, and the Chairman, an explanation of his relationship with Mr. Epstein," Barclays stated. "Mr. Staley also confirmed to the Board that he has had no contact whatsoever with Mr. Epstein at any time since taking up his role as Barclays Group CEO in December 2015."

The relationship is the subject of an investigation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, according to the bank.

Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black hired Epstein as an advisor.Leon Black.

In August 2019, Black said that he had only consulted Epstein on financial matters "from time to time" and that his relationship with the convicted sex offender was "limited," Business Insider previously reported.

However, Black had engaged Epstein as an advisor and paid him at least $50 million, The New York Times reported on October 12. Two of the Times' sources said the total may actually be closer to $75 million.

The two financiers also regularly dined together at Epstein's New York mansion, per the Times report.

A spokesperson for Black confirmed that between 2012 and 2017, Black had received "personal trusts and estates planning advice as well as family office philanthropy and investment services from several financial and legal advisors" including Epstein. A spokesperson for Black also told the Times that the relationship ended after a "fee dispute" in 2018.

Black "continues to be appalled by the conduct that led to the criminal charges" against Epstein, the spokesperson said, adding that Black "deeply regrets having any involvement" with Epstein. 

 

 

If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit their website to receive confidential support.

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A death in the Atlantic, a media empire that once had $4 billion in debt, and a yacht named Lady Ghislaine: Take a look at Ghislaine Maxwell's family history

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 6:59pm
Robert Maxwell and his daughter, Ghislaine, watch an Oxford-versus-Brighton football match, October 13, 1984.

After years of scrutiny over her relationship with the late Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison. 

Maxwell, convicted in December of sexually abusing girls and trafficking them in order to have sex with Epstein, was also fined $750,000 and will be on probation for five years after her release. 

Maxwell, a well-connected British socialite, posed for a picture with Elon Musk at a 2014 Oscars after-party and reportedly attended as many as three writing retreats — one of which was in 2018 — hosted by Jeff Bezos.

She's also been accused of connecting Epstein with his alleged victims and serving as the now-deceased sex-offender's madam. Maxwell worked with Epstein to "recruit, groom and ultimately abuse" children, her indictment states. Maxwell has denied these allegations.

Epstein, already a registered sex offender, was found dead in his jail cell after an apparent suicide on August 10. At the time of his death, he'd been awaiting trial in a New York jail.

But Maxwell's family has plenty of scandals of its own, dating from the 1990s. Keep reading to learn more about the Maxwell family.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

Robert Maxwell was the first mysterious businessman in Ghislaine Maxwell's life.An undated photo of British newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell.

Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, is the youngest child of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell's nine children. According to a 2011 report from The Telegraph, she was his favorite. All of Maxwell's children were born in France, according to the Daily Beast.

Robert Maxwell was born Ján Ludvík Hoch in 1923 in Czechoslovakia, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Despite losing most of his family in the Holocaust, Maxwell escaped to the United Kingdom during World War II, changed his name to Ian Robert Maxwell, and became an officer in the British Army.

After the war, Maxwell entered the publishing business by selling academic papers, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

"Ghislaine's father Robert Maxwell was one of the darkest and most mysterious men to appear in British public life," the Daily Beast wrote.A printer at the Mirror Group Newspapers plant in London checks the first edition of the Daily Mirror, November 5, 1991. Robert Maxwell is on the cover.

The Daily Beast described Maxwell in 2019 as a "charismatic businessman" who was surrounded by an air of mystery.

In 1984, Maxwell purchased Mirror Group Newspapers, the publisher of six British newspapers, including the Daily Mirror.

According to the LA Times, Maxwell went on to expand his empire to include the New York Daily News, the publishing house Macmillan Inc., and the now defunct paper The European.

But the expansions caused financial troubles for the company. It was later discovered that Maxwell stole money from his other companies and employee pension funds to cover the newspapers' debts, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Robert Maxwell considered Rupert Murdoch his rival, according to the Daily Beast.

Maxwell tried to create a media empire that would rival Rupert Murdoch's, the Daily Beast reported.

The two newspaper publishers posted opposing bids for British tabloid News of the World in 1969, according to the Daily Beast. Murdoch's bid was selected. Maxwell also lost a bidding war for The Sun to Murdoch in 1969.

Various reports indicate that Robert Maxwell did not shy away from questionable business practices.Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of late British publisher Robert Maxwell, reads a statement in Spanish in which she expressed her family's gratitude to the Spanish authorities, aboard the "Lady Ghislaine" in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Nov. 7, 1991.

Maxwell had the Daily Mirror's offices bugged so that he could hear what the company's executives were saying about him, according to the Daily Beast.

Maxwell engineered contests for Daily Mirror readers designed to prevent anyone from winning, according to the BBC. In one contest, any reader who could locate a football in an image printed by the paper was promised £1 million.

"He took aside the promotions manager and myself and he said, 'Between you, I want you to make sure no one can win £1 million,'" former Mirror editor Roy Greenslade told the BBC.

In November 1991, Robert Maxwell was found dead in the Atlantic Ocean.Unidentified crew members on the deck of the Lady Ghislaine, in Santa Cruz, Canary Islands, November 7, 1991.

Robert Maxwell had been sailing off the coast of the Canary Islands aboard his 180-foot luxury yacht named after his daughter, Lady Ghislaine, according to the AP. Maxwell was missing from the yacht for 14 hours before his naked body was discovered.

Maxwell was set to meet with representatives of the Bank of England over his company's unpaid debts the day after his disappearance, his sons told the Sunday Times 27 years after his father's death, according to The Guardian.

The media mogul was 68 at the time of his death, according to the AP. Ghislaine was 30.

After an investigation, Robert Maxwell's death was deemed to have been the result of natural causes.Ghislaine Maxwell, right, daughter of the late Robert Maxwell, looks on as the casket containing the body of Robert Maxwell is unloaded from a plane in Jerusalem, November 8, 1991.

