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Senate Committee To Subpoena SBF If He Does Not Testify Voluntarily

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Update (8:20pm ET): Following a tidal wave of disgust, outrage and loathing at corrupt politicians, Maxine Waters took to twitter to slam the earlier CNBC report that she wouldn’t subpoena SBF as a “lie” even though just one sentence lower in her tweet she confirms that she has, in fact, not done anything yet and that a “subpoena is definitely on the table.”

Furthermore, she notes that SBF has “been requested to testify” even though as everyone knows by now, he turned down said “request” and unless he is compelled (i.e., issued a subpoena) he won’t go. But it’s cool: “A subpoena is definitely on the table.” The question is whether the check to Maxine clear and it stays there or someone actually signs it and delivers it to the prominent Democratic donor.

The responses suggest that America’s corrupt politicians no longer fool anyone.

And while Maxine counts her inbound wire transfers and donations from SBF for a cost-benefit analysis of what the humiliated rep should do next, at least two US senators have no such qualms, and the two highest rated members of the Senate Banking Committee told Sam Bankman-Fried they expect him to appear before them next week in person to discuss the collapse of FTX, and will subpoena him if he does not appear voluntarily, a letter from its leaders said Wednesday.

As Coindesk first reported, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), respectively the chair and ranking member of the committee, wrote a public letter to Bankman-Fried, who resigned from the exchange the same day it filed for bankruptcy last month. The committee is holding a hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 14, a day after the House Financial Services Committee holds its own hearing on the exchange.

“FTX’s collapse has caused real financial harm to consumers, and effects have spilled over into other parts of the crypto industry. The American people need answers about Sam Bankman-Fried’s misconduct at FTX,” the lawmakers said in a prepared statement. “The Committee has requested that he testify at our upcoming hearing on FTX’s collapse, and will consider further action if he does not comply.”

Normally witnesses appear voluntarily, the lawmakers said in the letter. If Bankman-Fried does not confirm his participation by Thursday, “I am prepared, along with Ranking Member Pat Toomey, to issue a subpoena to compel your testimony,” the letter signed by Brown said.

He now faces a number of investigations, including an investigation by federal prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, who are investigating whether Bankman-Fried may have tried to manipulate the price of TerraUSD and Luna, which collapsed in their own dramatic fashion earlier this year, according to the New York Times.

* * *

Just when you thought House Democrat, and easily one of the smartest people in Congress, Maxine Waters couldn’t humiliate herself and outrage the peasantry any further with her white-glove treatment of Sam Bankman-Fried, whose fraud was behind the largest ponzi scheme since Bernie Madoff, she has bested herself once more.

Waters, the House Financial Services Committee Chair, is not planning on subpoenaing Sam Bankman-Fried, or is that Sam Bankman-Freed – to testify at the upcoming December 13th Congressional hearing about the collapse of FTX. 

“Waters informed committee members of her decision at a private meeting Tuesday with Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler on Capitol Hill,” CNBC reported late in the day on Wednesday. 

Waters apparently said “she wants committee staff try to convince Bankman-Fried to voluntarily testify”.

And if he disagrees? Well… oops, but that’s what all those tens of millions in donations to Democrats were for. Or is that billions?

For those still confused, one month after the historic implosion, Bankman-Fried appears to be getting away with one of the most blatant heists in history and still has not been held to account by any regulatory agency, other than what appeared to be some perfunctory palm greasing that may have taken place in the Bahamas. 

Baffled by why there has been no consequences for Bankman-Fried, even while Democrats and the Biden administration perpetually rail against billionaires and the upper class? Well, there’s the small detail that Bankman-Fried and FTX associates gave $300,000 to the very same House Committee members that are investigating him, per the Washington Free Beacon:

Bankman-Fried and his co-founders at FTX contributed $300,351 to nine members of the House Financial Services Committee, according to Federal Election Commission records. Some of the largest contributions were to Democrats on the committee’s Digital Assets Working Group, which worked on regulation of the crypto industry. 

Recall that Maxine Waters has been already widely lampooned and ridiculed for the gentle treatment she has given Bankman-Fried thus far.  In an endearing sounding Tweet to SBF on December 2, 2022, asking him to testify in front of Conrgess, she wrote: “We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others. To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th.”

