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Texas Republican busted for trying to help big donor get bank loan

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Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) (Image via YouTube/Roll Call).

On Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reported that a Texas GOP congressman may have tried to improperly influence a bank to assist one of his campaign donors.

“U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, a Central Texas Republican and member of the House Financial Services Committee, used his powerful post in Congress to try to help a top donor in his dealings with a publicly traded bank, court records show,” reported Jay Root. “The controversy spilled out into a Texas bankruptcy case after Williams tried to broker a meeting between the wealthy donor — oil field investor Gary Martin of Marble Falls — and the CEO of UMB Financial Corp., which owns UMB Bank. The bank’s lawyer voiced objections to the ‘pressure’ tactic and UMB ultimately declined to set up a meeting.”

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“The congressman said in a deposition taken July 25 that he saw nothing wrong with the attempted assist, but one of UMB’s lawyers saw it differently: Attorney Kyle Hirsch testified under oath that Williams’ intervention exerted inappropriate pressure on UMB and that unless the CEO agreed to meet with his donor there could be problems for the bank in Congress,” continued the report. “Martin said he wanted Williams to help him get a meeting with UMB Financial’s CEO, Mariner Kemper, to discuss a multi-million dollar loan package he said the bank was prepared to provide to Diamondback, the company Repeat Precision has been battling in the court system. The bank declined comment, citing the pending litigation.”

Williams, a North Texas car dealership owner who represents a sprawling district from Austin to Fort Worth, has previously faced criticism for taking loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — the COVID-19 small-business relief program he helped create.


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BUSTED: Utah Republican took at least $135,000 in illegal campaign donations

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On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Burgess Owens, a former football player and Fox News commentator running for Congress in Utah, accepted at least $135,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

"Mr. Owens ... reported bringing in a staggering $2.5 million during the third quarter fund-raising period, one of the biggest hauls for a Republican congressional candidate. But a review of his campaign’s financial disclosures showed that at least $135,500 — about 40 percent of the cash his campaign currently has on hand in the final stretch — was ineligible because the donors had contributed more than the legal limit," reported Catie Edmondson. "Individuals may donate up to $2,800 to a federal candidate per election, according to limits published by the Federal Election Commission."

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Kris Kobach asks for allegedly fraudulent Bannon wall funds to be ‘unfrozen’ so he can get paid for his work promoting it

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On Tuesday, Law & Crime reported that former Kansas Secretary of State and longtime Trump ally Kris Kobach was rebuffed by federal prosecutors for trying to "inject" himself into the fraud case against former Trump campaign chairman and adviser Steve Bannon.

"Kobach ... is apparently looking to unfreeze We Build the Wall funds so he can get paid for the work he did," reported Matt Naham. "Kobach has attempted to do this [by] challenging a restraining order that 'intended to safeguard funds that will be subject to forfeiture following a conviction in this case[…].'"

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2020 Election

Trump takes his COVID-spreader show to Omaha — in search of a key electoral vote

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Donald Trump’s super-spreader campaign rallies generally don’t matter in the big picture of things. But there’s one happening this evening that’s a little different.

Trump will be taking over a ramp at 7:30 p.m. at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield. It is being billed as an outdoor event with “strong precautions” in place to prevent the spread of a pandemic disease that the main speaker will be telling his audience is fake news. And they’re hoping to draw 10,000 potential pandemic patients.

The reason Trump is in Omaha is the same one that President Barack Obama was there in 2008: a recognition that the Nebraska 2nd congressional district’s one electoral vote could literally decide the fate of the free world. Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that portion delegates in part by congressional districts.

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