According to The Guardian, Maxwell's death was officially ruled to have been caused by a heart attack combined with accidental drowning.

But Maxwell's cause of death became the subject of many conspiracy theories, Insider reported. His death had been widely speculated by the public to be a suicide because it occurred during a period of financial turbulence for his company.

Years after his father's death, one of Maxwell's sons spoke out against the suicide theories.

"In 27 years I've never speculated: Was he killed or did he kill himself?" Maxwell's son Ian told the Sunday Times, 27 years after his father's death, according to The Guardian.

"If I say anything about it, I think it is highly unlikely that he would have taken his own life. It wasn't in his makeup or mentality. I don't think any murder conspiracy stands up, so for me, it is an unexplained accident, and I'm content to live with that."

Maxwell's companies owed more than $4 billion to 43 different banks at the time of his death, according to the Daily Beast.

After her father's death, Ghislaine Maxwell moved to Manhattan's Upper East Side and began working in real estate. According to a New York Post story from 2000, she was living off about $100,000 a year from a trust fund her father had set up.

After her husband's death, Elisabeth Maxwell — Ghislaine's mother — became a Holocaust expert.Elisabeth Maxwell stands next to a photo of her husband before a dinner honoring them sponsored by the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research in New York, November 24, 1991.

Maxwell devoted her life to Holocaust research after her husband's death, earning a doctorate from Oxford at age 60, according to The New York Times.

Before Robert Maxwell's death, she spent her time managing the couple's 53-room mansion in Oxford, The Times reported. Less than a month after his death, Robert Maxwell's financial crimes erased the family's fortune, forcing her to move out of the mansion and into a borrowed apartment.

She died in 2013, according to The Times.

Two of Ghislaine's brothers, Ian and Kevin Maxwell, were tried with financial crimes related to their father's businesses in 1996.Kevin (right) and Ian Maxwell, sons of publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, leave the High Court in London, Thursday, September 19, 1996, where a judge ruled that Kevin Maxwell will not stand trial a second time on charges relating to the collapse of the disgraced tycoon's media empire.

The brothers were later acquitted, according to the AP. Kevin Maxwell filed for bankruptcy in 1992, according to The Guardian.

Ian and Kevin Maxwell have been extremely private since the trial's conclusion, HuffPost reported in 2018. The brothers now own a real estate and telecom businesses outside the UK. In 2018, they launched a think tank called Combating Jihadist Terrorism and Extremism, according to The Guardian.

Ian serves as CoJit's director, according to the organization's website. CoJit did not return Business Insider's request for comment.

The Maxwell siblings have been described as having kept low profiles in recent years.Ian Maxwell and his wife, Laura, celebrate in London in 1996 after brothers Ian and Kevin Maxwell, along with American financial adviser Larry Trachtenberg, were acquitted on charges of defrauding pension funds.

In a 2011 report titled "Whatever happened to the Maxwells?" The Telegraph said that Robert Maxwell was "famously good at covering his tracks," and that it's "hardly surprising his family has grown so skilled over the past two decades at simply disappearing."

Ghislaine's other siblings include Anne, Christine, Isabel, and Philip Maxwell, according to The New York Times. Anne is a former actress who worked as a hypnotherapist in Surrey, The Telegraph reported in 2011. Christine launched an internet company. Phillip was said to be in London launching a career as a writer.

As of the 2011 Telegraph article, all of the siblings were reported to have a close relationship with one another.

Ghislaine spent her time rubbing noses with some of the country's most powerful CEOs, including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

Ghislaine attended Jeff Bezos' invite-only writing retreat for authors and entrepreneurs three times, most recently in 2018, attendees told Motherboard's Ben Makuch. The event, which is called Campfire, is held annually in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Business Insider previously reported. She did not attend the most recent conference in October 2019, Vice reported.

Ghislaine was also photographed with Elon Musk at an Oscars after-party in 2014, Business Insider previously reported. A Musk spokesperson told Business Insider that "Ghislaine simply inserted herself behind him in a photo he was posing for without his knowledge."

Musk has confirmed crossing paths with Epstein at least once. Musk, Epstein, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were all guests at a dinner hosted by LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman sometime after Epstein was released from jail in 2008.

Maxwell also allegedly helped former financier Jeffrey Epstein run his sex-trafficking ring.Maxwell at a party at her New York City home on March 13, 2007.

Ghislaine was a close associate and former girlfriend of Epstein, Business Insider previously reported. An Oxford-educated socialite, she has been photographed alongside many powerful people, including President Donald Trump and Elon Musk.

Maxwell is now alleged of having helped him find underaged victims to use as sex slaves. The former socialite worked with Epstein to "recruit, groom and ultimately abuse" children, her indictment states. She has denied these allegations.

After Epstein's death in August, it was speculated that the investigation into him could refocus on her. But, as Business Insider's Michelle Mark reported, her location was hard to track down: Maxwell had reportedly not been seen in public for three years.

That changed Thursday, July 2, when Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire on charges of sex trafficking and perjury in New Hampshire, The New York Times reported.

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US special operators are picking up a softer skill as they refocus on countering China

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 6:47pm
A US Army Green Beret with Albanian special-forces soldiers during an exercise in Albania, July 23, 2021.
  • As competition with China increases, US special operators are investing in language skills to counter Chinese influence.
  • At a recent Senate hearing, special-operations leaders described the importance of operators who are proficient in foreign languages.

As the US military's focus on competition with China grows, the US special-operations community is investing in a softer skill to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

At a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing in late April, leaders of the US special-operations community highlighted the importance of and need for special operators who are proficient in foreign languages.

Countering China through languageA US Army Green Beret discusses close quarters battle with Philippine national police and coast guard special operations forces in Palawan, May 30, 2022.

During the hearing, Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga, commanding general of US Army Special Operations Command, said the units he commands — including the Army Special Forces groups, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations teams — are arguably the most proficient and invested in language skills within the US special-operations community.

