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FBI agent indicted in Oregon refuge standoff shooting

Tea Party Tribune - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 2:01pm

Accused of lying about firing at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum in 2016

PORTLAND, Ore.— An FBI agent has been indicted on accusations that he lied about firing at a rancher in 2016 when officers arrested leaders of an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon.

Sources familiar with the case say the agent will face allegations of making a false statement with intent to obstruct justice, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday.

The indictment stems from more than a yearlong investigation by the U.S. Justice Department inspector general. The agent will be identified when summoned to appear Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Authorities moved in on Ammon Bundy and other leaders as they were driving in two vehicles from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to a meeting on Jan. 26, 2016.

The Deschutes County sheriff said that as Robert “LaVoy” Finicum left his truck, an FBI agent shot twice at Finicum, though none of the hostage team members said they discharged their firearms. The county sheriff’s office was tasked with investigating the Finicum shooting.

The FBI agent’s bullets didn’t hit Finicum, 54, an Arizona rancher who was the spokesman for the takeover near Burns in Harney County.

Source: WashingtonTimes.com

The post FBI agent indicted in Oregon refuge standoff shooting appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.

New CF&P Paper Investigates Russian Efforts to Influence U.S. Energy Policy Through Environmentalist Groups

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 12:46pm

Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
202-285-0244

www.freedomandprosperity.org

New CF&P Paper Investigates Russian Efforts to Influence U.S. Energy Policy Through Environmentalist Groups

(Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 28, 2017) The Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation released today a new report titled, “Russia’s Ties to U.S. Environmentalist Groups.” Authored by Eugene Slaven, the report shines a light on covert Russian efforts to influence U.S. energy policy.

Link to the paper: http://freedomandprosperity.org/2017/publications/russias-ties-to-u-s-environmentalist-groups

Executive Summary:

Revelations that Russia may have interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections have dominated headlines in recent months. While we may never know the full extent of Russia’s influence on the election or its outcome, there is, in fact, overwhelming evidence of Russia’s meddling in one critical sphere of U.S. politics: energy policy. Evidence shows that a complex network of offshore firms has intimate ties to the Kremlin and connections to U.S.-based anti-fracking and anti-oil lobbies.

The investigative report documents how executives with ties to Vladimir Putin funneled millions to anti-fracking groups in the U.S. in order to benefit Russia’s oil export-driven economy. It concludes by noting the need for investigations into Russian election meddling to also consider their activities to influence other policy areas.

CF&P President Andrew Quinlan commented, “It’s critically important to understand how foreign powers are seeking to undermine U.S. energy markets. We hope this investigative paper is just the first in a much broader inquiry.”

About the Author: Eugene Slaven is a freelance writer and former Associate Director at CF&P. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.A. In Political Management from The George Washington University.

For additional information:
Andrew Quinlan can be reached at 202-285-0244, [email protected]

 

###

Russia’s Ties to U.S. Environmentalist Groups

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 12:13pm
Russia’s Ties to U.S. Environmentalist Groups

[Download PDF]

June 2017

By Eugene Slaven

Revelations that Russia may have interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections have dominated headlines in recent months. While we may never know the full extent of Russia’s influence on the election or its outcome, there is, in fact, overwhelming evidence of Russia’s meddling in one critical sphere of U.S. politics: energy policy. Evidence shows that a complex network of offshore firms has intimate ties to the Kremlin and connections to U.S. based anti-fracking and anti-oil lobbies.

—————————

As congressional committees, journalists, and intelligence officials investigate the extent of Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, one important aspect that has thus far been overlooked is Russia’s financial ties to powerful anti-fracking and anti-oil lobbies in the United States.1

The evidence is overwhelming, even if the graph connecting the dots between Moscow and U.S.-based environmental advocacy groups is non-linear, and at times as one would expect, obfuscated.

What is Russia’s interest in meddling in U.S. energy policy?

The natural gas boom ignited by the fracking revolution has played a central role in driving down global oil prices, which has significantly hampered Russia’s oil-centric economy. Ergo, it is in Russia’s economic interest to inflict damage on the U.S. fracking industry. To put it another way, what’s bad for fracking is good for Russia.

A 2014 report released by Republican members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works sheds light on an intricate network of wealthy donors—the committee dubs them “Billionaires’ Club”—who utilize complex arrangements to funnel millions of dollars into the U.S’s best-known and active environmentalist groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund.2

Perhaps the report’s most significant revelation is the existence of a group called Klein Ltd and its $23 million donation to a group called Sea Change Foundation.

According to its disclosure forms, Sea Change Foundation gets its funding from only two sources: The Nathaniel Simons family and Klein Ltd. Billionaire Nathanial Simons is the foundation’s founder and sole board member who generously gives to left-wing environmentalist causes (See Appendix).

