10/24/20

Operation Warp Speed Status Report Courtesy of the Military

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Below is a compilation of initiatives, actions, and accomplishments across Operation Warp Speed (OWS)’s primary efforts in the past week. To learn more about OWS, visit the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website and the Department of Defense (DOD) website.

Pfizer, Merck, and Moderna among finalists for Operation…

VACCINE DEVELOPMENT:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today authorized the restart of AstraZeneca’s Phase 3 clinical trial in the U.S. As part of the standard review process for adverse events in clinical trials, a voluntary pause was triggered to allow for the examination of safety data by independent monitoring committees. This pause while the adverse event was fully investigated means the science-based, data-driven process continues to work as it should.

Moderna announced it completed enrollment on its Phase 3 clinical trial, noting 37 percent of the 30,000 participants are part of minority populations. To date, more than 25,650 participants of Moderna’s participants have received their second vaccination. According to Moderna’s announcement, the company’s decision to submit a dossier to FDA requesting Emergency Use Authorization will be based on an assessment of whether the potential benefit of the vaccine outweighs the potential risks. The science and data behind this assessment is accruing.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met Thursday to discuss the ongoing development of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the interest of transparency over the process, the FDA streamed the entire committee meeting on both its own website and on YouTube. The all-day meeting explored the potential of granting Emergency Use Authorization and the standards and criteria that will be applied to vaccine candidates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a new page on their website dedicated to education on the COVID-19 vaccine planning efforts: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html.

In its commitment to transparency, Operation Warp Speed has posted four redacted contracts here: https://www.hhs.gov/foia/electronic-reading-room/index.html

THERAPEUTICS DEVELOPMENT:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) on Oct. 22 for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.

MANUFACTURING, DISTRIBUTION, AND ADMINISTRATION:

Operation Warp Speed is working with the U.S. Marshals Service as part of a “whole of government” approach to ensure the security of the vaccine supply chain, including delivery to administration points. Marshals Service liaisons are embedded with the OWS team to ensure there is consistent communication and information flow in the security sector.

Synchronizing and integrating data across distribution and administration operations is a critical effort of Operation Warp Speed. To that end, OWS is using a specially designed platform to collect, correlate, and visualize data across the entire operation. The “Tiberius” platform integrates the related manufacturing, supply chain, allocation, state and territory planning, delivery, and administration of both vaccine products and ancillary kits. The 2020 technology provides visibility across all U.S. jurisdictions to provide decision support and ease the burden of public health officials throughout the nation. Additionally this week, HHS in support of Operation Warp Speed began signing Memorandums of Understandings with jurisdictions to provide access to information technology (IT) support to assist them with vaccine response planning and distribution at no cost.
An OpEd by HHS Secretary Alex Azar titled “Why Operation Warp Speed is a Made-in-America story,” highlighted the scaling up of manufacturing facilities across the country. He discussed DOD’s success in applying a military supply chain and logistics mentality to develop and deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the American people.

KEY ENGAGEMENTS:

HHS Secretary Alex Azar visited Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and saw their work on clinical trials for Regeneron’s antibody cocktail and Moderna’s candidate vaccine.

Operation Warp Speed Chief Science Advisor Dr. Moncef Slaoui visited a Moderna clinical trial site at George Washington University Wednesday and spoke with ABC’s Bob Woodruff.

HHS Deputy Secretary Hargan visited the University of Kansas Medical Center for a meeting with their leadership and physicians about the Phase 3 clinical trials they have been overseeing for the AstraZeneca Vaccine. Deputy Secretary Hargan will also join Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts on Saturday, October 24 for a tour of the University of Nebraska Medical Center where they are conducting clinical trials for COVAXX vaccine and therapeutic candidates.

Dr. Anthony Fauci joined a Univision Town Hall entitled “COVID-19 Vaccines: Myths and Facts” to discuss the importance of Hispanics being represented in clinical trials.

The Washington Post: “Unprecedented vaccine trials on track to begin delivering results.”

Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer Gen. Gus Perna and Vaccine Development Lead Dr. Matt Hepburn will participate in a discussion with The Heritage Foundation on “The Fight to get a COVID-19 Vaccine” Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. The virtual event is free and open for registration.

SENIOR LEADER QUOTES:

“Clinical trial volunteers are the real heroes of this pandemic. Many people are looking for a way to make an impact and serve. Volunteering is a tremendous opportunity to be helpful.” ~Dr. Matt Hepburn, OWS Vaccine Development Lead

“Advances in science are the foundation for the unprecedented progress we are seeing under Operation Warp Speed. But the broader set of requirements for ultimate success—unwavering leadership, ingenuity, determination, the commitment of enormous resources, exceptional logistical infrastructure, and public-private collaboration—can be assembled only in America.” ~HHS Secretary Alex Azar

“It’s not a certainty, but the plan – and I feel pretty confident – should make it such that by June, everybody could have been immunized in the U.S.” ~Dr. Moncef Slaoui, OWS Chief Advisor

“Trust in the science. We have executed vaccine development with rigor. The leading scientists in the world and the quality of the nation’s pharmaceutical base, with oversight of the FDA’s gold standard, lend credibility to this unprecedented effort.” ~Paul Ostrowski, OWS Director for Supply, Production, and Distribution

Operation Warp Speed is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, engaging with private firms and other federal agencies, and coordinating among existing HHS-wide efforts to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

10/22/20

He Sought the ‘Big Guy’s’ Advice on All Foreign Deals

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The Post reported about the May 13, 2017 email regarding a business agreement with CEFC, a Chinese energy company that was owned by Ye Jianming, a Chinese entrepreneur who has links to the People’s Liberation Army.