The public was not amused by Waters’ approach.

“If you don’t arrest him I will have lost all faith in our government being the tiniest bit of just,” bitcoin advocate Dan Held responded to Waters. 

“Rep. Waters, we appreciate that you’re holding a hearing on the 13th, and we look forward to substantive fact-finding about what happened at FTX. I am certain that factfinding will show that SBF has not, in fact, been candid in his discussions. He committed fraud, full stop,” commented Lawyer Jake Chervinsky.

And then Bankman-Fried himself humiliated Waters by publicly shunning her offer to testify, telling Waters he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to testify on December 13th. 

“Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain,” he wrote to her on Twitter. 

And to think, SBF dodging the question of an appearance before the House on December 13 came even after Waters blew Bankman-Fried a kiss…

We guess the ole’ Willie Brown treatment doesn’t quite work with the charm it used to. Maybe Maxine can have Kamala Harris stand in for her next time. 

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Prestigious Liberal Watchdog Condemns New York Times’ Russiagate Coverage

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Zero Hedge

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) has issued a scathing indictment of the New York Times for yellow journalism during the Trump-Russia saga.

In short, the hyper-partisan ‘paper of record’ was operating in bad faith.

It’s wasn’t just the Times either. CJR’s findings accurately reflect what most objective thinkers have known this whole time – they were all operating in bad faith.

That said, CJR aimed the majority of criticism towards the NYT.

“No narrative did more to shape Trump’s relations with the press than Russiagate. The story, which included the Steele dossier and the Mueller report among other totemic moments, resulted in Pulitzer Prizes as well as embarrassing retractions and damaged careers,” wrote CJR executive editor Kype Pope in an editor’s note.

The findings were published in a lengthy, four-part series. The first section begins with a story about then-New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet’s reaction when he found out Special Counsel Robert Mueller didn’t plan to pursue Trump’s ousting, telling his staff “Holy s—, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.”  –Fox News

“Baquet, speaking to his colleagues in a town hall meeting soon after the testimony concluded, acknowledged the Times had been caught ‘a little tiny bit flat-footed’ by the outcome of Mueller’s investigation,” according to Jeff Gerth – the author of CJR’s lengthy retrospective.

“That would prove to be more than an understatement,” he continued. “But neither Baquet nor his successor, nor any of the paper’s reporters, would offer anything like a postmortem of the paper’s Trump-Russia saga, unlike the examination the Times did of its coverage before the Iraq War.”

According to Gerth, the Times destroyed its credibility outside of its “own bubble.”

What’s more, the Times appeared to legitimize former British spy, Christopher Steele, who was indirectly paid by the Clinton campaign to fabricate the infamous ‘dossier’ that so much of the Russiagate coverage – and the DOJ’s sham investigation, was based on.

The Times appeared to legitimize Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who authored the infamous dossier, claiming he had “a credible track record” while Steele’s so-called “primary” source was telling the FBI that Steele “misstated or exaggerated” in his report and that information stemming from Russia was “rumor and speculation.”

Part three offered examples of the Times’ slight-of-hand coverage against Trump in comparison to other hostile outlets. For example, Trump explained his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, mentioning the “Russia thing” as being a “made-up story” to NBC’s Lester Holt but acknowledged the firing would likely “lengthen out the investigation.”

The media focused on the ‘Russia thing’ quote; the New York Times did five stories over the next week citing the ‘Russia thing’ remarks but leaving out the fuller context. The Post and CNN, by comparison, included additional language in their first-day story,” Gerth wrote.

In another instance, the Times avoided covering some of the more damning texts from Peter Strzok, who wrote “there’s no big there, there” shortly after the appointment of Special Counsel Robert  Mueller, something Gerth noted was covered by the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.  -Fox News

In closing, Gerth concluded that “the erosion of journalistic norms and the media’s own lack of transparency about its work” is responsible for the broad distrust in the media.

No kidding.