Sea Change Foundation’s primary function is bundling millions of dollars for U.S. environmental groups. In 2011, the group gave $15 million to the Sierra Club, $13.5 million to the Natural Resources Defense Council, and $18.1 million to League of Conservation Voters—three of the biggest and most active left-wing environmentalist groups aggressively lobbying against oil and natural gas.3

To be sure, bundling is not inherently nefarious; conservative billionaires bundle millions for their causes, liberal billionaires bundle millions for their causes, and the earth keeps spinning.

The potentially nefarious aspect comes to light when we learn who the key players are behind the mysterious Klein Ltd.—one of Sea Change Foundation’s two benefactors.

Klein Ltd. is based out of Wakefield Quin—a Bermuda law firm that according to its website is “a full-service firm with a history of advising both local and international clients in the areas of banking, corporate and commercial, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, trusts, private client and litigation.”4

That sounds like an innocuous cookie cutter offshore law firm, except that Wakefield Quin is run by executives with intimate Kremlin ties, including Putin’s friend and adviser, Leonid Reiman.5 Furthermore, Wakefield Quin’s senior counsel is a man named Roderick Forrest, who along with Nicholas Hoskins and Marlies Smith formed Klein. Hoskins and Forrest were directors in the IPOC Group, which in 2008 was convicted of money laundering by a British Virgin Islands court, and had $45 million in holdings confiscated. IPOC Group is owned by the very same Leonid Reiman.

Wakefield Quin clients include 20 companies and investment funds with ties to the Russian government. And this disproportionately Russia-heavy portfolio shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the firm’s leadership’s connection to Putin.6 Hoskins and Forrest also happen to be executives of Spectrum Partners Ltd., a fund with offices in several countries, including Moscow, with a portfolio that’s heavy on Russian securities.

Given the media frenzy over Russia’s tampering in the 2016 elections, the evidence that shadowy firms with direct ties to the Kremlin fund left-wing environmental groups should pique most journalists’ interest. And the fact that Putin’s Russia has aggressively influenced global geopolitics is all the more reason to relentlessly pursue this story.

Perhaps the clearest example of Russia’s willingness to use most any means necessary to affect global oil and gas markets is its well-documented role in the building of the “South Stream” pipeline to Bulgaria.

As The New York Times reported in 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Crimea, Bulgaria’s parliament drafted legislation sanctioning a gas pipeline from Russia to Bulgaria. The legislation was largely written by Russia’s state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, and was spearheaded by Putin’s energy minister, with the explicit intent of enriching Putin and his cronies.7

Compared to the Bulgaria scandal, Russia’s funding of left-wing environmentalist groups is a relatively passive gambit in Russia’s quest to exert influence over the global energy market.

So, what does all this mean? In short, we know that Putin is committed to expanding Russia’s sphere of influence and strengthening Russia’s economic position. We know the risk U.S. fracking poses to Russia’s economy, and we know the direct Russian ties to firms that contribute tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups.

As we look into Russia’s role in the 2016 elections, it’s incumbent on all responsible parties to examine Russia’s ties to anti-fracking environmentalist groups as well. After all, anyone who is concerned about a foreign power influencing U.S. public opinion should be alarmed by evidence that Russia is shaping public opinion (and public policy) through its ties to such groups.

Eugene Slaven is a freelance writer, a former Charles Koch Institute Associate, and former Associate Director of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. He is the author of the comedy novel A Life of Misery and Triumph and the self-help guide Enemy Thoughts. Eugene holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.A. in Political Management from The George Washington University.

Notes

1. See Lachlan Markay, “Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company,” The Washington Free Beacon, January 27, 2015. http://freebeacon.com/issues/foreign-firm-funding-u-s-green-groups-tied-to-state-owned-russian-oil-company/ 

2. U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. EPW Republicans Release In-Depth Environmental Collusion Report, “The Chain Of Environmental Command: How A Club Of Billionaires And Their Foundations Control The Environmental Movement And Obama’s EPA”. July 30, 2014. 

3. “Big Donors…Big Conflicts: How Wealthy Donors Use the Sierra Club to Push Their Agenda,” Energy & Environment Legal Institute, July 2015. https://eelegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Big-Donors-Big-Conflicts-Final1.pdf 

4. “About Us.” Wakefield Quin http://www.wq.bm/about-us/ (retrieved April 19, 2017). 