The email, from businessman James Gilliar, discusses “remuneration packages” and equity shares for members of the business consortium.

Hunter Biden is identified in the email as “Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC,” with an allotted payment of $850,000. More here from Daily Caller.

 

Reference

Hunter biz partner confirms e-mail, details Joe Biden's ... Hunter Biden's ex-business partner says Joe Biden talked ...

“My name is Tony Bobulinski. The facts set forth below are true and accurate; they are not any form of domestic or foreign disinformation. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and offensive. I am the recipient of the email published seven days ago by the New York Post which showed a copy to Hunter Biden and Rob Walker. That email is genuine.

This afternoon I received a request from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Senate Committee on Finance requesting all documents relating to my business affairs with the Biden family as well as various foreign entities and individuals. I have extensive relevant records and communications and I intend to produce those items to both Committees in the immediate future.

I am the grandson of a 37 year Army Intelligence officer, the son of a 20+ year career Naval Officer and the brother of a 28-year career Naval Flight Officer. I myself served our country for 4 years and left the Navy as LT Bobulinski. I held a high-level security clearance and was an instructor and then CTO for Naval Nuclear Power Training Command. I take great pride in the time my family and I served this country. I am also not a political person. What few campaign contributions I have made in my life were to Democrats.

If the media and big tech companies had done their jobs over the past several weeks I would be irrelevant in this story. Given my long-standing service and devotion to this great country, I could no longer allow my family’s name to be associated or tied to Russian disinformation or implied lies and false narratives dominating the media right now.

After leaving the military I became an institutional investor investing extensively around the world and on every continent. I have traveled to over 50 countries. I believe, hands down, we live in the greatest country in the world.

What I am outlining is fact. I know it is fact because I lived it. I am the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings which was a partnership between the Chinese operating through CEFC/Chairman Ye and the Biden family. I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden. The reference to “the Big Guy” in the much-publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other “JB” referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother.

Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my Chairman,’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing. I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business. I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.

I realized the Chinese were not really focused on a healthy financial ROI. They were looking at this as a political or influence investment. Once I realized that Hunter wanted to use the company as his personal piggy bank by just taking money out of it as soon as it came from the Chinese, I took steps to prevent that from happening.

The Johnson Report connected some dots in a way that shocked me — it made me realize the Bidens had gone behind my back and gotten paid millions of dollars by the Chinese, even though they told me they hadn’t and wouldn’t do that to their partners.

I would ask the Biden family to address the American people and outline the facts so I can go back to being irrelevant — and so I am not put in a position to have to answer those questions for them.

I don’t have a political ax to grind; I just saw behind the Biden curtain and I grew concerned with what I saw. The Biden family aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions of dollars from foreign entities even though some were from communist-controlled China.”

10/22/20

US blames Iran for Spoofed Proud Boys Emails

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The US blames Iran for spoofed Proud Boys emails threatening Democrat voters.

ZDNet: US claims Iran is behind a wave of emails purporting to be from right-wing Proud Boys group that threatened registered Democrat voters with repercussions if they didn’t vote for Trump.

iran-emails-proud-boys.png

In a short press conference held today by the US Department of Justice, high-ranking officials with the US government claimed that Iran was behind a wave of emails sent to US voters earlier this week.

Spoofing the identity of violent extremist group Proud Boys, the emails threatened registered Democrat voters with repercussions if they didn’t vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming US Presidential Election.

The senders claimed to have “gained access into the entire [US] voting infrastructure,” but appeared to use public voter registration databases to target Democrat voters in Alaska, Arizona, and Florida.

Two waves of emails were sent this week, the first on Tuesday (October 20), and the second on Wednesday (October 21), according to a report from email security firm Proofpoint, which has been tracking the spam campaigns.

The second wave of emails, besides the original message threatening Democrat voters, also included a link to a video claiming to show an individual print out a voting ballot with another person’s information (a copy of the video is embedded in the Proofpoint report). The video was debunked by several US news media publications.

Responding to intense media coverage surrounding the emails, in a short press conference earlier today, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe attributed the spam campaigns to Iran.

Addressing the video shared in the emails, Ratcliffe added that “the information in the video is not true.”

Ratcliffe also added that besides Iran, Russia has also also “taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our election.”

“Although we have not seen the same actions from Russia, we are aware that they have obtained some voter registration information,” Ratcliffe added.

The two officials urged the US public to remain calm and not spread any similar messages they receive in the future.

Neither of the two officials presented any evidence during the press conference but only made short statements.

Spokespersons for several cyber-security firms could not confirm the Iranian attribution when inquired by ZDNet today. However, they didn’t dismiss it either.

“Iranian information operations date back at least eight years and they have grown beyond fake news sites and social network activity to elaborate tactics, such as impersonating journalists to solicit video interviews and placing op-eds. They have even impersonated American politicians,” John Hultquist, Senior Director of Analysis, Mandiant Threat Intelligence, told ZDNet.

“The information operations we have seen from Iran to date have been about amplifying pro-Iranian messages and pushing a desired narrative out into the world that’s anti-Saudi or ant-Israeli or pro-JCPOA,” he added.

“This is different. This is deliberate interference in our democracy and it crosses a major red line. I think the Intel community scored a win here against Iran today,” Hultquist said.