In January 2018, for example, the New York Times ignored a publicly available document showing that the FBI’s lead investigator didn’t think, after ten months of inquiry into possible Trump-Russia ties, that there was much there. This omission disserved Times readers. The paper says its reporting was thorough and ‘in line with our editorial standards,” wrote Gerth. “Another axiom of journalism that was sometimes neglected in the Trump-Russia coverage was the failure to seek and reflect comment from people who are the subject of serious criticism. The Times guidelines call it a ‘special obligation.’ Yet in stories by the Times involving such disparate figures as Joseph Mifsud (the Maltese academic who supposedly started the whole FBI inquiry), Christopher Steele (the former British spy who authored the dossier), and Konstantin Kilimnik (the consultant cited by some as the best evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump), the paper’s reporters failed to include comment from the person being criticized.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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“One Lie After The Next”: CNN Ratings Hit 9-Year Lows After Reputational Suicide

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Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Establishment mouthpiece CNN – an integral part of both the Russiagate hoax and the Hunter Biden laptop coverup, has dropped to just 444,000 average primetime viewers between January 16 and January 22, according to Nielsen.

Of those, just 93,000 were in the all-important 25-54 news demographic. 

This is the first time since May of 2014 that the network has failed to reach 450,000 viewers, The Wrap reports.

By comparison, during the same period Fox News drew 1.4 million viewers and 176,000 in the demo while MSNBC notched 629,000 total viewers and 69,000 in the demo. In primetime, Fox News had 2 million viewers, 256,000 in the demo and MSNBC had 943,000 viewers and 91,000 in the demo.

Some especially troublesome news out of this week’s Nielsen numbers is that Licht’s primary programming move, “CNN This Morning,” also suffered the lowest week since its launch just three months ago. It averaged just 331,000 viewers while “Fox & Friends” had nearly 1 million and “Morning Joe” drew 760,000. -The Wrap

As Glenn Greenwald notes, CNN’s downfall is “so well-deserved and good for the country.”

According to CNN insiders, hosts of the network’s rebooted morning show, Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, “seem to be growing frustrated” over the direction of the network.

“The show can’t decide strategically what exactly it is, so it’s trying to be everything which can create whiplash for a viewer when segments seem off-brand in tonality,” said one insider. “The audience for morning news on network TV is different than the cable news audience and since we’re not gaining new viewers we definitely need to retain our legacy ones.”

More on the network’s reputational suicide from Greenwald:

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Video: Ted Cruz Calls For FBI Raid On Hunter Biden

“We need to ascertain who’s had access to what and when.”

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Steve Watson

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Senator Ted Cruz declared Sunday that the FBI should immediately search the home of Hunter Biden to check for classified documents.

In the wake of such documents being discovered in Joe Biden’s home garage and an office he uses in Washington DC, Cruz noted “It seems he leaves classified documents wherever he goes. And we also know that Hunter Biden at times was — declared his residence to be those very same places.”

During the Fox News interview, Cruz added “I also believe it is critical for the FBI to search Hunter Biden’s homes, home and office residences to make sure there are no classified documents there, given all the evidence that’s piling up. We need to ascertain who’s had access to what and when.”

Cruz added that it is imperative that lawmakers find out whether documents Biden had “illegally” involve “family business activities and potential corruption.”

“Whether they involve Burisma and Ukraine, whether they involve Communist China and the entities that were paying the Biden family millions of dollars,” Cruz urged, adding “If he, in fact, had classified documents that implicate his own financial well-being, that raises the potential of very serious criminal liability.”

Related:

US Weapons Manufacturers Enjoy Soaring Profits Thanks to War in Ukraine

Cruz also highlighted an email Hunter Biden sent to a Burisma colleague, alleging the correspondence, which was obtained by the New York Post from the infamous laptop from hell, indicates he had access to classified material.

“Hunter Biden didn’t write that,” Cruz stated, explaining that “Hunter Biden is not an expert on Ukraine. He’s not an expert on Eastern Europe. He’s not an expert on Russia, but that email did help get him on the board of Burisma. It did help get him paid $83,000 a month because it showed a level of expertise not coming from him, but he was getting it from somewhere. That’s clearly from some sort of briefing. We don’t know whether it was a classified briefing or not, but that is the sort of analysis that is often within a classified briefing.”

Cruz continued, “there’s a level of scholarship and erudition that if it magically appeared, somehow it doesn’t appear in the other emails he’s sending.”

“The obvious question is what was he cutting and pasting from? What was his source? And it raises the natural inference that Hunter Biden had direct access to these classified documents,” Cruz asserted.

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