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FBI whistleblower: Florida Gov. Scott ‘was the father’ of fraud at his former company

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An accountant who became an FBI whistleblower in a Medicare fraud investigation against a hospital chain spoke out on Monday, saying the company’s former chief executive, Florida Governor Rick Scott, must have known about hundreds of millions of dollars in theft.

“Fraud was brewing in the DNA of Rick Scott’s company from the very beginning, and he was the father of it,” John Schilling said at a news conference organized by the rival gubernatorial campaign of Democrat Charlie Crist.

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Scott is facing off against Crist in a close election battle, an expensive and closely watched political race for the nation’s largest swing state.

Scott, a founder of the hospital company Colombia/HCA, was ousted as its chief executive officer in 1997 but not charged in the case. The fraud led to $1.7 billion in federal penalties, which was then the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.

The Florida Republican Party shrugged off the accusation, which Scott successfully dealt with in his 2010 election, saying Crist had become desperate in the final four weeks of the campaign.

“From comparing Rick Scott to Al Capone, to calling him evil, to accusing the governor of killing Floridians, these are desperate statements from a desperate man,” the party said in a statement.
  
Speaking on behalf of Scott, a re-election campaign spokesman said Crist has his own financial skeletons, including past association with imprisoned Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein and former Republican Party chairman Jim Greer, who served time for defrauding the state party as Crist’s hand-picked chairman.

Schilling, a Collier County Republican, said he shared in “whistleblower” rewards of about $100 million for exposing the padded billing, kickbacks to doctors and medical providers and improper expense accounting that led to the penalties against Columbia/HCA.
  
During his 2010 campaign for governor, Scott repeatedly said he did not know about actions of underlings in the multinational corporation. Crist, a former Republican governor who preceded Scott in office, is now running as a Democrat and has made Scott’s corporate record a centerpiece of his campaign.

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Schilling said Scott’s company was “keeping two sets of books,” one of them marked “do not show to Medicare auditors.”

Schilling said he left the company in 1995 and went to the FBI, then returned as an informant, sometimes secretly recording meetings and confidentially reporting activities to federal investigators.

(Reporting by Bill Cotterell; Editing by David Adams and Matthew Lewis)

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Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera attacks former White House press secretary on Twitter as ‘old douche’

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In a bizarre moment, Sunday evening politics turned into a war of wards in President Donald Trump's Twitter comments.

Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera responded to former press secretary Joe Lockhart, who had replied to one of the tweets Trump retweeted from Rivera.

"Gloom settling on Democrats as they realize they’ve taken their best kill shot & missed. Dems in despair. Republicans United. @realDonaldTrump survives & #Impeachment all over but the shouting," said Rivera, hopefully not literally saying that Democrats wanted to shoot or kill the president.

Lockhart responded to the comment by mocking the Fox News host, saying that he was only making the comment to help get his contract renewed.

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‘Now we see why’ Trump blocked Bolton from testifying — and Republicans are barring witnesses: Adam Schiff

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) is one of the handful of members of Congress who have served as managers for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. He has not only navigated the past week of the trial, but he conducted the first major hearing.

After the New York Times revealed key facts from former national security adviser John Bolton's upcoming book, Schiff said that it was clear the information Bolton has is why Trump blocked him from testifying.

“I think you have to for the sake of the office,” Trump told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham when she asked if he would block Bolton.

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John Bolton went to Bill Barr with concerns about Giuliani’s ‘shadow foreign policy’ in Ukraine: report

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Attorney General Bill Barr was cited recently by Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas as being part of the "team" of people workign to create a conspiracy to help get President Donald Trump reelected.

“Attorney General Barr was basically on the team,” said Parnas in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. “Mr. Barr had to know about everything.”

Parnas' lawyer, Joseph Bondy, has demanded that Barr recuse himself from overseeing the Parnas trial and investigation.

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