10/22/20

THE Laptop now Coded with 272D by FBI, Money-Laundering

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: The FBI has established a predicate, otherwise the activities as noted below would not have been authorized.

272D Money Laundering – Unknown SUA Specified Uknown Activity

  • Possible the Kazakh oligarch
  • Possible the Moscow Mayor’s ex-wife
  • Possible trafficking

FNC: The FBI’s subpoena of a laptop and hard drive purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden came in connection with a money-laundering investigation in late 2019, according to documents obtained by Fox News and verified by multiple federal law enforcement officials who reviewed them.

It is unclear, at this point, whether the investigation is ongoing or if it was directly related to Hunter Biden.

Multiple federal law enforcement officials, as well as two separate government officials, confirmed the authenticity of these documents, which were signed by FBI Special Agent Joshua Wilson. Wilson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

One of the documents, obtained by Fox News, was designated as an FBI “Receipt for Property” form, which details the bureau’s interactions with John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of “The Mac Shop” who reported the laptop’s contents to authorities.

The document has a “Case ID” section, which is filled in with a hand-written number: 272D-BA-3065729.

According to multiple officials, and the FBI’s website, “272” is the bureau’s classification for money laundering, while “272D” refers to “Money Laundering, Unknown SUA [Specified Unlawful Activity]—White Collar Crime Program,” according to FBI documents. One government official described “272D” as “transnational or blanket.”

“BA” indicates the case was opened in the FBI’s Baltimore field office, sources said.

The documents state that the subpoena was carried out in Wilmington, Del., which falls under the jurisdiction of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office.

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/10/1862/1048/thumbnail_image1.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/10/1862/1048/thumbnail_image3.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/10/1862/1048/thumbnail_image2.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

“The FBI cannot open a case without predication, so they believed there was predication for criminal activity,” a government official told Fox News. “This means there was sufficient evidence to believe that there was criminal conduct.”

Another document, obtained by Fox News, was a subpoena sent to Isaac to testify before U.S. District Court in Delaware on Dec. 9, 2019. One page of the subpoena shows what appears to be serial numbers for a laptop and hard drive taken into possession.

Based on the date of the subpoena, an official told Fox News that the case would have been opened prior to Isaac’s subpoena.

“If a criminal case was opened and subpoenas were issued, that means there is a high likelihood that both the laptop and hard drive contain fruits of criminal activity,” the official said.

Fox News first reported on Tuesday evening that the FBI is in possession of the laptop in question.

The FBI has declined to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation into the laptop or the emails, as is standard practice.

The Biden campaign on Wednesday pushed back on the claims leveled against Hunter Biden, particularly those first reported by The New York Post last week. The New York Post revealed that Rudy Giuliani provided them with emails allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden.

“The Attorney General of Delaware’s office indicated that the FBI has ‘ongoing investigations regarding the veracity of this entire story.’ And it would be unsurprising for an investigation of a disinformation action involving Rudy Giuliani and those assisting him to involve questions about money laundering, especially since there are other documented inquiries into his dealings,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to Fox News. “In fact, Donald Trump’s own national security adviser warned the president that material furnished by Giuliani should be considered tainted by Russian interference.”

Giuliani, this week, reportedly turned over a copy of the hard drive to New Castle County Police Department in Delaware.

Richard Sauber, an attorney connected to the Biden campaign, said, in a statement to Fox News: “Criminal investigations of Russian disinformation campaigns that include the witting participation of American citizens like Rudy Giuliani often involve investigation by the FBI of whether the American has received payment for these activities that would implicate the Federal Money Laundering statutes.”

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, however, confirmed this week that the laptop, purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden, and the emails on it “is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” despite claims from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

The FBI, in a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who is investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings as well as the laptop in question, said that the bureau has “nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence.”

“If actionable intelligence is developed, the FBI in consultation with the Intelligence Community will evaluate the need to provide defensive briefings to you and the Committee pursuant to the established notification framework,” the letter stated.

The FBI, in its letter to Johnson, wrote that “consistent with longstanding Department of Justice (Department) policy and practice, the FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation or persons or entities under investigation, including to Members of Congress.”

“As the Inspector General firmly reminded the Department and the FBI in recent years, this policy is designed to preserve the integrity of all Justice Department investigations and the Department’s ability to effectively administer justice without political or other undue outside influences,” Tyson wrote.  “Therefore, the FBI cannot provide any additional information in response to the enumerated questions in your letter.”

The emails in question were first obtained by the New York Post and, in part, revealed that Hunter Biden allegedly introduced his father, the then-vice president, to a top executive at Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings less than a year before he pressured government officials in Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the company’s founder.

The New York Post report revealed that Biden, at Hunter’s request, allegedly met with the executive, Vadym Pozharskyi, in April 2015 in Washington, D.C.

The meeting was mentioned in an email of appreciation, according to the Post, that Pozharskyi sent to Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015 — a year after Hunter took on his position on the board of Burisma.

The Biden campaign told Fox News Sunday that the former vice president “never had a meeting” with Pozharskyi.

Biden, prior to the emails surfacing, repeatedly has claimed he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

Hunter Biden’s business dealings, and his role on the board of Burisma, emerged during the Trump impeachment inquiry in 2019.

