998: Service Burro

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 59m
January 11th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Dame Rebekah Foster the cat wrangler, Sir Atomic Rod Adams, Baron of the Suncoast, Sir Werner Flipsen, Francis M Sheehy

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Otaku, Baron of North East Texas and the Red River Valley, thebdmethod, John Dunn, Sir Mark Dytham, Duke of Japan, Sharon S Terrell

Cover Artist: The Dudeman

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$MSFT is counter culture-> they have been 'normalized' from typical SV bullcrap exploits of customers
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Magic Mushrooms
From Anonymous Producer
ITM Adam,
I was listening to the Sunday show and you mentioned that study about Magic
Mushrooms. I'd like to share my first hand account of taking them with therapy
helped me.
Around November of 2016 I was in the lowest of the low.
Depression had taken over my life. I would lay in bed all day and not do
anything. Work barely happened. My abusive ex girlfriend was destroying me. I
was in a perfect storm. Thoughts of suicide were there. I entered therapy, and
it was helping a little bit. I didn't want to go on prescription medication, as
I saw them really mess up my ex.
I was reading some articles on Microdosing psylocybin
as a treatment for depression. After doing some research I found something that
worked for me.
Half a gram of mushrooms ground up into a fine powder,
brewed with some black tea, once a week.
Day ONE, I felt a severe change in my mood. Over the course
of ten weeks the change was intense. Night and day.
The actual dose is so low you wont have a "trip".
Average dose for visuals is about 2-4 grams.
The first day things got a little "fuzzy" around
the edges. The next few doses that got less severe as my body built up on
the psylocybin. Sometimes if I took it on an empty stomach, it would hurt,
and sometimes the effects would be a bit more noticeable. On rare occasions I
would have a bit of anxiety/frustration. My body would be on the edge of
flipping over to a mellow buzz. That "blue balls", so to speak, would
give me a bit of anxiety. That would pass shortly.
I would highly suggest you look into this matter
further. Just wanted to share my first hand experience.
Saudi's
STORIES
Red dress takes heat amid Golden Globes all-black dress code
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:06
Jan. 08, 2018
LOS ANGELES (AP) '-- Nearly every star attending the Golden Globes wore black as a statement against sexual misconduct in Hollywood '-- so one red dress didn't blend in on the red carpet.
Actress Blanca Blanco ditched the black dress code for a red cut-out dress, and was getting heat on social media. Others said shaming her for her color choice is part of the problem.
Sunday night's black-clad demonstration was promoted by the recently formed Time's Up. It's an initiative of hundreds of women in the entertainment industry '-- including Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey '-- who have banded together to advocate for gender parity in executive ranks.
Also not in black was Meher Tatna, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. She says that in India black is the color of mourning and isn't worn on social occasions, adding that her red dress was made months ago.
It wasn't clear if Blanco didn't get the memo or just decided to go her own way.
Blanco tweeted after the show "The issue is bigger than my dress color #TIMESUP."
___
For full coverage of awards season, visit: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason
It's not official, but sources say the secretive Zuma satellite was lost | Ars Technica
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:02
Enlarge/ The Zuma satellite and Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad.SpaceX
On Sunday night SpaceX launched the Zuma satellite into space. What we know for sure is that the first stage of the rocket behaved nominally enough such that it was able to safely return to Earth and make a land-based landing along the Florida coast.
SpaceX, however, never officially confirmed mission success. On Monday, Ars began to hear discussion from sources that the mysterious Zuma spacecraft'--the purpose of which was never specified, nor which US military or spy agency had backed it'--may not have survived. According to one source, the payload fell back to Earth along with the spent upper stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.
Later on Monday afternoon another space reporter, Peter B. de Selding, reported on Twitter that he too had been hearing about problems with the satellite. "Zuma satellite from @northropgrumman may be dead in orbit after separation from @SpaceX Falcon 9, sources say," de Selding tweeted. "Info blackout renders any conclusion - launcher issue? Satellite-only issue? '-- impossible to draw."
