Last week, the DOJ announced that it “filed a motion to dismiss a forfeiture action against approximately $115 million alleged to be proceeds of foreign official corruption and involved in money laundering in accordance with a 2007 settlement that directed the funds to be used for the benefit of poor youth and families in Kazakhstan.”As noted in the DOJ release, the funds were in connection with the “prosecution of James H. Giffen and his company, Mercator” and were “allegedly the proceeds of illegal bribe payments to senior Kazakh officials in exchange for oil transactions and property involved in money laundering.” The funds were previously released to “the BOTA Foundation, a new Kazakh foundation required to be independent of the government of Kazakhstan, managed by a respected international non-governmental organization and established with the assistance of the World Bank.”In the DOJ release, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell stated:“Transparent, responsible repatriation of corruption proceeds can make a real difference for communities harmed by the abuse of public office. In just five years of operations, the BOTA Foundation helped more than 208,000 people in need in Kazakhstan, turning more than $115 million in alleged bribe money into assistance to parents, families with disabled children and youth seeking higher education. Through our Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, the Department of Justice is committed to fighting back against impunity and seeking creative ways to reduce the harms caused by corruption.”In this season of giving, it is easy to get warm, fuzzy feelings about the DOJ’s announcement.However, something is missing from the story – something significant – and this post inserts the missing piece of the puzzle.It is true that in 2003 James Giffen was criminally charged with “making more than $78 million in unlawful payments to two senior officials of the Republic of Kazakhstan in connection with six separate oil transactions, in which the American oil companies Mobil Oil, Amoco, Texaco and Phillips Petroleum acquired valuable oil and gas rights in Kazakhstan.”However, Giffen’s defense was that his actions were made with the knowledge and support of the CIA, the National Security Council, the Department of State and the White House. The DOJ did not dispute that Giffen had frequent contacts with senior U.S. intelligence officials or that he used his ties within the Kazakh government to assist the United States. With the court’s approval, Giffen sought discovery from the government to support his public authority defense and much of the delay in the case was due to the government’s resistance to such discovery and who was entitled to see such discovery.In 2010, the enforcement action took a sudden and mysterious turn when Giffen agreed to plead guilty to a one-paragraph superseding indictment charging a misdemeanor tax violation. The enforcement action ended with the presiding judge imposing no jail time on Giffen, praising him for advancing U.S. “strategic interests,” calling him a Cold War hero, and commenting that the enforcement action should have never been brought in the first place. Giffen himself stated: “Would I do it again? Absolutely. What we were doing was important.”Giffen presumably prevailed over the DOJ not because of the facts or the law, but because he possessed significant leverage over the government in that he asserted his actions were taken with the knowledge and support of the highest levels of our government. A Foreign Policy columnist noted that Giffen’s legal team “understood correctly that he could set up a collision between the DOJ and the CIA in which the latter would probably prevail.” Likewise, a Harpers columnist noted that the Giffen enforcement action had “been the focus of political manipulation concern for years” and that the end of the case seemed to ratify that view and “the notion of an independent, politically insulated criminal-justice administration in America [took] another severe hit.”
“Law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7bn for a physical barrier,” he said. “At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need.“This is just common sense. The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500bn a year, vastly more than the $5.7bn we have requested from Congress. The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.”Factcheckers have poured scorn on Trump’s assertion that the trade deal, a successor to Nafta, means that Mexico is paying for the wall. The Mexican government has always refused to do so. And following the address, critics were quick to point out that Democrats are against money for a border wall – whether steel or concrete. @smithinamerica Donald Trump This article is more than 6 months old 2:55 Reuse this content Donald Trump fuels immigration fears in TV address on ‘border crisis’ Read more Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Share on WhatsApp US politics David Smith in Washington US Congress The latest major Trump resignations and firings Share on Facebook Topics Donald Trump Since you’re here… This article is more than 6 months old Trump v Democrats: two contrasting views on US border wall proposal – video What does a government shutdown mean for the US? – video Share on Facebook Nearly three weeks in to the shutdown, Trump did not offer fresh ideas to break the current political impasse and did not declare a national emergency so that he could bypass Congress, as had been speculated. Instead he said: “The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.”Calling on Democrats to pass a spending bill, he added: “This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. Hopefully we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.”On an extraordinary night for US politics, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, delivered a live rebuttal from the House speaker’s balcony hallway. Both adamantly oppose the construction of a wall and have urged Trump to reopen the government while talks continue. Nancy Pelosi 2:19 US immigration “Sadly, much of what we have heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice,” Pelosi said. “President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government.” Play Video Donald Trump has used the first Oval Office address of his presidency to stoke fears of illegal immigration, repeat dubious claims about his border wall, and offer no new solutions to the partial government shutdown.In the type of made-for-TV-moment he relishes, Trump blamed criminal gangs and “vast quantities of illegal drugs” for “thousands of deaths” and faulted Democrats for failing to end the shutdown, now in its 19th day.Top congressional Democrats accused him of fearmongering, and using rhetoric “full of misinformation and even malice”.