Among those units, Braga said, language skills are "maintained throughout through sustained training" and are tailored to specific regions because those units "stay regionally aligned."

US special operators have a worldwide presence and are deployed to more than 60 countries at any given time, where they train foreign forces or participate in deterrence and combat operations.

Braga said that despite putting a lot of effort into language skills, members of the US special-operations community can't speak the language of every country to which they might deploy.

A US Green Beret and Royal Thai Army soldiers stack up to enter a building during Exercise Cobra Gold 21 in Lopburi, Thailand, August 6, 2021.

"They're operating around the globe," supporting the priorities of every combatant command, Braga said, "but language is absolutely critical to being part of that interoperability. It's not just equipment, and it also shows that you care."

Those relationships that language skills foster and sustain are extremely value in great-power competition, whether the US is trying to maintain deterrence or fight a full-blown war.

"Human beings communicate by body language, chemistry, and words," said Lino Miani, a former Army Special Forces officer. "It is the combination of the three that really allows people to form bonds and communicate instinctively in the way that war sometimes demands."

To measure language skill, the US military uses the Defense Language Proficiency Test, which has four levels — 0 to 3. The training needed to use the language effectively can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year, depending on the complexity of the language.

"War is a complex endeavor and it's not always enough to just be stronger than the enemy," said Miani, who is chief executive officer of AeroEye, a security firm offering aerial surveillance services.

"Troops on the ground, particularly special-operations troops that are often isolated and/or embedded with allies or surrogates, will depend on their ability to understand complexity not just for mission accomplishment, but for survival," Miani added. "Language skills are the basic foundation of that understanding."

US Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and Philippine Marine Special Forces Group troops start a fire during jungle training in the Philippines, September 29, 2015.

During the hearing, Maj. Gen. James Glynn, who at the time was commanding general of Marine Forces Special Operations Command, said that his command has shifted its focus to some of the "more significant languages" in the Indo-Pacific region, including Mandarin Chinese.

US troops should be skilled in Chinese, but the language has limited use, especially for official purposes, in many of the countries where US special-operators often work, Miani said. Proficiency in languages spoken in those countries is vital to reassuring partners and deterring foes.

While the Chinese have influence in those countries, "our success in those geographic areas will be more dependent on our skill with other languages, like Korean, Thai, Indonesian, or Tagalog," added Miani, who is president of the Combat Diver Foundation.

More language, more missionsA Japan sailor and a US Naval Special Warfare operator cover each during a drill aboard USS Frank Cable, August 27, 2021.

Some special operators develop more language skills because of their mission sets. US Army Green Berets have a focus on foreign internal defense — the training, advising, and leading of partner forces — and as such have long focused on language skills.

But over the last two decades there has been a wider push for language capabilities among special-operations units.

"Language and culture have been part of our training pipeline since inception, and so every critical skills operator that is created or has been created over the course of the last 15 years goes through a language unique to the theater in which we intend or they are most likely to deploy," Glynn said about MARSOC.

An information technology specialist with US Naval Special Warfare sets up satellite communications with Palauan security forces, December 9, 2013.

One reason for the push was that during the global war on terror, better language skills often meant more missions, which in turn meant more funding and greater relevance for the unit.

At one point, foreign internal defense was the hottest mission set, and every unit — even Navy SEALs and Delta Force, which tend to focus on direct-action operations — jumped at the opportunity to conduct it in order to be deployed.

"Understanding our adversary through his own language and culture is important, but it is also important to understand our potential allies," Miani said. "Language skills are the basic foundation of this understanding."

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.

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Trumpworld shocked by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive January 6 testimony, calling it the 'most damning day' and 'insane'

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 6:37pm
Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
  • Former Trump aides are stunned by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony about January 6. 
  • "Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. 
  • Many Trump insiders had previously brushed off the hearings. 

It took six hearings for the January 6 select committee to finally break through to embattled former President Donald Trump's inner circle.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing Tuesday that Trump was determined to go to the US Capitol with his armed supporters on January 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying the election results. 

Hutchinson's additional revelations about that day came crashing down on Trumpworld during the two-hour hearing. Among them were that Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad" on January 6, that Trump knew his supporters were armed when they flooded the Ellipse to attend his "Stop the Steal" rally, and that Trump said "Mike deserves it" when rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." 

"Definitely most damning day of testimony," one former White House aide told Insider. 

Hutchinson's first-hand descriptions of Trump's narcissistic tantrums while carnage was unfolding at the US Capitol was spellbinding, one former Trump 2016 campaign aide told Insider.

Hutchinson revealed that when Trump would become angry he would throw dishes and flip tablecloths in the White House dining room, including after Attorney General Bill Barr said there wasn't evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 election. 

"She's talking about how he's throwing ketchup all over the White House. Choking Secret Service. Trying, as president of the United States, to head over to a riot," the former campaign aide said. "You're really hearing how the sausage is made. And it's not pretty."  

Trump should rightfully be worried, the campaign aide suggested.  

"This is a full-frontal attack that he has no real way to respond to. Nor, frankly, can he," the person said. 

A lobbyist in touch with ex-Trump officials told Insider that "there was genuine shock among people who are otherwise not inclined to overreact" and that "something clearly broke through" even among people who had previously dismissed the hearings. 

"This is really difficult to dismiss because it's obviously coming from a source that was there and knows these things," the person added. "And so unless you're gonna go out for her credibility, I don't really know what there is to say."

Another particularly jarring recollection Hutchinson shared was that Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent and tried to grab the steering wheel of his SUV as he demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6, saying, "I'm the effing president!" 

"This is some insane shit," tweeted Alex Stroman, a former spokesman for Trump's inaugural committee. 

"Today's hearing brought a powerful fact back into focus: Donald Trump is the most dangerous man — ever — to have served as president of the United States," tweeted Miles Taylor, a former Trump administration official who now supports Democrats. 