This was just SpaceX's third national security mission and was seen as critically important in winning further lucrative business from the US Department of Defense. In response to a query on Monday afternoon, a SpaceX spokesperson told Ars, ''We do not comment on missions of this nature, but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally.''
A media query to Northrop Grumman, which manufactured the satellite, was not immediately returned Monday. (Update: Tim Paynter, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Northrop Grumman, said, "This is a classified mission. We cannot comment on classified missions.'')
Actions taken by SpaceX on Monday indicate its confidence in the rocket's performance during the Zuma launch. Earlier in the day, SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared photos of the nighttime launch on Twitter. Also, the company continued with preparations for future launches, including rolling the Falcon Heavy rocket back out to a different launch pad in Florida for additional tests.
Ars will update this story as more information arrives.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Apollo Program, Ars Technica brings you an in depth look at the Apollo missions through the eyes of the participants.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Apollo Program, Ars Technica brings you an in depth look at the Apollo missions through the eyes of the participants.
The Ocean Floor Is Sinking Under The Water Weight From Melting Glaciers, And It's As Bad As It Sounds
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:01
So much extra water is being added into the world's oceans from melting glaciers that the ocean floor is sinking underneath its increasing weight. This ocean floor deformation also means we have miscalculated just how much ocean levels are rising and the problem could be far worse than previously believed.
Over the past 20 years, ocean basins have sunk an average of 0.004 inches per year. This means that the ocean is 0.08 inches deeper than it was two decades ago. While this small fragment of an inch may not seem much, oceans cover 70 percent of our planet, making the problem bigger than it seems at an initial glance.
Related: NASA Map Reveals Drastic U.S. Weather Change In Past Eight YearsIn a study published online in Geophysical Research Levels, researchers explain how they used a mathematical equation known as the elastic sea level equation to more accurately measure the ocean floor. This allowed them to see how much the bottom of the ocean floor has changed from 1993 to 2014. While they are not the first scientists to look at the ocean floor, this is the first time that researchers have taken into account how additional water from melted ice may have further stretched the ocean floor, LiveScience reported.
Trending:Woman Who Died From Rare Cancer Wrote Touching Letter About Life
Rising sea levels will be especially dangerous for coastal towns and cities. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
The results show that the ocean is changing in ways that we previously did not realize and is sinking further into the earth's crust. As a result, scientists have underestimated how much sea levels are rising by as much as 8 percent. The study concludes by emphasizing that future sea level measurement should take ocean floor deformation into account in order to more accurately understand how our oceans are changing.
Related: Snow In Hawaii? Mauna Kea Covered In Up To 8 Inches Of SnowAll the water on the planet today is all the water that has ever existed on the planet, but not all water is in its liquid form. Recently, rising temperatures have caused much of the frozen water on the planet's glaciers to melt and join the ocean as liquid. This mass melting ice rising sea levels, a problem whose consequences we're already starting to see. The first to notice the repercussions of rising sea levels are those who live in coastal areas. Rising waters mean less land to live on. In addition, more water in the ocean means that ocean storms, such as hurricanes, have the potential to be stronger and more devastating, National Geographic reported.
Small coastal areas won't be the only ones to disappear due to rising waters and if current estimates are correct, by 2100 the ocean will rise between 11 and 38 inches, a number that could mean that much of the U.S. east coast will be covered in water, National Geographic reported.
This article was first written by Newsweek
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Microsoft Meltdown Patch Causing Blue Screen of Death on AMD PCs
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:00
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California Bill Would Ban Combustion Engines by 2040
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:59
The California Assembly could soon require a transition to fully-electric vehicles in the state by the year 2040.
A new bill introduced by California Assembly member Phil Ting would prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from accepting registration for new vehicles unless they meet the state's Zero Emission Vehicle standard. An exemption has been made for vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds and certain vehicles brought in from out of state. However, the current bill does not allow for any other exemptions for collector or hobbyist vehicles.
The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee for debate and discussion. The SEMA Action Network will monitor the bill closely and will keep you informed on any progress made. In the meantime, please spreadnews to your family and friends.