5. “From Russia With Love: Examining Links Between U.S. Environmental Funders and the Kremlin,” Big Greed Radicals, December, 2015. https://www.biggreenradicals.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Klein_Report_12-2015.pdf 

6. Markay, “Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups”. 

7. Jim Yardley and Jo Becker, “How Putin Forged a Pipeline Deal That Derailed,” The New York Times. December 30, 2014. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/world/europe/how-putin-forged-a-pipeline-deal-that-derailed-.html 

Appendix
Financial Statements, Sea Change Foundation

Va. man faces jail time for registering dead people to vote

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 11:24am
Bring out your dead!

Cartoon of the Day: McAutomated

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 11:02am
Minimum wage

Fancy names for left-wing anti-Semitism

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 10:43am
Charles Lipson, RCP

Why you can expect increased violence when the Left is out of power

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 9:33am
Peter Burfeind, Federalist

Three CNN Employees ‘Resign’ Over ‘Russia Collusion’ Fake News Retraction

Tea Party Tribune - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 2:44am

A few days ago we noted that CNN was forced to retract one of their bombshell ‘Russian collusion’ stories when it was apparently revealed that the whole thing was nothing more than their latest, anonymously-sourced fake news debacle.  Like most CNN stories on the topic, this one carried a salacious title (“Congress was investigating a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials”) which implied some nefarious plot by the Trump administration to stage a coup in the United States. 

Within 36 hours, however, CNN was forced to retract the story and issue an apology to Anthony Scaramucci (presumably for the whole libel thing).

That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.

Now, according to a new report from the Washington Post, the fake story has resulted in the ‘resignation’ of three CNN ‘journalists, including the Pulitzer Prize winner, Thomas Frank
Now for the consequences. CNN announced on Monday afternoon that three network officials are leaving their jobs over the incident: Frank, the reporter on the story; Eric Lichtblau, a recent CNN addition from the New York Times who edited the piece; and Lex Haris, the executive editor of “CNN Investigates.” The moves follow an investigation carried out by CNN executives over the weekend, with the conclusion that longstanding network procedures for publishing stories weren’t properly followed. “There was a significant breakdown in process,” says a CNN source. “There were editorial checks and balances within the organization that weren’t met.”
The official CNN statement: “In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication.”
Regarding the personnel changes, a CNN source said, “The individuals all stated that they accepted responsibility and wanted to resign.” A compelling wrinkle in the saga of the story springs from the careful language in the editor’s note: “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci,” it reads. CNN is not bailing on all the factual representations in the story, however. “We pulled it down not because we disproved it,” says a CNN source, adding that there was “enough concern” on some factual points that “given the breach in
process, we decided to pull it down.”

Of course, this is hardly the first time CNN has been caught reporting fake news recently (see “Looks Like CNN’s Anonymous Sources Got This One Wrong“) and we doubt it will be the last.

* * *

For those who missed it, our original post on the retraction is below:

Thursday afternoon, CNN posted a story, by none other than Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Thomas Frank, claiming that “Congress was investigating a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”

The story was perfect fodder for ‘The Left’ as it provided yet more ‘confirmation’ that sources ‘confirmed’ Trump and his team were up to something nefarious with The Russians…

Highlights included…

Congress is investigating a little-known Russian investment fund…

The fund CEO met in January with a member of the Trump transition team…

“If you’re going to get your nose under the tent, that’s a good place to start,” said Ludema, a Georgetown University economics professor. “I’m sure their objective is to get rid of all the sanctions against the financial institutions. But RDIF is one [sanctioned organizations] where a number of prominent U.S. investors have been involved.”

A fund spokeswoman says there was no discussion about lifting sanctions…

Scaramucci’s comments alarmed Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Ben Cardin of Maryland, who asked Mnuchin investigate whether Scaramucci sought to “facilitate prohibited transactions” or promised to waive or lift sanctions against Russia.

Sounds great right? Well, despite the ‘facts’ they reported, 36 hours later (quietly late on a Friday night), CNN decided to delete the story and issue a retraction, apologizing to Mr. Scaramucci (presumably for lying?)

On June 22, 2017, CNN.com published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.

Mr. Scaramucci responded via Twitter…

is-deciderHtmlWhitespace" cite="https://twitter.com/Scaramucci/status/878568965471186944" data-tweet-id="878568965471186944" data-scribe="section:subject">

Anthony Scaramucci

@Scaramucci

.@CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on. https://twitter.com/cnn/status/878460185559400448 …

6:02 AM – 24 Jun 2017 Twitter Ads info and privacy

Despite their deletion of the story, thanks to The Wayback-Machine, we can see what the original story said…

Is it any wonder that Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated by the media’s attention to the ‘Russia’ narrative that is constantly spewed with no mind for factual reporting?

Source: Tyler Durden @ZeroHedge.com

The post Three CNN Employees ‘Resign’ Over ‘Russia Collusion’ Fake News Retraction appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.

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