"After this, there's only one thing I'll enjoy about Trump trying to run for president: watching him lose, again," Taylor tweeted later

House January 6 hearings are expected to put Donald Trump at the center of efforts to overturn the 2020 election.Trumpworld tries to undermine Hutchinson's credibility 

Trump's supporters and the former president himself publicly tried to undermine Hutchinson's testimony after the hearings. Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social, that he'd heard she was a "total phony" and "leaker." 

"I hardly know this person," he wrote, saying that he had declined her request to work on his post-presidential operation in Florida. 

"Another swamp social climber making up stories for her (not even) 15 minutes. Pathetic," Liz Harrington, a spokeswoman for Trump's post-presidential office, wrote on Truth Social. 

Brendan Buck, who was counselor to former House Speaker Paul Ryan, said that Republicans recognized Hutchinson, 25, as "somebody who can deliver the goods" even though Trump's allies tried to downplay her as a junior aide. Buck said Hutchinson was always at Meadow's side on Capitol Hill. 

"It doesn't matter how old she is," said Buck, now a partner at the communications firm Seven Letter. "She was in the middle of everything. She saw everything." 

Buck, who has watched most of the hearings, said that the committee delivered after it suddenly announced the previously unscheduled hearing on Monday. The hearing, he said, detailed what White House officials understood about their legal jeopardy, the threat of violence, and the president's actions "in a much more vivid way." 

"This is the first hearing where we got truly new information, stunning new things that hadn't already leaked out in some way or hadn't been reported somewhere else," he said. 

Still, he said, the committee must drive toward a conclusion, such as authoritatively determining that a crime was committed, for the hearings to have a political impact on Trump. 

"There needs to be a point to it beyond how shocking that is," he said. "If it leads to something bigger, perhaps an indictment, I think that would cast a pretty big cloud over his ability to run again."

The former campaign aide who spoke to Insider on condition of anonymity predicted that if the select committee convinces Attorney General Merrick Garland to indict Trump, he shouldn't expect the type of professional courtesy that former President Gerald Ford extended to his disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon.  

"He's in a bad place. Because If he gets indicted, the best he's going to be able to hope for, assuming he's found guilty, is for Biden to commute his sentence," the former campaign aide said.

Others in Trump's inner circle could be affected legally as well. During the hearing, Hutchinson testified that she wanted Meadows to "snap out of this" as a mob encroached on the Capitol. She also revealed that Meadows and Rudy Giuliani sought presidential pardons. 

Mick Mulvaney, who was one of Trump's chiefs of staff, predicted on Twitter that Meadows would get indicted if he didn't appear before the committee. 

"My guess is that ultimately he shows," he wrote. 

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Billionaire oligarch called 'Putin's favorite industrialist' says 'destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake'

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 6:20pm
  • Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally, spoke to Russian reporters about the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.
  • Deripaska, who faces international sanctions, cast doubt on Russia's hope of "victory" over Ukraine.
  • "I think that destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake, including for us," he said.

Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire aluminum tycoon and close Vladimir Putin ally, spoke out against the war in Ukraine on Tuesday while speaking with local journalists, suggesting there would be no winner following Russia's invasion, Reuters reported.

Deripaska, described by some as Putin's favorite industrialist, also lamented the economic impact of the invasion and subsequent sanctions, which he said have rolled back progress made by international business partnerships. 

"I'm troubled by how quickly we abandoned everything that was achieved (economically) in the '90s, then we abandoned everything that we achieved in the 2000s, and now we are sitting and waiting for victory. Victory of what? Whose victory?" Reuters reported Deripaska said to a group of reporters in Moscow.

The Russian oligarch — who faces sanctions by the United States, Britain, and the European Union — has become more vocal about his opposition to the war since the early days of the invasion, but was careful not to speak poorly of the Russian leader.

Prominent critics of Putin were poisoned and killed under suspicious circumstances prior to the invasion.

"I think that destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake, including for us," Reuters reported Deripaska said.

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The most damning testimony heard yet linked Trump directly to January 6 violence: 'It ups his exposure'

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 6:06pm
Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson
  • A young White House aide delivered a string of bombshells about the effort to overturn the election.
  • Cassidy Hutchinson recalled Trump appearing to welcome violence by supporters on January 6.
  • Hutchinson also recalled tense moments as Trump tried unsuccessfully to go to the Capitol.

His desire to march on the Capitol. His request to remove the magnetometers and allow armed supporters to attend the "Stop the Steal" rally. His lunch hurled against the wall, a young aide coming in with a towel to help clean up the ketchup.

The evidence is stacking up against Donald Trump.

An abruptly scheduled hearing of the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol delivered bombshell after bombshell Tuesday, as a key aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows provided some of the most damning testimony to date of the congressional panel's half-dozen public hearings.

Previous hearings featured live and recorded testimony from top Trump administration officials who recountedthe former president's effort to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence, Justice Department appointees, and others to help overturn the 2020 election. But it was a 25-year-old former aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, who drew from her access to Trump a window into the former president's mindset as he pressed baseless claims of election fraud and appeared to invite — and even delight in  — the violence of January 6.

Indeed, Hutchinson's recollections connected Trump to the Capitol attack and eroded the notion that the former president lacked awareness about the risk of violence on January 6, legal experts said. Her testimony, coming amid signs that the Justice Department's criminal investigation was closing in on senior members of Trump's orbit, offered some of the strongest evidence to date supporting the House committee's contention that the former president carried out an"illegal" scheme to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

"The prior hearings focused a lot on the machinations to try to overturn the election prior to January 6 — the fake electors and the pressure on the Justice Department and the Georgia officials. This was the most compelling evidence tying Trump directly to the violence on January 6,  encouraging it and wanting it to happen," said Randall Eliason, a George Washington University law professor and former top public corruption prosecutor.

"It ups his exposure," he added.