It snowed in the Sahara and the photos are beautiful - CNN
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:54
On Sunday, Ain Sefra, a desert town in Algeria known as the "Gateway to the Sahara," experienced a substantial amount of snow for reportedly the third time in 40 years. Some reports say parts of the area got nearly 15 inches of snow, but Ain Sefra officially reported less than one inch.It was enough to provide some otherworldly visuals from an area that routinely sees some of the hottest temperatures on earth during the summer.
Now, it's not uncommon for the temperature across even the hottest of deserts to plunge tens of degrees Farenheit at night, meaning any unusual snow could stick around for a while. But photographers at the scene said the snow actually stayed intact for a good portion of the day.
"We were really surprised when we woke up to see snow again," photographer Karim Bouchetata told Shutterstock. "It stayed all day on Sunday and began melting at around 5 p.m."
While snow is historically scant in the desert area, a similar snow phenomenon happened just last year. Before that, it had been 37 years since Ain Sefra's last snowfall.CNN's Brandon Miller contributed to this report.
Weinstein accusers claim they weren't invited to Golden Globes | Page Six
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:46
Rose McGowan and Asia Argento accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, which acted as a catalyst for the #MeToo and Time's Up movements '-- but they, like Marchesa gowns, were conspicuously absent from the 2018 Golden Globes.
The women, along with several of Weinstein's other accusers, claim they weren't invited to the event.
''I can only speak for myself but not only I wasn't invited to the #GoldenGlobes: nobody asked my opinion about #TIMESUP or to sign the letter,'' Argento, 42, tweeted Monday morning. ''I support @TIMESUPNOW even though I was excluded from it. Guess I am not POWERFUL or HOLLYWOOD enough. Proud to work behind the scenes.''
On Sunday, Argento tweeted to McGowan, ''No one should forget that you were the first one who broke the silence. Anyone who tries to diminish your work is a troll and an enemy of the movement. You gave me the courage to speak out. I am on your side until I die.''
McGowan, 44, replied, ''And not one of those fancy people wearing black to honor our rapes would have lifted a finger had it not been so. I have no time for Hollywood fakery, but you I love, @AsiaArgento.''
Rosanna Arquette, who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, tweeted to a follower, ''No we weren't invited. Annabella [Sciorra], Daryl [Hannah], Mira [Sorvino] '... none of us were.''
Arquette's sister, Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, replied, ''That's not cool-All of you should have been included. I wasn't asked either but who cares! It's great they are doing it & we will too!''
Sorvino '-- who accused Weinstein of not only harassing her, but of blacklisting her from the industry for rejecting his advances '-- thanked Patricia and Sciorra for their activism, writing, ''Love you dear heart @PattyArquette, and all my sisters in this fight! Special shout out to my shining friend @AnnabellSciorra whose continued bravery and honesty is contagious and inspiring.''
Argento had a bit more pessimistic opinion of the omission.
''It would have been too much of a downer'... an embarrassment,'' she wrote. ''Victims aren't glamorous enough.''
Reps for the actresses did not immediately return requests for comment on whether they were, in fact, invited to the Globes.
From flat Earth to moon landings: How the French love a conspiracy theory - The Local
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:31
One in ten French people believe the Earth may be flat and 16 percent think the US faked its moon landings, according to a new survey, which tested some of the most famous ones on a group of 1,200 people. Here's what's else they believe.
The poll by the Ifop group on behalf of the Fondation Jean Jaures think-tank and the Conspiracy Watch organisation found that large sections of French society believed in theories with no grounding in established fact.
One of the best-known conspiracy theories -- that the CIA was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 -- was believed by 54 percent of respondents, while 16 percent thought America had faked its moon landings.
A cause for concern to France's current centrist government, the most widely-held theory was that the health ministry was conspiring with pharmaceutical companies to conceal the danger of vaccines.
Photo: AFP
"I hope that... our country will return to the rationality that has always been its marker," Health Minister Agnes Buzyn pleaded last Friday, adding that France was "a global exception" when it came to opposition to vaccines.
Other theories tested in the survey, published late Sunday, included that jihadist groups Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State were manipulated by Western secret services (31 percent agreed) or that AIDS was created in a laboratory and tested on Africans (32 percent).