Another email, dated May 13, 2017, and obtained by Fox News, includes a discussion of “remuneration packages” for six people in a business deal with a Chinese energy firm. The email appeared to identify Hunter Biden as “Chair/Vice Chair depending on an agreement with CEFC,” in an apparent reference to now-bankrupt CEFC China Energy Co.

DOCUMENTS SHOW ALLEGED HUNTER BIDEN SIGNATURE, FBI CONTACTS WITH COMPUTER REPAIR SHOP OWNER

The email includes a note that “Hunter has some office expectations he will elaborate.” A proposed equity split references “20” for “H” and “10 held by H for the big guy?” with no further details.

Fox News spoke to one of the people who was copied on the email, who confirmed its authenticity.

Sources also told Fox News that “the big guy” was a reference to the former vice president. The New York Post initially published the emails, and others, that Fox News has also obtained.

While Biden has not commented on that email, or his alleged involvement in any deals with the Chinese Energy firm, his campaign said it released the former vice president’s tax documents and returns, which do not reflect any involvement with Chinese investments.

Fox News also obtained an email last week that revealed an adviser of Burisma Holdings, Vadym Pozharskyi, wrote an email to Hunter Biden on May 12, 2014, requesting “advice” on how he could use his “influence to convey a message” to “stop” what the company considers to be “politically motivated actions.”

“We urgently need your advice on how you could use your influence to convey a message/signal, etc .to stop what we consider to be politically motivated actions,” Pozharskyi wrote.

The email, part of a longer email chain obtained by Fox News, appeared to be referencing the firm’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, being under investigation.

10/21/20

Mouthwash, Baby Shampoo May Deactivate Coronaviruses

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

In part from Medical News Today to collaborate the story:

A new research review suggests that publicly available mouthwashes could, in theory, inhibit SARS-CoV-2. The team behind the review call for further research to be done to confirm their speculative findings.

If clinical trials prove effective, the findings, published in the journal Function, may provide another way to reduce the spread of the disease until scientists can produce an effective, publicly available vaccine.

Since the sudden emergence and rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, scientists and researchers have focussed on the development of a vaccine that could help protect people vulnerable to COVID-19.

However, scientists have estimated that an effective, publicly available vaccine could take at least 12–18 months to develop.

In the meantime, some scientists are focusing on ways to reduce the rate of infection to controllable levels that will not overwhelm hospital intensive care units.

*** THIS IS NOT A CURE, IT IS A SUGGESTED OPTION TO SLOW THE SPREAD ***

How Much Mouthwash Should Someone Use

HERSHEY, Pa. — As the world waits for a vaccine to COVID-19, a new study finds there may be a way to slow the spread sitting in your medicine cabinet. Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine say nasal and oral rinses like mouthwash can deactivate human coronaviruses. Their study concludes these common, over-the-counter products should have the same effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.

The group tested various products including one-percent baby shampoo, a neti pot, peroxide sore-mouth cleansers, and mouthwash, seeing how each would lower the viral load of coronavirus strains in a patient’s mouth. Their findings reveal most of these products effectively shut down virus particles in less than two minutes. Researchers hope they may also lower the chances of COVID infection among people carrying the virus.

“While we wait for a vaccine to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed,” says Craig Meyers, distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology, obstetrics, and gynecology in a university release. “The products we tested are readily available and often already part of people’s daily routines.”
Both mouthwash and baby shampoo render 99.9% of coronaviruses inactive

Meyers and his team replicated the reaction between virus cells in mouths and noses when they encounter rinses and mouthwashes. Health officials say these are the two major points where coronavirus enters and exits the body, which explains the emphasis on face mask protection.

Researchers introduced their virus solutions to all of the cleansing products for 30 seconds, one minute, and two minutes. Meyers explains that the outer envelope of their viruses and SARS-CoV-2 are so genetically similar that the results should mean COVID-19 would become inactive after exposure to rinses as well.

The results reveal one-percent baby shampoo solution deactivated more than 99.9 percent of human coronaviruses after two minutes of contact. Researchers say doctors, who regularly have contact with infected patients, often use baby shampoo to rinse out their sinuses.

Even better, the results find several mouthwash and gargling products leave 99.9 percent of coronaviruses inactive after just 30 seconds. Some of these rinses stopped 99.99 percent of coronavirus.

“People who test positive for COVID-19 and return home to quarantine may possibly transmit the virus to those they live with,” Meyers adds. “Certain professions including dentists and other health care workers are at a constant risk of exposure. Clinical trials are needed to determine if these products can reduce the amount of virus COVID-positive patients or those with high-risk occupations may spread while talking, coughing or sneezing. Even if the use of these solutions could reduce transmission by 50%, it would have a major impact.”

Researchers will now be looking to expand their study to clinical trials involving COVID-19-positive patients.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Virology.

10/21/20

DHS Launches Center for Countering Human Trafficking

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

FACTOID: Across the United States, illicit massage parlors are often used as covers for sex trafficking operations.  In a recent study, Polaris looked at massage parlors, primarily in the U.S., and found that over 6,500 of them are illicit businesses. In Fairfax County, Virginia — not more than 20 minutes outside of D.C. — they found 108 illicit massage businesses connected to 181 different limited liability companies (LLCs).  In Virginia, as with every other state, none of these companies are required to disclose the real people who own these companies and are benefiting from these crimes. More here.

Ohio offers funds to remove human trafficking marks

Just this week, President Trump signed 2 executive orders, 3 proclamations against human trafficking

Blue Campaign is a national public awareness campaign, designed to educate the public, law enforcement, and other industry partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases. Blue Campaign works closely with DHS Components to create general awareness training and materials for law enforcement and others to increase detection of human trafficking, and to identify victims.

