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Feds hit ‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli with new criminal charge in fraud case

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U.S. prosecutors tacked on an additional criminal charge to their case against former drug executive Martin Shkreli on Friday, alleging that he tried to conceal from investors his control over unrestricted shares in Retrophin Inc.

Federal prosecutors in the New York City borough of Brooklyn filed a superseding indictment with eight criminal counts against Shkreli, who last year became a lightning rod for outrage over soaring prescription drug prices. He was initially indicted in December on seven counts.

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Shkreli, 33, pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment and is awaiting a possible trial this year or next.

“The new indictment adds nothing of value to the government’s case that still relies on a flawed theory as to Mr. Shkreli,” his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in a statement.

According to the new indictment, in 2012 Shkreli and Retrophin’s outside counsel Evan Greebel divided 2 million of the company’s unrestricted shares across seven employees and contractors in such a way as to avoid the reporting requirements of federal securities law.

Shkreli and Greebel also in effect controlled the shares by preventing some of the employees and contractors from selling them but they did not disclose that control to securities regulators, the indictment says.

Greebel, who was charged in the earlier indictment and pleaded not guilty, also faces the additional charge, bringing the number of counts against him to two. A lawyer for him declined to comment.

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Last year, Shkreli sparked outrage after another company he ran, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of the drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent to $750 a pill.

(Editing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)

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Columnist nails Republicans for only caring about Hunter Biden now that his father is running for president

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One of the critical questions that must be answered by Republicans, according to one Washington Post columnist, is why they didn't care about Hunter Biden's position at Burisma for so many years.

In a Sunday piece, James Downie asked why Republicans didn't do anything about Hunter Biden five years ago when it was first revealed that vice president's son was on the board of a Ukraine energy company. The House and the Senate were being run by Republicans until this year. They haven't had problems with other partisan investigations against high-profile leaders. There were ten investigations into the Benghazi attacks, three hearings, 29 witnesses, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours. Yet, it was only after Joe Biden announced he was running against President Donald Trump that Republicans discovered an issue.

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Republican staffer caught spying on Democrats during Judiciary Committee meetings

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A Republican staffer from the Ways and Means committee was caught spying on Democrats during their work over the weekend.

According to a Judiciary Committee source, the female staffer was ultimately discovered and ran out of the committee room once it was discovered she was there, tweeted Olivia Beavers, a writer at "The Hill."

"A Judiciary source says the committee, which has been practicing for their Monday impeachment hearing this whole weekend, came across a female GOP Ways and Means staffer in the hearing room today, but that she ran out once discovered," she tweeted.

https://twitter.com/Olivia_Beavers/status/1203784487559213056

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New York Times editorial board asks Trump if he didn’t do anything wrong — why he won’t let witnesses testify

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The New York Times editorial board issued a scathing op-ed Sunday detailing the ways in which President Donald Trump is destroying one of the key branches of the United States government.

While many presidents battle with Congress, Trump has taken his "obvious contempt" to a whole new level. But if he was truly innocent of the accusations he's facing, then why is he hiding so much.

"If Mr. Trump is so clear in his own mind that he didn’t try to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election, why won’t he send the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to testify under oath that there was no quid pro quo?" asked The Times. "Instead, he has issued a blanket refusal to allow officials of his administration to testify or submit documents demanded by Congress. His approach is pitting Republican House members’ fealty to him against their respect for their own institution. They are making a fateful choice to diminish the House."

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