One in 10 French people thought it was possible that the Earth was flat, while 18 percent believed that God created life less than 10,000 years ago.
Nearly half of the population (48 percent) lent credence to the "replacement theory" according to which the global political and media elite is organising for white people to be replaced by immigrants.
Of around a dozen theories tested, researchers found that 79 percent of French people believed in at least one of them.
The Jean Jaures Foundation, in a comment piece about the findings, said they were highly relevant at a time when so-called fake news was influencing democracies.
It said there was a clear correlation between people who voted for so-called populist political candidates, such as French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and belief in conspiracy theories.
"The results of the survey confirm that we are facing a phenomenon that is not only real but also major, which cuts across our society and influences our collective views to a worrying degree," the think-tank said.
The survey was conducted online on December 19-20.
Is everything you think you know about depression wrong? | Society | The Guardian
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:31
'Drugs are having a positive effect for some people '' but they clearly can't be the main solution for the majority of us.' Photograph: Alamy
I n the 1970s, a truth was accidentally discovered about depression '' one that was quickly swept aside, because its implications were too inconvenient, and too explosive. American psychiatrists had produced a book that would lay out, in detail, all the symptoms of different mental illnesses, so they could be identified and treated in the same way across the United States. It was called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. In the latest edition, they laid out nine symptoms that a patient has to show to be diagnosed with depression '' like, for example, decreased interest in pleasure or persistent low mood. For a doctor to conclude you were depressed, you had to show five of these symptoms over several weeks.
The manual was sent out to doctors across the US and they began to use it to diagnose people. However, after a while they came back to the authors and pointed out something that was bothering them. If they followed this guide, they had to diagnose every grieving person who came to them as depressed and start giving them medical treatment. If you lose someone, it turns out that these symptoms will come to you automatically. So, the doctors wanted to know, are we supposed to start drugging all the bereaved people in America?
The authors conferred, and they decided that there would be a special clause added to the list of symptoms of depression. None of this applies, they said, if you have lost somebody you love in the past year. In that situation, all these symptoms are natural, and not a disorder. It was called ''the grief exception'', and it seemed to resolve the problem.
Then, as the years and decades passed, doctors on the frontline started to come back with another question. All over the world, they were being encouraged to tell patients that depression is, in fact, just the result of a spontaneous chemical imbalance in your brain '' it is produced by low serotonin, or a natural lack of some other chemical. It's not caused by your life '' it's caused by your broken brain. Some of the doctors began to ask how this fitted with the grief exception. If you agree that the symptoms of depression are a logical and understandable response to one set of life circumstances '' losing a loved one '' might they not be an understandable response to other situations? What about if you lose your job? What if you are stuck in a job that you hate for the next 40 years? What about if you are alone and friendless?
Drug companies would fund huge numbers of studies and then only release the ones that showed success
The grief exception seemed to have blasted a hole in the claim that the causes of depression are sealed away in your skull. It suggested that there are causes out here, in the world, and they needed to be investigated and solved there. This was a debate that mainstream psychiatry (with some exceptions) did not want to have. So, they responded in a simple way '' by whittling away the grief exception. With each new edition of the manual they reduced the period of grief that you were allowed before being labelled mentally ill '' down to a few months and then, finally, to nothing at all. Now, if your baby dies at 10am, your doctor can diagnose you with a mental illness at 10.01am and start drugging you straight away.
Dr Joanne Cacciatore, of Arizona State University, became a leading expert on the grief exception after her own baby, Cheyenne, died during childbirth. She had seen many grieving people being told that they were mentally ill for showing distress. She told me this debate reveals a key problem with how we talk about depression, anxiety and other forms of suffering: we don't, she said, ''consider context''. We act like human distress can be assessed solely on a checklist that can be separated out from our lives, and labelled as brain diseases. If we started to take people's actual lives into account when we treat depression and anxiety, Joanne explained, it would require ''an entire system overhaul''. She told me that when ''you have a person with extreme human distress, [we need to] stop treating the symptoms. The symptoms are a messenger of a deeper problem. Let's get to the deeper problem.''