Located within the Office of Partnership and Engagement, Blue Campaign leverages partnerships with the private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), law enforcement, and state/local authorities to maximize national public engagement on anti-human trafficking efforts. Blue Campaign’s educational awareness objectives consist of two foundational elements, prevention of human trafficking and protection of exploited persons.

*** Only 38 states have laws requiring human trafficking training. ***

Human Trafficking | NCJWC

WASHINGTON—U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf announced Thursday the opening of the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking, the U.S. government’s first-ever integrated law enforcement operations center directly supporting federal criminal investigations, victim assistance efforts, intelligence analysis, and outreach and training activities related to human trafficking and forced labor.

The center, which has been operational since early September, is based in Washington and led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a global leader of criminal investigations into human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The center will be staffed with law enforcement officials from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and across DHS, as well as subject matter experts and support staff from 16 DHS components—all focused on the “4 Ps” of the center’s mission: prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships.

“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. There is no other way to say it,” said Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. “The words are strong because the actions are evil. The forms of exploitation, sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude that constitute human trafficking are antithetical in every way to the principles of human dignity that Americans hold dear. The launch of this Center for Countering Human Trafficking represents the investment of resources, attention, and time by President Trump to combat and dismantle all forms of human trafficking.”

On Jan. 15, Wolf signed and released the DHS Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation which pledged to bolster DHS efforts to combat human trafficking and forced labor.
“Human trafficking, whether through sex or labor, is a detriment to our society and threatens the moral conscience of our nation. Criminal organizations target those who are most vulnerable and exploit them through any means necessary, victims are treated as commodities rather than human beings, with no regard for their health and well-being,” said ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of Director Tony Pham. “ICE, along with our internal and external partners, will continue to fight against these atrocities and answer victims’ cries for help. The Center for Countering Human Trafficking will serve as evidence that when we work collectively against such heinous acts, we combat the threat they pose to national security and to public safety.”

ICE’s HSI has long been a global leader in investigating human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases and bringing offenders to justice. The Center will build on the agency’s “victims first” approach, which balances victim identification, rescue, and support with prevention, investigation, and prosecution of traffickers. ICE HSI is uniquely positioned to utilize criminal, immigration and trade-based authorities to proactively identify, disrupt, and dismantle cross-border human trafficking organizations.

In fiscal year 2019, ICE initiated 1,024 human trafficking and forced labor-related cases which led to 2,197 criminal arrests. These effective actions resulted in nearly 700 convictions and the rescue of more than 400 victims.

Reporting suspected sexual or labor exploitation can help decrease or stop further victimization, as well as lead to the identification and rescue of other possible victims. To report suspicious activity or instances of sexual abuse or exploitation, contact your local law enforcement agency. Tips can be submitted online at ice.gov/tipline, by phone at 866-DHS-2-ICE or by contacting your local ICE office.

10/21/20

Biden Oligarchy Partners with Kazakh Oligarch

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Meet Kenes Rakishev who has business interests in metals & mining, oil & gas, finance, and technology. His tech investments, made privately or through Singulariteam, cover a range of innovative companies, mostly in the fields of augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and blockchain technology. One particular financial adventure of Rakishev is the IQCard which provides advanced financial services for the Russian retail market. Founded in 2012 with the support of Direct Group and Rakishev’s Fastlane Ventures, IQCard has developed affordable, convenient, and reliable payment solutions that include online banking services, bonus programs, and a loyalty program.

Kenes Rakishev and Moshe Hogeg – The Decision to Merge Sirin Labs with a Cyber-Security Company

This emerging scandal has all the hallmarks of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation which manifested during her time as Secretary of State and it has the appearance of the same while John Kerry was Secretary of State. Note that John Kerry has endorsed candidate Joe Biden and the Bidens interaction with Alexandra Forbes Kerry, John Kerry’s daughter.

Hunter and Joe Biden with Kenes Rakishev (far left), and Kazakhstan’s former prime minister, Karim Massimov.

Hunter and Joe Biden with Kenes Rakishev (left) and Kazakhstan’s former prime minister, Karim Massimov (right) KIAR

From the NYP: A new photograph has emerged of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden posing with Hunter Biden and Kenes Rakishev, a Kazakh oligarch who reportedly worked with the former veep’s scandal-scarred son.The snap, first published by a Kazakhstani anti-corruption website in 2019, follows last week’s bombshell Post exposés detailing Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings and a report claiming Rakishev paid the Biden scion as a go-between to broker US investments.

In the undated photo, shared by the Kazhakhstani Initiative on Asset Recovery, the former vice president can be seen smiling with Kazakhstan’s former prime minister Karim Massimov and his son, who is flanked by Rakishev.

A Daily Mail report published Friday detailed Hunter Biden’s alleged work with Rakishev, claiming he dined regularly with the Kazakh businessman and attempted to facilitate investment for his cash in New York, Washington, DC, and a Nevada mining company.

But Rakishev, who enjoys close ties to Kazakhstan’s kleptocratic former president, reportedly ran into trouble when Western business partners realized that the opaque origins of his reported $300 million fortune could become a “liability,” the Mail reported.

The photo’s authenticity has not been independently verified but comes as the family faces growing scrutiny over Hunter Biden’s overseas business interests while the elder Biden was President Barack Obama’s vice president.