Trump's embrace of armed supporters converging on Washington, DC, could also provide fodder for separate civil lawsuits from House lawmakers and Capitol police officers who allege that he helped instigate the violence of January 6. Following Hutchinson's testimony Tuesday, Rep. Ruben Gallego said that "US Capitol Police officers were sent to be potentially slaughtered" on January 6.

In two hours of testimony, Hutchinson said Trump dismissed concerns that his supporters were armed with guns at a rally that immediately preceded the Capitol attack, telling the Secret Service earlier on January 6 to remove metal-detecting magnetometers from the fenced-off area where he delivered a fiery speech filled with claims about the election that his own officials told him were false.

"Take the effing mags away; they're not here to hurt me," Hutchinson quoted Trump as saying.

Later on January 6, Hutchinson recounted, Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his Secret Service armored SUV in a failed effort to direct the heavily armored vehicle to the Capitol. And in the days leading up to January 6, as Trump expressed an eagerness to go to the Capitol on the day Congress was set to certify Joe Biden's electoral victory, the top White House lawyer warned of the legal ramifications of such a move.

"We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable," former White House counsel Pat Cipollone told Trump, according to Hutchinson.

And as the Capitol attack unfolded on January 6, Trump appeared unfazed by reports that his supporters were chanting "hang Mike Pence." Trump instead defended his supporters ransacking the Capitol and suggested that Pence "deserves it," Hutchinson testified.

At one point, when Cipollone implored Meadows to persuade Trump to try to stop the violence, Hutchinson testified that Meadows responded: "You heard it, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong."

Hutchinson also recalled seeing Trump's tweet, in which he said Pence did not have the "courage to do what needs to be done." Aides testified in a previous hearing that they had warned Trump and his legal advisers that it would be unlawful for the vice president to reject electoral votes certified by Congress.

"As a staffer that works to always represent the administration to the best of my ability and to showcase the good things he had done for the country, I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, and it felt personal, I was really sad," Hutchinson said. "As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic, it was un-American."

Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone'Pretty good evidence'

Hutchinson's testimony came within a week of clear indications that the Justice Department has moved beyond the on-the-ground violence of January 6 to examine the actions of lawyers and other officials involved in Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

As that Justice Department inquiry unfolds, legal experts said Hutchinson's testimony Tuesday provided insight into Trump's state of mind — including his knowledge of potential criminality — that could support a future prosecution against him on charges of obstruction or conspiring to defraud the United States.

Other legal experts saw "smoking gun" evidence that could support a seditious conspiracy charge. And at the hearing's conclusion, the House panel presented evidence of witness tampering connected to the January 6 investigation.

"If you have your White House counsel saying, 'Do this and we're going to get charged with every crime imaginable,' that's pretty good evidence of your state of mind. You got legal advice that this would be criminal," Eliason told Insider.

The concerns about legal risk continued after January 6. In the aftermath of the Capitol attack, Hutchinson said, Meadows and Rudy Giuliani sought pardons from Trump. Neither received one.

It was a time, Hutchinson said, in which Trump grew so furious at the Secret Service and his own aides that he displayed a penchant for throwing meals at the wall. Weeks before January 6, Hutchinson recalled, she heard a loud noise down a White House hallway around the time the Associated Press reported remarks in which then-Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence of widespread election fraud.

"I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor," she said.

She grabbed a towel and began helping the valet with the cleanup.

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Twitter permanently suspends scores of 'news' accounts under the company BNN founded by Gurbaksh Chahal, former tech CEO convicted of battery

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 6:01pm
  • Scores of new accounts affiliated with Gurbaksh Chahal recently cropped up on Twitter.
  • The accounts are all related to a "news network" BNN, founded by Chahal.
  • Twitter has now decided to suspend all of the accounts under its spam policy.

Twitter said it is suspending scores of new accounts purporting to be part of a "news network" called BNN founded by Gurbaksh Chahal, a one-time internet entrepreneur who was accused twice of domestic violence and battery and spent time in jail.

The accounts related in some form to BNN number near 80, according to a search of Twitter by Insider. The most popular of the group is the handle @BNNBreaking. Started in 2015, the account appears to have gained followers during the height of the pandemic as one that posted daily coronavirus case numbers. It's since morphed into an account that posts about daily news events with no links to published stories or citations.

A lawyer and writer, Matthew Cortland, recently called attention to the proliferation of BNN accounts, the rest of which were started in May. All of the accounts are described in their bios as being "founded by" Chahal. The landing page for BNN Networks claims it is "the future of breaking news" and criticizes the media for being "influenced and sways away from the complete version of truth."

Now, Twitter has decided to "permanently suspend" all of the BNN accounts, a company spokesperson told Insider. The enforcement action is being taken under Twitter's policy on spam and platform manipulation.

While the enforcement action may take some time to complete, the spokesperson said, it is underway. And all of the accounts will be permanently suspended. The spokesperson did not comment on how all the accounts became verified.

Chahal did not directly respond to an email seeking comment. Instead, he posted to Twitter the email Insider sent seeking comment, accusing Insider of "engineering" the enforcement action by Twitter. 

Formerly a serial founder of tech companies, Chahal in 2013 was charged and convicted in San Francisco of domestic assault and battery against his then girlfriend and sentenced to three years probation. He claimed to be innocent but pleaded no contest. In 2016, his probation was revoked and he eventually spent six months in jail after a second incident of battery against another woman.

He has since gone on to found another company, Medriva, a supplier of COVID-19 tests, in addition to BNN.

Are you a Facebook, Twitter, or Snap employee with insight to share? Got a tip? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com or through secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267. Reach out using a non-work device. Twitter DM at @hayskali. Check out Insider's source guide for other suggestions on how to share information securely.

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Disney extends CEO Bob Chapek's contract for 3 years, putting to rest doubts after dustup with Florida Gov. DeSantis on 'Don't Say Gay' law

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 5:35pm
Chapek.
  • The Disney board extended CEO Bob Chapek's contract for another three years on Tuesday.
  • Doubts had swirled throughout Hollywood regarding his longevity in the role.
  • Chapek recently faced backlash over his initial lack of response to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill.