*****
I was a teenager when I swallowed my first antidepressant. I was standing in the weak English sunshine, outside a pharmacy in a shopping centre in London. The tablet was white and small, and as I swallowed, it felt like a chemical kiss. That morning I had gone to see my doctor and I had told him '' crouched, embarrassed '' that pain was leaking out of me uncontrollably, like a bad smell, and I had felt this way for several years. In reply, he told me a story. There is a chemical called serotonin that makes people feel good, he said, and some people are naturally lacking it in their brains. You are clearly one of those people. There are now, thankfully, new drugs that will restore your serotonin level to that of a normal person. Take them, and you will be well. At last, I understood what had been happening to me, and why.
However, a few months into my drugging, something odd happened. The pain started to seep through again. Before long, I felt as bad as I had at the start. I went back to my doctor, and he told me that I was clearly on too low a dose. And so, 20 milligrams became 30 milligrams; the white pill became blue. I felt better for several months. And then the pain came back through once more. My dose kept being jacked up, until I was on 80mg, where it stayed for many years, with only a few short breaks. And still the pain broke back through.
I started to research my book, Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression '' and the Unexpected Solutions, because I was puzzled by two mysteries. Why was I still depressed when I was doing everything I had been told to do? I had identified the low serotonin in my brain, and I was boosting my serotonin levels '' yet I still felt awful. But there was a deeper mystery still. Why were so many other people across the western world feeling like me? Around one in five US adults are taking at least one drug for a psychiatric problem. In Britain, antidepressant prescriptions have doubled in a decade, to the point where now one in 11 of us drug ourselves to deal with these feelings. What has been causing depression and its twin, anxiety, to spiral in this way? I began to ask myself: could it really be that in our separate heads, all of us had brain chemistries that were spontaneously malfunctioning at the same time?
To find the answers, I ended up going on a 40,000-mile journey across the world and back. I talked to the leading social scientists investigating these questions, and to people who have been overcoming depression in unexpected ways '' from an Amish village in Indiana, to a Brazilian city that banned advertising and a laboratory in Baltimore conducting a startling wave of experiments. From these people, I learned the best scientific evidence about what really causes depression and anxiety. They taught me that it is not what we have been told it is up to now. I found there is evidence that seven specific factors in the way we are living today are causing depression and anxiety to rise '' alongside two real biological factors (such as your genes) that can combine with these forces to make it worse.
Once I learned this, I was able to see that a very different set of solutions to my depression '' and to our depression '' had been waiting for me all along.
To understand this different way of thinking, though, I had to first investigate the old story, the one that had given me so much relief at first. Professor Irving Kirsch at Harvard University is the Sherlock Holmes of chemical antidepressants '' the man who has scrutinised the evidence about giving drugs to depressed and anxious people most closely in the world. In the 1990s, he prescribed chemical antidepressants to his patients with confidence. He knew the published scientific evidence, and it was clear: it showed that 70% of people who took them got significantly better. He began to investigate this further, and put in a freedom of information request to get the data that the drug companies had been privately gathering into these drugs. He was confident that he would find all sorts of other positive effects '' but then he bumped into something peculiar.
Illustration by Michael Driver.We all know that when you take selfies, you take 30 pictures, throw away the 29 where you look bleary-eyed or double-chinned, and pick out the best one to be your Tinder profile picture. It turned out that the drug companies '' who fund almost all the research into these drugs '' were taking this approach to studying chemical antidepressants. They would fund huge numbers of studies, throw away all the ones that suggested the drugs had very limited effects, and then only release the ones that showed success. To give one example: in one trial, the drug was given to 245 patients, but the drug company published the results for only 27 of them. Those 27 patients happened to be the ones the drug seemed to work for. Suddenly, Professor Kirsch realised that the 70% figure couldn't be right.
It turns out that between 65 and 80% of people on antidepressants are depressed again within a year. I had thought that I was freakish for remaining depressed while on these drugs. In fact, Kirsch explained to me in Massachusetts, I was totally typical. These drugs are having a positive effect for some people '' but they clearly can't be the main solution for the majority of us, because we're still depressed even when we take them. At the moment, we offer depressed people a menu with only one option on it. I certainly don't want to take anything off the menu '' but I realised, as I spent time with him, that we would have to expand the menu.