The Post published emails last week indicating Hunter Biden introduced his father to a Ukrainian oil executive before the veep pressured Ukrainian government officials to fire the prosecutor involved in an investigation of the shady organization a year later.

Biden’s campaign denied that the septuagenarian candidate had an “official” meeting with Vadym Pozharskyi but later conceded they couldn’t rule out that a meeting may have happened.

Other emails believed to be from Hunter Biden showed him leveraging links with his influential dad to boost his pay on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Further reporting includes:

The Daily Mail reported.

The British tabloid said they obtained emails from “anti-corruption campaigners” in Kazakhstan showing Hunter making contact with Rakishev and attempting to facilitate investment for his cash in New York, Washington DC, and a Nevada mining company.

Through his connections, emails show Hunter Biden successfully engineered a $1 million investment from Rakishev to filmmaker Alexandra Forbes Kerry — the daughter of ex-Sen. and former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, the report said.

Hunter Biden also traveled to the country’s capital of Astana for business talks.

Rakishev, however, repeatedly ran into problems finding western business partners due to the murky origins of his wealth. The respected International Finance Corp. pulled out a planned deal with him over “liabilities” stemming from his connections to the country’s rulers.

As in other nations like Ukraine and China where Hunter plied his trade, Joe Biden may not have been far behind. The Mail published a photo they obtained from the “Kazakhstani Initiative on Asset Recovery” showing Hunter Biden with his beaming father alongside Rakishev.

Hunter Biden and Rakishev also enjoyed a long and chummy personal correspondence as well, alleged emails show.

“I’m on vacation with family [at] Lake Michigan… trying to spend some much needed time with my wife and daughters. It’s my 20th anniversary of marriage tomorrow,” Hunter told Rakishev in 2013. Source

10/20/20

Finally, the DoJ Sues Google

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Justice Department Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws

The Antitrust Case against Google | Yale Insights

Department Files Complaint Against Google to Restore Competition in Search and Search Advertising Markets

Today, the Department of Justice — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. The participating state Attorneys General offices represent Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas.

“Today, millions of Americans rely on the Internet and online platforms for their daily lives.  Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s challenge against Google — the gatekeeper of the Internet — for violating antitrust laws is a monumental case both for the Department of Justice and for the American people,” said Attorney General William Barr. “Since my confirmation, I have prioritized the Department’s review of online market-leading platforms to ensure that our technology industries remain competitive.  This lawsuit strikes at the heart of Google’s grip over the internet for millions of American consumers, advertisers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs beholden to an unlawful monopolist.”

“As with its historic antitrust actions against AT&T in 1974 and Microsoft in 1998, the Department is again enforcing the Sherman Act to restore the role of competition and open the door to the next wave of innovation—this time in vital digital markets,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen.

As one of the wealthiest companies on the planet with a market value of $1 trillion, Google is the monopoly gatekeeper to the internet for billions of users and countless advertisers worldwide. For years, Google has accounted for almost 90 percent of all search queries in the United States and has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in search and search advertising.

As alleged in the Complaint, Google has entered into a series of exclusionary agreements that collectively lock up the primary avenues through which users access search engines, and thus the internet, by requiring that Google be set as the preset default general search engine on billions of mobile devices and computers worldwide and, in many cases, prohibiting preinstallation of a competitor. In particular, the Complaint alleges that Google has unlawfully maintained monopolies in search and search advertising by:

  • Entering into exclusivity agreements that forbid preinstallation of any competing search service.
  • Entering into tying and other arrangements that force preinstallation of its search applications in prime locations on mobile devices and make them undeletable, regardless of consumer preference.
  • Entering into long-term agreements with Apple that require Google to be the default – and de facto exclusive – general search engine on Apple’s popular Safari browser and other Apple search tools.
  • Generally using monopoly profits to buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices, web browsers, and other search access points, creating a continuous and self-reinforcing cycle of monopolization.

These and other anticompetitive practices harm competition and consumers, reducing the ability of innovative new companies to develop, compete, and discipline Google’s behavior.

The antitrust laws protect our free-market economy and forbid monopolists from engaging in anti-competitive practices. They also empower the Department of Justice to bring cases like this one to remedy violations and restore competition, as it has done for over a century in notable cases involving monopolists over other critical industries undergirding the American economy like Standard Oil and the AT&T telephone monopoly. Decades ago the Department’s case against Microsoft recognized that the antitrust laws forbid anticompetitive agreements by high-technology monopolists to require preinstalled default status, to shut off distribution channels to rivals, and to make software undeletable. The Complaint alleges that Google is using similar agreements itself to maintain and extend its own dominance.

The Complaint alleges that Google’s anticompetitive practices have had harmful effects on competition and consumers. Google has foreclosed any meaningful search competitor from gaining vital distribution and scale, eliminating competition for a majority of search queries in the United States. By restricting competition in search, Google’s conduct has harmed consumers by reducing the quality of search (including on dimensions such as privacy, data protection, and use of consumer data), lessening choice in search, and impeding innovation. By suppressing competition in advertising, Google has the power to charge advertisers more than it could in a competitive market and to reduce the quality of the services it provides them. Through filing the lawsuit, the Department seeks to stop Google’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition for American consumers, advertisers, and all companies now reliant on the internet economy.

Google is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware and is headquartered in Mountain View, California. Google is owned by Alphabet Inc., a publicly-traded company incorporated and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware and headquartered in Mountain View, California.

