Stories Chosen For You
On Friday, Rolling Stone reported that a Manhattan prosecutor told the jury in the Trump Organization criminal case that former President Donald Trump was "explicitly sanctioning tax fraud" and directly in on the scheme to keep two sets of books, defrauding state tax agencies by undervaluing his assets.
"Joshua Steinglass made the accusation during the second day of his closing argument in the criminal tax-fraud trial against several of Trump’s companies. Steinglass referred jurors to a 2012 document autographed by the former president himself, where he approved a $72,000 salary reduction for Trump Organization chief operating officer Matthew Calamari," reported Victoria Bekiempis. "The prosecution has contended that Trump and his companies were well aware that Calamari, former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, and chief financial officer Jeffrey McConney were engaging in practices to secure untaxed income for executives vis-a-vis benefits such as gratis pads."
However, Trump himself is not on trial in the case; his companies are, and Steinglass said that ultimately, prosecutors do not need to prove the Trump family was aware of the schemes.
"Steinglass’ first day of closings went into similar territory, with him telling jurors Thursday: 'The Trump organization … cultivated a culture of fraud and deception. It’s not that the folks at the Trump Organization didn’t know what they were doing was illegal — it’s just that they didn’t care,' Steinglass also said," the report continued. "This line of argument hearkened to prosecutor Susan Hoffinger’s opening, which closely linked Trump to an alleged illegal compensation scheme that purportedly lined the pockets of Weisselberg, his longtime moneyman, and other company honchos."
Trump Organization attorneys have sought to pin the whole scheme on Weisselberg, who cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for a lesser sentence.
However, Weisselberg made a number of damning allegations on the stand, including that Trump "authorized" the tax scheme and that the company only pretended to fire Weisselberg as CFO to try to limit its legal exposure.
According to a new report from The New York Times, hate speech has increased on Twitter after Elon Musk's purchase of the platform.
"...slurs against Black Americans showed up on the social media service an average of 1,282 times a day. After the billionaire became Twitter’s owner, they jumped to 3,876 times a day. Slurs against gay men appeared on Twitter 2,506 times a day on average before Mr. Musk took over. Afterward, their use rose to 3,964 times a day. And antisemitic posts referring to Jews or Judaism soared more than 61 percent in the two weeks after Mr. Musk acquired the site," The Times report stated.
The findings come from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League, and other groups that monitor social media. The researchers claim that they never have seen such a sharp increase in hate speech.
“Elon Musk sent up the Bat Signal to every kind of racist, misogynist and homophobe that Twitter was open for business,” said Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate. “They have reacted accordingly.”
But Musk is outright disputing The Times' report, calling it, "Utterly false."
In a Twitter post presumably in response to The Times' report, Musk shared a graph showing that Hate speech impressions "continue to decline, despite significant user growth!"
"Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of reach. Negativity should & will get less reach than positivity," Musk wrote, adding that Twitter will make such data available to the public weekly. "There are about 500M tweets per day & billions of impressions, so hate speech impressions are <0.1% of what’s seen on Twitter!"
Read the full report over at The New York Times.
Infowars host Alex Jones has filed for personal bankruptcy following the verdict handed down in the defamation lawsuit filed against him by the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims.
According to HuffPost, court documents indicate that Jones' legal team filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas' Southern District.
Jones' filing comes after months of unfavorable court rulings in connection with the massive lawsuit.
Per the news outlet, a Texas court indicated that the conspiracy theorist owed more than $45 million back in August. Then, in October, a Connecticut court hit Jones with a staggering $965 million in punitive damages, followed another Connecticut court ruling where he was ordered to pay an additional $473 million.
Altogether, Jones is facing more than $1 billion in damages after circulating disturbing conspiracy theories questioning the legitimacy of the shooting and whether it actually happened.
To make matters worse, many families of the victims were trolled by Jones' InfoWars followers who also echoed his baseless claims. As a result of the conspiracy theories, the Sandy Hook families argued that Jones managed to capitalize on their misfortunes.
In wake of the latest reports about Jones' bankruptcy filing, Chris Mattei, one of the attorneys representing the Sandy Hook families in the Connecticut lawsuit, weighed in with a critical reaction to the legal tactic.
In a new statement, Mattei described Jones' latest action as "cowardly."
"Like every other cowardly move Alex Jones has made, this bankruptcy will not work," Mattei said.
He added, "The bankruptcy system does not protect anyone who engages in intentional and egregious attacks on others, as Mr. Jones did. The American judicial system will hold Alex Jones accountable, and we will never stop working to enforce the jury’s verdict.”