This led Professor Kirsch to ask a more basic question, one he was surprised to be asking. How do we know depression is even caused by low serotonin at all? When he began to dig, it turned out that the evidence was strikingly shaky. Professor Andrew Scull of Princeton, writing in the Lancet, explained that attributing depression to spontaneously low serotonin is ''deeply misleading and unscientific''. Dr David Healy told me: ''There was never any basis for it, ever. It was just marketing copy.''
I didn't want to hear this. Once you settle into a story about your pain, you are extremely reluctant to challenge it. It was like a leash I had put on my distress to keep it under some control. I feared that if I messed with the story I had lived with for so long, the pain would run wild, like an unchained animal. Yet the scientific evidence was showing me something clear, and I couldn't ignore it.
*****
So, what is really going on? When I interviewed social scientists all over the world '' from S£o Paulo to Sydney, from Los Angeles to London '' I started to see an unexpected picture emerge. We all know that every human being has basic physical needs: for food, for water, for shelter, for clean air. It turns out that, in the same way, all humans have certain basic psychological needs. We need to feel we belong. We need to feel valued. We need to feel we're good at something. We need to feel we have a secure future. And there is growing evidence that our culture isn't meeting those psychological needs for many '' perhaps most '' people. I kept learning that, in very different ways, we have become disconnected from things we really need, and this deep disconnection is driving this epidemic of depression and anxiety all around us.
Let's look at one of those causes, and one of the solutions we can begin to see if we understand it differently. There is strong evidence that human beings need to feel their lives are meaningful '' that they are doing something with purpose that makes a difference. It's a natural psychological need. But between 2011 and 2012, the polling company Gallup conducted the most detailed study ever carried out of how people feel about the thing we spend most of our waking lives doing '' our paid work. They found that 13% of people say they are ''engaged'' in their work '' they find it meaningful and look forward to it. Some 63% say they are ''not engaged'', which is defined as ''sleepwalking through their workday''. And 24% are ''actively disengaged'': they hate it.
Antidepressant prescriptions have doubled over the last decade. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PAMost of the depressed and anxious people I know, I realised, are in the 87% who don't like their work. I started to dig around to see if there is any evidence that this might be related to depression. It turned out that a breakthrough had been made in answering this question in the 1970s, by an Australian scientist called Michael Marmot. He wanted to investigate what causes stress in the workplace and believed he'd found the perfect lab in which to discover the answer: the British civil service, based in Whitehall. This small army of bureaucrats was divided into 19 different layers, from the permanent secretary at the top, down to the typists. What he wanted to know, at first, was: who's more likely to have a stress-related heart attack '' the big boss at the top, or somebody below him?
Everybody told him: you're wasting your time. Obviously, the boss is going to be more stressed because he's got more responsibility. But when Marmot published his results, he revealed the truth to be the exact opposite. The lower an employee ranked in the hierarchy, the higher their stress levels and likelihood of having a heart attack. Now he wanted to know: why?
And that's when, after two more years studying civil servants, he discovered the biggest factor. It turns out if you have no control over your work, you are far more likely to become stressed '' and, crucially, depressed. Humans have an innate need to feel that what we are doing, day-to-day, is meaningful. When you are controlled, you can't create meaning out of your work.
Suddenly, the depression of many of my friends, even those in fancy jobs '' who spend most of their waking hours feeling controlled and unappreciated '' started to look not like a problem with their brains, but a problem with their environments. There are, I discovered, many causes of depression like this. However, my journey was not simply about finding the reasons why we feel so bad. The core was about finding out how we can feel better '' how we can find real and lasting antidepressants that work for most of us, beyond only the packs of pills we have been offered as often the sole item on the menu for the depressed and anxious. I kept thinking about what Dr Cacciatore had taught me '' we have to deal with the deeper problems that are causing all this distress.