Disney announced on Tuesday that its board of directors unanimously voted to extend CEO Bob Chapek's contract for another three years, before it was set to expire in February.

Chapek took over as CEO in early 2020 after Bob Iger stepped down — not long before it was forced to close down its theme parks and delay its movies amid the coronavirus pandemic. The board cited Chapek's leadership during the pandemic as a reason for its decision.

The move was expected. Chairperson Susan Arnold had recently defended Chapek in a statement after he unexpectedly fired the company's top TV exec, Peter Rice, a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. Arnold said that Chapek and his leadership team "had the support and confidence of the board."

But Tuesday's announcement puts to rest any lingering doubts some may have had after public controversies and media reports that raised speculation over Chapek's longevity in the role.

Notably, Chapek faced heavy criticism over his initial silence on Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, given the company's history of political donations in the state, including to sponsors of the bill. The law banned discussion of gender and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.

Chapek originally told employees that the company wouldn't be commenting on the legislation, letting its content speak for itself. After backlash from staffers, Chapek reversed course and apologized in a company memo, saying that Disney would pause political donations in Florida. It prompted Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, to sign a bill stripping Disney of its private-government status in the state.

The Florida controversy prompted some, including staffers of the Disney-owned animation studio Pixar, to speak out on Disney's lack of LGBTQ+ representation in its content.

In other words, it was one of the biggest public controversies for the company in recent memory. Insider's Claire Atkinson reported last month that speculation was swirling throughout Hollywood about who could replace Chapek, and that Iger, the former CEO, felt that Disney wasn't being managed well.

But, Chapek now has another three years, at least, to change the narrative and protect his legacy.

One of the company's top priorities, its streaming service Disney+, is doing well. It added nearly 8 million subscribers in its most recent quarter, according to its latest earnings report in May, and had 138 million subscribers worldwide. Disney has set a goal of at least 230 million subscribers by 2024.

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is almost here. Here's how to preview all the deals and get early access to shop them.

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 5:19pm

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to the public on July 15, but members can gain access early.
  • Learn how to shop ahead of time, get a $60 Bonus Note, and what brands will be on sale, below.
  • From Nike and UGG to Charlotte Tilbury, Hugo Boss, and La Mer, you'll find many top brands on sale.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is the brand's biggest sale of the year — and it's almost here. As the company's annual sitewide savings event, this is the time to find some of the best discounts and deals of the entire year — and that includes Black Friday. 

The sale officially begins on July 15, but there are plenty of things you can do to prepare beforehand, including saving the items you want to buy.

Starting June 29, everyone will be able to preview the items that will be discounted. As of right now, you can expect brands like Nike, Allsaints, UGG, La Mer, Hugo Boss, Zella, and more to be on sale. You can add items to your wishlist, making it quick and easy to find them and check out once the sale begins.

Nordstrom cardholders can also shop early depending on their membership tier. Icon members can begin shopping on July 6, Ambassador members can begin shopping on July 7, and Influencer members can begin shopping on July 9. On July 15, the sale goes live to the public.

If you're not already a cardholder, you can sign up now and get a $60 Bonus Note to spend upon approval.

Below, we've rounded up all of the categories that will be on sale, followed by an FAQ section to answer all of your questions about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Where to shop by category:Frequently asked questionsWhen is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and when does it end? 

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale opens to the public on July 15, but cardholders can gain access as early as July 6. The sale ends on July 31 for everyone. 

Is everything on sale? 

While not every item is on sale, there are items in every category available at a discount during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. From women's and men's clothing to home and beauty, you'll find sales across all of Nordstrom's product categories. You can shop online, in-store, or even through curbside pick-up. 

What other Nordstrom sales should I know about? 

Nordstrom's Half Yearly and Black Friday Sales are two of the brand's other big shopping events. However, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale remains to be the biggest with the best discounts.

Should I sign up for a Nordstrom Credit Card?

If you're thinking about becoming a Nordstrom cardholder, it's recommended to sign up before the upcoming sale. That way, you'll gain early access to the sale and receive a $60 bonus note to shop.

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Ginni Thomas said Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas were 'highly offensive': book

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 5:13pm
Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sits with his wife and conservative activist Virginia Thomas while he waits to speak at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021.
  • Ginni Thomas in a new book said Anita Hill's claims against her husband were "highly offensive."
  • "I know the man," she told "Created Equal" co-editor Michael Pack. "I know the people in his life."
  • Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment when they worked together in the 1980s.

Ginni Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in a newly-released book called Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment against her husband "highly offensive."

In the book, "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words," co-edited by Michael Pack and Mark Paoletta, Ginni Thomas sat down for interviews with Pack in 2017 and 2018, in what became an expanded companion to the 2020 documentary of the same name.

During her conversation with Pack, Ginni Thomas spoke of her initial knowledge of Hill, an attorney who had worked with Clarence Thomas at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the early 1980s.

"Anita Hill worked with Clarence at the request of his friend Gil Hardy at the Education Department, and then she wanted to follow him to EEOC where he was going to be the chairman. She wanted to continue her career working with him. And Clarence allowed that to happen and honestly never assumed that there was any problem with Anita Hill and all the other people he was employing and helping," she said.

She continued: "He was an advocate against sexual harassment at EEOC. He was working on policies and disciplining employees that were crossing the line. So sexual harassment and Anita Hill was never something that he would have put together until the FBI was at our door saying that she was making accusations."

Ginni Thomas told Pack that it was "devastating" for her husband to hear of Hill's allegations, as he had considered her to be a friend. He has always maintained that he did not act inappropriately with Hill.

"Clarence was shocked that Anita Hill was the person that was making allegations because he had helped her," she said. "So it was stunning to him, devastating, that she would be the one coming out from the shadows to launch an attack against him in any way."

