Trump administration gave a $700M bailout to a $70M truck company after it allegedly defrauded the Pentagon

The Washington Post reports:

The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it will loan $700 million to a trucking firm that ships military equipment, in exchange for having U.S. taxpayers acquire an almost 30 percent stake in the company.

Under the unusual arrangement, the Treasury Department will provide the emergency loan to YRC Worldwide, while taking a 29.6 percent equity stake in the company. The U.S. government does not typically take ownership stakes in companies but was given permission to do so by Congress as a way to ensure taxpayer funds are not misspent.

That lede alone should be enough to raise an eyebrow. But it gets even more suspicious: YRC Worldwide's stock had already plunged 27 percent this year, and was down 85 percent over the last five years. The day before the deal was finalized, the company was only valued at $70 million.

Yet somehow, the company finagled a rare deal for a government loan worth 10 times more than the company itself. To hear Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tell it, that's because the company is very, very important:

YRC is a leading provider of critical military transportation and other hauling services to the U.S. government and provides 68% of less-than-truckload services to the Department of Defense. This loan will enable YRC to maintain approximately 30,000 trucking jobs and continue to support essential military supply chain operations and the transport of industrial, commercial, and retail goods to more than 200,000 corporate customers across North America.

That argument might make sense on the surface, until you factor the part where YRC Worldwide is also being sued by the federal government for defrauding the Department of Defense out of millions of dollars. Read the rest

U.S. appeals court rejects Trump's attempt to escape 'emoluments' lawsuit over D.C. Trump Hotel

Bad legal news for Orange President Kleptocrat today.

He's gonna be in a mood. Read the rest

Asked about dropping Mike Flynn criminal charges, A.G. Barr gives the worst answer yet

Asked about the Justice Department's intent to drop all criminal charges against impeached President Trump's first national security advisor, Mike Flynn, Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr says nothing matters, and “history is written by the winners.” Read the rest

UK trade minister resigns after threatening member of public

Conor Burns, Britain's trade minister, quit Monday after it was revealed he had used his position to threaten a member of public in a financial dispute with his father.

The committee's report found he had made "veiled threats" to use privilege to "further his family's interests" during the financial dispute involving his father. In February, Mr Burns had written to a member of the public connected to a company with whom his father was in dispute over the repayment of a loan. He wrote: "I am acutely aware that my role in the public eye could well attract interest especially if I were to use parliamentary privilege to raise the case".

Read the rest

Senators to U.S. Ethics Official: 'Ensure COVID-19 Decisions Serve the American Public, Not President Trump's & Jared Kushner's Financial Interests'

Senators Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, and Thomas R. Carper have sent a letter to the White House Designated Agency Ethics Official, titled 'Ensure COVID-19 Decisions Serve the American Public, Not President Trump's & Jared Kushner's Financial Interests. Read the rest

'Resign!' 2 GOP senators should lose jobs for coronavirus stock jump, say critics

They told the public everything would be okay with the virus outbreak. Then they privately dumped stocks.

Over the past 24 hours, news has spread that various U.S. lawmakers received advance private briefings about the severity of an oncoming coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic -- then, they sold stocks before the public knew how bad it would get, and how the economy would suffer. Read the rest

Trump commutes sentence of corrupt governor Rod Blagojevich, pardons Giuliani crony Bernard Kerik

President Trump today announced that he is commuting the prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich, a former Illinois governer jailed for corruption, and pardoning Bernard Kerik, the former New York Police Commissioner jailed for tax fraud.

Blagojevich attempted to sell Barack Obama's senate seat; Kerik was found to have accepted a $250,000 bribe from a billionaire while a member of the interim administration of Iraq following the second Gulf war.

By commuting the sentence, the president would free Mr. Blagojevich from prison without wiping out the conviction. Republicans have advised the president against it, arguing that Mr. Blagojevich’s crime epitomizes the corruption that Mr. Trump had said he wanted to tackle as president.

The president’s decision came the same day that he pardoned Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers who pleaded guilty in 1998 to concealing an extortion attempt and eventually surrendered control of his team.

Also pardoned was Michael R. Milken, an investment banker convicted of securities fraud. Read the rest

Billionaire Bloomberg won't have to disclose finances until late March

“What does this guy worth $60 billion own, who wants to be president?” Read the rest

Trump to divert $3.8B from Defense to build stupid Mexico wall

White House plans to divert $3.8 billion from DoD to build Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, for which he lied that Mexico would pay Read the rest

Trump asked about Roger Stone pardon: “I don't want to say that yet...”

President Trump today was asked by a reporter if he would pardon Roger Stone. Read the rest

House Dems press Secret Service on payments to Trump

'Secret Service had been charged up to $650 per night for rooms at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, and charged $17,000 a month for a cottage at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster'

Jamie Dimon is a (highly selective) socialist

Jamie Dimon (previously) is the Jpmorganchase CEO who committed a $13b mortgage fraud and whose company received $25B in TARP bailout money, $500B in low-cost federal loans, and billions more through the bailout of their insurer, AIG. Read the rest

You can read the forensics report that suggests Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud hacked Jeff Bezos's phone

Motherboard has obtained and published a copy of the forensics report that suggests that Jeff Bezos's phone was hacked by Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, possibly in a scheme to obtain kompromat that could be used as leverage to prevent the Washington Post of reporting on the death of Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered and mutilated by agents of the prince. Read the rest

Brazil's authoritarians charge Glenn Greenwald with cybercrime for publishing leaks that revealed corruption at the highest levels

Last June Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept published and reported on a massive trove of explosive leaks that revealed that top prosecutors and the judge who eventually became the justice minister of Brazil conspired to rig the corruption trial of the beloved and incredibly popular leader Lula, sending him to prison as part of their plan to put the murderous, homophobic authoritarian Jair Bolsonaro in his place. Read the rest

Olympics warns athletes that kneeling, fist-raising and other political actions will be banned at the Tokyo 2020 games

The International Olympic Committee -- long a swirling cesspool of corruption, censorship, and reputation-laundering for repressive regimes -- has attained a new low, issuing guidance to athletes competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that no political protests will be tolerated, specifically banning kneeling or raising fists. Read the rest

America's most popular governor: the lavishly corrupt Larry Hogan [R-MD]

Maryland's Larry Hogan -- a Republican who governs a blue state -- is the most popular governor in America, with a 73% approval among state Democrats. He is also a flagrant crook. Read the rest

More than 800 Russian academic articles retracted after "bombshell" report reveals plagiarism and other misconduct

After Antiplagiat, a private plagiarism detection company, accused Russia's scientific and scholarly journals of being rife with plagiarism, self-plagiarism, duplication and other misconduct, the Russian Academy of Sciences chartered a committee to investigate the problem: their report confirmed the accusations, finding more instances of plagiarism/self-plagiarism, as well as instances in which the same paper was published in different journals under different authors' names. Read the rest

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