10/19/20

Biden’s New Super PAC Is A Foreign Government Agent

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer from last year:

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has a brand new Super PAC in his corner, and it’s being run by a registered foreign agent for the government of Azerbaijan. Larry Rasky, a lobbyist who previously worked as a top campaign operative for Biden, is listed as the treasurer of the PAC, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

“A former Joe Biden aide has filed paperwork to form a super PAC, called Unite the Country, that is set to boost the former vice president with millions of dollars in spending in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary,” Politico reported on Tuesday.

Other 2020 Campaign Websites from Jan. 2019-Mar. 2020

Records filed with the Department of Justice show that Rasky is also a registered foreign agent lobbying on behalf of the government of Azerbaijan. The records, which were filed pursuant to the Foreign Agent Registration Act, show that Rasky was hired by the Azerbaijani government on April 23, 2019. Federal documents signed by Rasky show that he reports directly to Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States.

“[The government of Azerbaijan] will pay RASKY a minimum monthly non-refundable fee (the ‘Monthly Fee’) for the Services provided of $15,000 per month, plus a 5% administrative fee as described below,” Rasky’s contract with the foreign government states. “The Monthly Fees totaling $94,500 shall be paid in two equal installments. The initial payment of $47,250 is due upon the signing of this agreement. The second payment of $47,250 is due on July 15, 2019.”

Rasky changed the name of the PAC from “For The People” to “Unite the Country” on Monday, according to FEC filings. The filings do not state which country Rasky intends to unite on Biden’s behalf. More here.

***

So, what does all this have to do with the current Hunter email scandal? Plenty as it seems that Hunter with other people including additional members of the Biden family via the surfacing emails are defacto lobbyists… meaning paid foreign agents and in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act which is governed by the Justice Department.

Just now, a check of two keywords (Biden and Rosemont), shows no registration(s) at all.

For reference on Rosemont:

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of the money.

An update:

Devon Archer, whose conviction was reinstated by Wednesday’s ruling, had partnered with Hunter Biden in Rosemont Seneca, a Washington-based investment firm. Starting in 2014, the pair served together on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company accused of corruption, at the same time that his father oversaw U.S. policy towards Ukraine. Hunter Biden has called his decision to take the board seat “a mistake,” while Joe Biden has defended the decision, saying, “my son did nothing wrong.”

A lawyer for Archer, Matthew Schwartz, decried the ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. “As the experienced federal judge who presided over Mr. Archer’s month-long trial determined, he ‘lacked the requisite intent and is thus innocent of the crimes charged,’” Schwartz said. “Today’s ruling, which second-guesses that judge’s decision without having sat through the evidence and listened to the witnesses, is beyond disappointing.”

To say this is complicated is an understatement but now we must include Blue Star Strategies to be fair.

The company, Blue Star Strategies, was hired by Burisma in November 2015, after Hunter Biden joined the Burisma Board of Directors.   Blue Star’s task was to improve the “image” of Burisma and its oligarch owner,  Mykola Zlochevsky both in Ukraine and the United States.

Grassley & Johnson; Seek Information Regarding “Blue Star ...

The Obama administration let a Democratic p.r. company that worked for Ukrainian energy firm Burisma take part in a conference call about an upcoming visit to Ukraine by then-Vice President Joe Biden, emails obtained by The Post show.

An associate at Blue Star Strategies then emailed a memo with minutes of the conference call hosted by the White House to a top Burisma executive, Vadym Pozharskyi, as well as to Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Hunter’s business partner, Devon Archer, both of whom sat on Burisma’s board.

The trip, in December 2015, turned out to be the one during which Biden later bragged about forcing Ukrainian officials to fire a state prosecutor who was investigating Burisma by threatening to withhold a $1 billion US loan guarantee.

The memo, sent shortly after the Dec. 2, 2015, call, also “outlined the trip’s agenda and addressed several questions regarding US policy toward Ukraine.”

Blue Star has said it began working for Burisma and contacting Ukrainian officials on its behalf in November 2015, and an email shows that on Nov. 18, 2015, Pozharskyi sent the Blue Star contract to Hunter Biden, Archer, and Eric Schwerin, president of the Rosemont Seneca Partners investment firm. More here.

Ah yes, we did find a FARA filing there for Blue Star Strategies:

Interesting names right? One of them, Sally Painter.

  • Newly released State Department emails from 2016 shed light on an effort by a consultant for Burisma Holdings to set up a meeting with a top State Department official regarding Ukraine. 
  • Hunter Biden served with the consultant, Sally Painter, on the board of the Truman National Security Project. Biden reportedly recommended that Burisma hire Painter’s firm, Blue Star Strategies.
  • Emails show that Painter approached Tony Blinken about Ukraine at a conference for the think tank in June 2016. Blinken is now a top campaign surrogate for Joe Biden.

Then there is Karen Tramontano. From 1997 to 2001, Ms. Tramontano served in the White House as deputy chief of staff to President William Jefferson Clinton and counselor to Erskine Bowles and John Podesta. Her portfolio encompassed a wide range of issues, including international trade and transatlantic relations as well as economic and financial issues concerning the World Trade Organization, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund.

10/19/20

Meet the Key Biden Team Players

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Out of the Biden campaign’s nearly 700-person volunteer advisory group, eight members work for Facebook, Apple, Google, or Amazon, the New York Times reported in August. They include Jessica Hertz who previously worked in the Obama White House and left a top position at Facebook to join the Biden transition team. Then there is Carlos Monje, a former Twitter public policy director that also joined forces with the Biden operation. More here.

