By Michele Gilman, Venable Professor of Law, University of Baltimore. Sen. Chuck Grassley recently seemed to suggest some poor people spend all their money on "booze or women or movies." AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Republicans continue to use long-debunked myths about the poor as they defend lower taxes for the rich and deep cuts to the social safety net to pay for them.
While Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and others continue to defy the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection, other witnesses are cooperating and "providing reams of evidence to investigators," according to a report from Axios.
The report cites Rolling Stone's bombshell story from Sunday, which revealed that two "Stop the Steal" organizers told investigators they discussed plans for the protests with House Republicans and Trump aides.
"The report — despite being hailed by some Democrats as a 'smoking gun' and grounds for expulsion (from Congress) — does not allege those Republicans were involved in a plot to attack the Capitol," Axios reported. "It does indicate key players in the day's events may be cooperating and providing new information to the committee."
In addition to the Stop the Steal organizers, cooperating witnesses include former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark — whom Trump sought to install as attorney general — and, according to CNN, at least five White House staffers from the Trump administration.
"The five former staffers who have had conversations with the committee have done so with either members or their staff. Some believe they have information worth sharing, while others are hoping to avoid being legally compelled to talk to the committee," CNN reported.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democratic member of the committee, told CNN: "I've got good reason to believe a number of them are horrified and scandalized by what took place on January 6th and they want to do their legal duty and their civic duty by coming forward to explain exactly what happened."
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who's currently on trial for wire-fraud, allegedly duped former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' family out of $100 million.
The Daily Beast reports that the DeVos family visited Theranos headquarters for a five-hour meeting with Holmes and company president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani in 2014, before agreeing to invest $100 million in the startup.
The report is based on testimony during Holmes' trial from Lisa Peterson, who manages private equity investments for the DeVos family's RDV Corp.
"Peterson testified that Holmes was 'hand picking' uber-wealthy families to invest in the Palo Alto company, which claimed its portable blood-testing devices could screen for scores of diseases with just the prick of a patient's finger. (But, according to federal prosecutors, Holmes and Balwani knew their technology didn't work as advertised, even as they peddled it to consumers and high-powered investors.)" the Daily Beast reports. "Shortly after this meeting, Peterson and DeVos family members gathered in the Theranos parking lot to discuss their planned $50 million investment, which they ultimately doubled, the Wall Street Journal reported."
Petersen reportedly testified that the DeVos family was "impressed by Theranos' revenue projections of $140 million in 2014 and $990 million in 2015, and that she didn't realize the firm had zero income in 2012 and 2013."
"During cross examination, Holmes' attorney Lance Wade impugned Peterson's due diligence in researching Theranos before recommending the company to the DeVos family," the Daily Beast reports.
According to Law360 reporter Dorothy Atkins, who is covering Holmes' trial, Peterson "acknowledge(d) that the DeVos family investment firm never hired regulatory experts, counsel, or medical experts in the due diligence process, b/c 'we didn't think we needed it.'"
The Daily Beast reports that Peterson also testified that "DeVos family office was concerned that if their investigation into Theranos was too thorough, the firm would rescind the invitation to invest in what was billed as a groundbreaking technology."
On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump was dealt yet another blow in his lawsuit against Twitter for banning him from their platform, as a federal judge in Florida ruled that his attorneys could not file their claim in the state.
The issue turned on the so-called "forum selection clause" in Twitter's Terms of Service, requiring that any lawsuit against the company be heard in the Northern District of California, where the company is headquartered.
"The Court finds that Trump's status as President of the United States does not exclude him from the requirements of the forum selection clause in Twitter's Terms of Service," concluded Judge Robert Scola, an appointee of former President Barack Obama.
Here's the order. Trump filed suits against three tech companies in federal court in Florida, and so far two have… https://t.co/jkelNtrg7p— Brad Heath (@Brad Heath) 1635296096.0
A case in a California district court would fall under the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is broadly considered to be a more hostile venue to the former president because it has far fewer Republican judicial appointees than the Eleventh Circuit, which oversees district court rulings in the state of Florida.
However, experts have suggested Trump's lawsuit, which seeks to find Twitter in violation of his free speech rights by deplatforming him, is unlikely to succeed in any venue.
This is the second ruling that Trump cannot sue Twitter in Florida instead of California. A similar ruling was issued by Miami-based federal judge Kevin Michael Moore, an appointee of President George H. W. Bush, three weeks ago.
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