Ginni Thomas then said she was confident of husband's character and dismissed Hill's testimony as fiction.

"I know the man. I know the people in his life. I know what he's like with everyone in our world, and everyone in the workplace," she said.

"So to hear someone, one person, come from the dark recesses of her imagination and tell a tale about him that contradicts every other person's experience of my husband was highly offensive," she added.

Clarence Thomas was eventually confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate in a 52-48 vote.

Ginni Thomas in 2010 reached out to Hill and left the Brandeis University professor a voicemail asking her to apologize for speaking out against her husband.

"I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband," she said in the voicemail, according to The New York Times. "So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. O.K. Have a good day."

Hill told The Times that the message "was certainly inappropriate."

After Ginni Thomas confirmed that she had left the message, she said in statement through a publicist that "no offense was ever intended."

However, Hill stood by her testimony, telling The Times: "I appreciate that no offense was intended, but she can't ask for an apology without suggesting that I did something wrong, and that is offensive."

In recent years, and especially after the 2016 death of close friend and fellow Justice Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas has emerged as a pillar of the court's now-dominant conservative wing.

But the justice now faces calls to resign or recuse himself from cases related to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, due to his wife's documented conversations with Trump allies in support of efforts to overturn President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory.

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Judges in Utah, Louisiana, and Texas have temporarily blocked state laws that would restrict or ban abortions

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 5:03pm
People attend an abortion-rights protest at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022.
  • Courts in three states have so far blocked state-level abortion bans after Roe was overturned. 
  • Judges in Louisiana and Utah temporarily blocked those states' "trigger laws" banning abortion.
  • Here's where abortion access currently stands and where judges have blocked bans. 

The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday sent abortion back to each individual state to decide — and state judges are emerging as key players in the new abortion fight.

Before the Supreme Court decision, 13 states had enacted "trigger" laws designed to ban abortion as soon as Roe fell, others had passed abortion bans or restrictions in earlier years designed to challenge Roe, and still others had pre-Roe abortion bans on their books that courts are now tasked with ruling whether to uphold. 

Abortion rights litigants are now turning to state courts and arguing under state laws and constitutions to block those trigger laws and other restrictions, with judges in two states temporarily blocking trigger laws that went into effect on Friday. 

Here's where abortion access currently stands, and where courts have temporarily blocked abortion bans so far:

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Louisiana: 

A state judge in Louisiana has temporarily blocked the state's trigger law, which went into effect on Friday and bans nearly all abortions. Judge Robin Giarrusso said the law's language is "unconstitutionally vague," and set the next hearing over the law for July 8. Patients can receive care at least until then. 

Utah: 

Judge Andrew Stone temporarily blocked Utah's trigger law, which bans abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the patient's life. It too went into effect on Friday. 

"The immediate effects that will occur outweigh any policy issues of the state," Stone said in a Monday hearing blocking the law from being in effect for 14 days, granting a request from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. 

Texas:

A judge temporarily blocked the enforcement of Texas' pre-Roe abortion ban on Monday, allowing providers to perform abortions up until six weeks of pregnancy — for now. 

The pre-Roe abortion ban is separate from Texas' six-week "heartbeat" abortion ban, which has been in effect since September 2021, and its trigger law banning nearly all abortions, which is set to go into effect later this summer. 

Abortion bans allowed to go into effect: 

On the other hand, federal judges have allowed previously-enjoined six-week abortion bans to take effect in four states states following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision on Friday. In Dobbs, the Supreme Court upheld Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban and struck down the protections for first-trimester abortion that were established in Roe and upheld in the 1992 case Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

Over the past decade, and especially after Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court in 2018, several Republican-controlled state legislatures passed six-week or total abortion bans that were quickly struck down for violating Roe's prohibitions against first-trimester abortion. 

But now without any federal protections for the procedure, judges have allowed a previously-blocked total abortion ban to take effect in Alabama and previously-enjoined six-week abortion bans in Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee to go into effect. 

Tennessee's six-week ban is separate from the state's trigger law banning nearly all abortions, which is set to take effect by July 24. 

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G7 leaders pursue price cap on Russian oil, double down on natural gas, and say major polluters can join 'climate clubs'

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 5:01pm
President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before a meeting with other G7 leaders in Germany this week. The group sent mixed signals on climate action.
  • G7 leaders this week agreed to pursue a cap on Russian oil imports.
  • Germany, the US, and others said boosting natural-gas supplies wouldn't compromise climate goals.
  • Climate advocates blasted G7 leaders, saying they'd watered down plans to phase out fossil fuels.

Leaders of the seven richest large democracies on Tuesday sent mixed messages on climate action at the close of a summit in Germany, promising to both shore up natural-gas supplies and slash planet-warming pollution.

The G7 said it could phase out a dependency on Russian energy without compromising its climate goals, but advocacy groups are skeptical after world leaders endorsed investments in natural gas as a temporary solution.

Countries also agreed to pursue a cap on the price of Russian oil imports, which they hope will slow global inflation and undercut the energy revenue helping fund President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine.

Here are the major takeaways.

A price cap on Russian oil imports

The European Union and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed for setting an artificially low price on Russian oil. The details haven't been worked out, but G7 leaders said in a final communique that it might involve prohibiting the shipment of Russian crude oil and petroleum unless it's "purchased at or below a price to be agreed in consultation with international partners." They instructed finance ministers to hash out how to implement and enforce a cap.

"By working together to limit the price of Russian oil, we will further strengthen the existing sanctions imposed by the G7 and our partners to make sure that Putin will not be able to profit from the higher global energy costs that have resulted from his invasion," Yellen said in a statement Tuesday.

For now, a price cap wouldn't cover natural-gas imports from Russia.

An opening for new natural-gas investments

Europe relies heavily on natural gas from Russia, but Putin has cut supplies to countries including Germany, Italy, Poland, and Bulgaria — sending prices soaring.