There is also the campaign chairperson Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist, married to Robert Bauer, a former partner at Perkins Coie and former personal counsel to President Obama and the White House Counsel. Anita Dunn left the Obama White House to later to return to SKDKnickerbocker, an advertising and consulting firm she founded that lobbies for a variety of corporate interests, and where she serves as a partner. As of November, she was still leading the firm. The “D” in the firm’s name refers to Dunn. The first “K” is for Bill Knapp, currently on leave from the company to work for Michael Bloomberg’s campaign.

Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff during his time as vice president, isn’t officially on the campaign payroll, the longtime Biden confidant is still one of his closest advisers and is said to know his strengths and weaknesses more than almost anyone. Before working directly for Biden, Klain helped President Bill Clinton shepherd through his judicial nominations and later became Vice President Al Gore’s chief of staff.

Klain also helped lead Hillary Clinton’s debate prep back in 2016 and reprised that role prior to Biden and Trump’s first debate.

Critically, Klain served as the “Ebola czar” for the Obama administration and successfully helped guide the federal response to containing the outbreak of that virus in 2014 and 2015. Biden also hired younger sister, Valerie Biden Owens. Biden Owens was just 27 when she ran her brother’s successful first Senate run against an entrenched Republican incumbent. Biden Owens was instrumental in her brother’s decision to reverse his longtime support of the Hyde Amendment during the Democratic primary. Then there is Steve Ricchetti who also had a lobbying firm that worked for a few major pharmaceutical companies, among other clients. Add in Mike Donilon is another longtime Biden adviser and friend. He’s considered one of the former vice president’s most trusted confidants, and the pair has a long history — he’s been helping Biden as a strategist since 1981. Donilon previously worked for former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder — who, in 1990, became the country’s first Black governor since Reconstruction — and President Clinton. And like much of Biden’s inner circle, he’s helped the candidate prepare for debates in this campaign.

Biden campaign announces $280 million ad buy through fall ...

But hold on… there is more. Plenty more, but you’ll get the point as you read on.

Here is a list of who’s who on Biden’s economic team. Several are likely to get key posts if the former vice president manages to win the White House.

The progressives

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  • Sarah Bloom Raskin, former Fed governor and Obama Treasury hire, her husband is a progressive member of House
  • Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • William Spriggs, chief economist to the AFL-CIO and former assistant secretary for policy at Obama Labor Department
  • Andrew Yang, former presidential candidate

The Biden veterans

  • Jared Bernstein served as chief economist to Vice President Biden. and now at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Ben Harris, also served as chief economist to Vice President Biden. He is now at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  • Don Graves, was Biden’s counselor as vice president, currently head of corporate responsibility and community relations at KeyBank

The Obama moderates

  • Gary Gensler, former head of the CFTC under Obama
  • Larry Strickling led Obama’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration
  • Lael Brainard, Fed governor, and former Obama Treasury official
  • Austan Goolsbee, former Obama chair of the council of economic advisers

The young guns

  • Byron Auguste, president of [email protected] and worked at the Obama White House as well as McKinsey & Co.
  • Heather Boushey, president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. She served as chief economist for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential transition team
  • Gautam Raghavan, chief of staff to Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He was a former staffer for the Obama White House
  • Julie Siegel, a former Warren staffer who worked at CFPB and at Obama White House
  • Felicia Wong, president, and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute and an expert on race and barriers to an inclusive economy
  • Sonal Shah previously worked at Goldman Sachs, Google, and the Obama White House. She was most recently the national policy director for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign
  • Bharat Ramamurti, Warren’s senior counsel for banking and economic policy
  • Cecilia Munoz, former head of Obama’s domestic policy and worked at the National Council of La Raza

Pulling from Wall Street

  • Roger Altman, founder and senior chairman of Evercore, served in Bill Clinton’s Treasury Department
  • Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase JPM, -1.16%. Dimon is routinely mentioned as a potential candidate for Treasury secretary
  • Roger Ferguson, president, and CEO of TIAA. He is a former vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • Tom Nides, managing director and vice-chairman of Morgan Stanley MS, -0.69% was deputy secretary of state in the Obama Administration
  • Larry Fink, the head of BlackRock BLK, -0.73% has been backed by some of Biden’s Wall Street supporters for a role in the new administration
  • Tony James, the executive vice-chairman of the private equity firm Blackstone BX, -0.18% is also on the wish-list of Biden’s Wall Street supporters
  • Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, has been a policy adviser to congressional Democrats

Team Fed

While not advisers in any sense, these officials could be tapped for jobs in the administration or for top Fed jobs.

  • Raphael Bostic, president of the Atlanta Fed, is the first Black leader of a regional Fed. Bostic has been speaking out about the need to narrow racial and economic gaps
  • Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Fed, has a unique story, rising from high-school dropout to head a regional Fed bank. She is a gay woman who can explain economic issues to a broader audience than Wall Street.
  • Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed. Longest-serving regional Fed president, first appointed in 2007. He has been tough on Wall Street regulation.

Potential Republicans

  • Sheila Bair, former head of the FDIC, has been mentioned as having a possible role in a Biden administration due to her tough stand on bank regulation
  • Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed and former Republican candidate for governor of California, favors tougher capital standards for banks and has been a dove on interest-rate policy