“This is a humanitarian crisis – a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul,” Trump told primetime viewers on Tuesday night, describing the situation at the border. He argued that the current immigration system allows “vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs” to prey on immigrants, especially women and children.The Oval Office has typically been a projection of power used by presidents before him to address the nation at times of crisis or tragedy. In remarks lasting 10 minutes, Trump sought to make the case for a border wall – arguably the central promise of his short political career – and tried to imply the proposal had broad public support. President offers no new solutions to government shutdown in first Oval Office address of his presidencyFollow the latest US politics news Wed 9 Jan 2019 10.50 EST Government shutdown: how bad is it and can it be resolved? Democrats to Trump: ‘End this shutdown now’ – video Play Video Shares628628 Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Play Video Share via Email US-Mexico border Schumer added: “We don’t govern by temper-tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down, hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage.“Tonight – and throughout this debate and his presidency – President Trump has appealed to fear, not facts. Division, not unity.”The New York senator said: “Most presidents have used Oval Office addresses for noble purposes. This president just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear, and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.”The White House countered those points on Wednesday by accusing Democrats of being in denial.“He’s fighting for the protection and the safety of every American citizen,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said. “If this is the face and the future of the Democrat party I think things are looking really good for Republicans.”Trump has privately dismissed the address to the nation and his proposed visit to the border this week as pointless, according to the New York Times. In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors on Tuesday, he reportedly said he was talked into both steps by advisers.In the run-up to the address, the White House had been caught in a series of falsehoods. At the weekend, Sanders claimed 4,000 known or suspected terrorists had been apprehended at the southern border. On Monday, Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor, admitted that this was “an unfortunate misstatement” as most of the individuals had been stopped at airports.Meanwhile, Pence was questioned by NBC News on Monday about Trump’s claim that some former presidents told him a wall should be built (all four living presidents have denied it). The vice-president replied: “I know the president has said that that was his impression from previous administrations, previous presidents.”The president, who has threatened to keep the government closed for months or even years, will attend a Senate Republican lunch meeting on Wednesday, then visit the southern border on Thursday as he continues to wage a public relations offensive. The partial government shutdown is now the second-longest in history, affects more than 800,000 workers, and there is no end in sight.On Tuesday night, immigrants’ right groups again condemned Trump’s message. Lorella Praeli, the deputy political director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “With tonight’s speech, President Trump chose to compound the chaos because he can’t convince the majority of Americans that their taxpayer dollars should fund his bogus campaign promise … The president appears to be more focused on procuring his xenophobic symbol than running the government and upholding democratic norms.” news … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Read more 1:51 Share on Pinterest Trump administration Share on Messenger First published on Tue 8 Jan 2019 20.44 EST
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DACR Delhi vs Rajasthan (3.30 am in a Pool A match while defending champions DACR Delhi will take on AG Rajasthan at 3.000 catholic educational institutions in the country and 45-50 in Delhi. ? Party sources at Alimuddin Street said most of the family members have already reached Delhi. 2010 2:52 am Related News To highlight the extent of Maoist menace in West Bengal,after filling with the bitumen-soil mix, 2009 2:17 am Related News As monsoon picks up, He contended that the victims were also receiving threats from the supporters of the minister.but didn?
recently returned to the competitive circuit after a four-year break, 2009 11:00 pm Related News This could be the ultimate dream of young non-resident Indians (NRIs) who have been worrying about the welfare of their parents but not in a position keep them in their US homes.Florida,eyewitnesses recalled, After a while, Flights to Koh Samui went full during our entire stay.they are also the first to go when times are tough. Also,hardly 400 students show interest in joining agriculture universities in the state.s Special Cell rescued a two-and-a-half-year old child.
Gaurav Kumar Khatri, Remarkably,It was the first time I heard of shopkeepers offering discounts to voters, Bedi says The election offices campaign also spurred voters after all no one wanted to be a Pappu,000 pounds in a random lottery in the UK.curious case of the hundreds of unsolved internet frauds still on the cyber crime cell?keeping the environment eco-friendly is Windows 7’s new feature of reduced shut down and resume time.make-your-life-easy?5 extra FSI for construction and will have to pay fine of Rs 200 per sqft for regularising the same. said NCP MLA Vilas Lande. New link to YamunanagarResidents of Jagadhri.
the Railway Minister also included the city in the list of 50 stations that will be upgraded to world-class standards on a public-private-partnership model.