G7 leaders said that investing in liquefied natural gas, or LNG, was "appropriate as a temporary response" to the energy crisis but warned against locking in fossil-fuel use because that would make global climate goals unachievable. The group encouraged making gas infrastructure ready for low-carbon and renewable hydrogen.

The statement raised alarm among climate advocates, who criticized the G7 as watering down promises to accelerate the clean-energy transition and sending conflicting messages. New fossil-fuel development isn't compatible with keeping global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels — the goal of the Paris climate accord — and hydrogen technology is still nascent.

"Hydrogen — if it is to be useful for climate goals — will be produced from renewables in a variety of places and not necessarily in the same place as current gas production," Luca Bergamaschi, a cofounder and executive director of ECCO, an Italian climate-change think tank, tweeted on Sunday.

Critics also said the G7 statement backslid on a commitment in May by the group's energy and climate ministers to halt financing by year's end for fossil-fuel projects that are not paired with carbon-capture technology. That pledge around so-called unabated fossil-fuel projects for the first time included Japan, a top financier of foreign fossil fuels.

Oil Change International and a coalition of civil-society groups said the communique on Tuesday risked jeopardizing the opportunity to shift at least $33 billion a year in fossil-fuel funding from the G7 governments to clean energy.

Gillian Nelson, a deputy director of policy at the We Mean Business Coalition, said that while the G7 did promise to "fully or partially" decarbonize its power sectors by 2035, it fell short of discussing how that could be achieved.

Countries that are major polluters and emerging economies can join 'climate clubs'

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during a press conference that he wanted climate protection to be an advantage in international trade. He got the G7 to support setting up so-called climate clubs by the end of the year that major polluters and emerging economies could join. The goal is to create global markets for green industrial products, such as through carbon pricing or other climate-mitigation strategies, as well as to help finance poorer countries' energy transitions.

John Kirton, the director of the G7 and G20 Research Group managed by the University of Toronto, said there would likely be a focus on carbon border adjustments that slap tariffs or impose quotas on imports from countries without a price on emissions or aggressive climate action.

Carbon border tariffs are taking shape in Europe, but the US and Japan, which don't have a price on carbon, have been resistant to such a policy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump rattles off a dozen livid social media posts in 2 hours as ex-aide gives explosive testimony to Jan. 6 panel: 'A Total Phony!!!'

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 5:00pm
Former President Donald Trump.
  • Donald Trump raged on his social media platform as Tuesday's January 6 hearing progressed. 
  • Trump's posts were a return to form for the now-former president.
  • His response was in reaction to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony.

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday unleashed a dozen social media posts in the wake of the testimony of a former top White House aide before the January 6 committee, calling the staffer a "total phony," "third rate social climber' and suggesting she was a "whacko" because of her handwriting.

"There is no cross examination of this so-called witness. This is a Kangaroo Court!" Trump wrote on his social media platform.

In another post, he said that her "body language is that of a total bull…. artist. Fantasy Land!"

Trump's response mirrors how he would use Twitter during his presidency, particularly after he was publicly criticized or news came out of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Trump was kicked off of Twitter and Facebook in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot, leading him and his allies to create their own platform.

As Fox News' Bret Baier noted, Hutchinson made her claims under oath while Trump was just ranting online. It is a crime to lie to Congress, as former Trump attorney Michael Cohen found out.

Trump has a well-documented, decades-long proclivity for stretching the truth or just outright lying. One of his most debunked claims as president was that he passed legislation to improve veterans' health care when it was easily verifiable that President Barack Obama signed the bill into law. Trump made this claim more than 156 times, as The Washington Post meticulously documented.

Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top aide for then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told lawmakers that Trump, in a fit of desperation, tried to commandeer the presidential limousine in an effort to travel to the Capitol on January 6 while Congress certified his election loss.

Trump denied that he tried to hijack his own limo ("Fake story") and on a different occasion threw his food against the wall after becoming enraged by statements made by Attorney General Bill Barr ("also false"). The former president used all caps to emphasize that he "NEVER SAID" that then-Vice President Mike Pence deserved to be hung for not trying to overturn the election.

—CSPAN (@cspan) June 28, 2022

 

In another vintage Trump move, the former president tried to repeatedly claim that he "hardly" knew Hutchinson, despite the fact that she worked just steps from the Oval Office and was a top aide to the White House chief of staff, a post that is considered to be among the most powerful in the entire federal government.

"I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and "leaker") ...," Trump wrote.

Posting so frequently at one point, Trump misspelled the last name of Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the House January 6 Committee. 

"Chaney conveniently left out the snippet in my speech to, "GO PEACEFULLY & PATRIOTICALLY.
 Trump wrote. "Isn't she disgraceful???" (Trump was noting that when he told rally attendees to march to the Capitol on January 6, he added that they should do so "peacefully and patriotically.")

Hutchinson's testimony undermined these claims by making the jaw-dropping allegation that Trump wanted the metal detectors, or mags, set up around the site of his speech on the Ellipse to be taken down since the crowd wasn't big enough.

"Something to the effect of take the f-ing mags away," Hutchinson testified that Trump said on January 6. Hutchison added that Trump was informed that some people attempting to enter the rally were armed and that the Secret Service had confiscated weapons as a result. The president didn't care, she said.

"When we were in the offstage tent, I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, 'I don't effing care that they have weapons," Hutchinson testified. "They're not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away."

Perhaps it is fitting that on a day Trump seemed to return to his old form once again disputed claims about crowd size would come into focus. But this time it was not a White House press secretary bellowing out from behind a lectern. 

On Tuesday, it was just a former president fuming on the social media platform created especially for him.

"Never complained about the crowd, it was massive," Trump claimed of the January 6 rally crowd. "I didn't want or request that we make room for people with guns to watch my speech. Who would ever want that? Not me!"

The social media platform is called Truth. 

Read the original article on Business Insider


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