I found the beginnings of an answer to the epidemic of meaningless work '' in Baltimore. Meredith Mitchell used to wake up every morning with her heart racing with anxiety. She dreaded her office job. So she took a bold step '' one that lots of people thought was crazy. Her husband, Josh, and their friends had worked for years in a bike store, where they were ordered around and constantly felt insecure, Most of them were depressed. One day, they decided to set up their own bike store, but they wanted to run it differently. Instead of having one guy at the top giving orders, they would run it as a democratic co-operative. This meant they would make decisions collectively, they would share out the best and worst jobs and they would all, together, be the boss. It would be like a busy democratic tribe. When I went to their store '' Baltimore Bicycle Works '' the staff explained how, in this different environment, their persistent depression and anxiety had largely lifted.
It's not that their individual tasks had changed much. They fixed bikes before; they fix bikes now. But they had dealt with the unmet psychological needs that were making them feel so bad '' by giving themselves autonomy and control over their work. Josh had seen for himself that depressions are very often, as he put it, ''rational reactions to the situation, not some kind of biological break''. He told me there is no need to run businesses anywhere in the old humiliating, depressing way '' we could move together, as a culture, to workers controlling their own workplaces.
*****
With each of the nine causes of depression and anxiety I learned about, I kept being taught startling facts and arguments like this that forced me to think differently. Professor John Cacioppo of Chicago University taught me that being acutely lonely is as stressful as being punched in the face by a stranger '' and massively increases your risk of depression. Dr Vincent Felitti in San Diego showed me that surviving severe childhood trauma makes you 3,100% more likely to attempt suicide as an adult. Professor Michael Chandler in Vancouver explained to me that if a community feels it has no control over the big decisions affecting it, the suicide rate will shoot up.
This new evidence forces us to seek out a very different kind of solution to our despair crisis. One person in particular helped me to unlock how to think about this. In the early days of the 21st century, a South African psychiatrist named Derek Summerfeld went to Cambodia, at a time when antidepressants were first being introduced there. He began to explain the concept to the doctors he met. They listened patiently and then told him they didn't need these new antidepressants, because they already had anti-depressants that work. He assumed they were talking about some kind of herbal remedy.
He asked them to explain, and they told him about a rice farmer they knew whose left leg was blown off by a landmine. He was fitted with a new limb, but he felt constantly anxious about the future, and was filled with despair. The doctors sat with him, and talked through his troubles. They realised that even with his new artificial limb, his old job'--working in the rice paddies'--was leaving him constantly stressed and in physical pain, and that was making him want to just stop living. So they had an idea. They believed that if he became a dairy farmer, he could live differently. So they bought him a cow. In the months and years that followed, his life changed. His depression'--which had been profound'--went away. ''You see, doctor,'' they told him, the cow was an ''antidepressant''.
To them, finding an antidepressant didn't mean finding a way to change your brain chemistry. It meant finding a way to solve the problem that was causing the depression in the first place. We can do the same. Some of these solutions are things we can do as individuals, in our private lives. Some require bigger social shifts, which we can only achieve together, as citizens. But all of them require us to change our understanding of what depression and anxiety really are.
This is radical, but it is not, I discovered, a maverick position. In its official statement for World Health Day in 2017, the United Nations reviewed the best evidence and concluded that ''the dominant biomedical narrative of depression'' is based on ''biased and selective use of research outcomes'' that ''must be abandoned''. We need to move from ''focusing on 'chemical imbalances''', they said, to focusing more on ''power imbalances''.
After I learned all this, and what it means for us all, I started to long for the power to go back in time and speak to my teenage self on the day he was told a story about his depression that was going to send him off in the wrong direction for so many years. I wanted to tell him: ''This pain you are feeling is not a pathology. It's not crazy. It is a signal that your natural psychological needs are not being met. It is a form of grief '' for yourself, and for the culture you live in going so wrong. I know how much it hurts. I know how deeply it cuts you. But you need to listen to this signal. We all need to listen to the people around us sending out this signal. It is telling you what is going wrong. It is telling you that you need to be connected in so many deep and stirring ways that you aren't yet '' but you can be, one day.''
If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs '' for deep connection, to the things that really matter in life.
' This is an edited extract from Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression '' and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari, published by Bloomsbury on 11 January (£16.99). To order a copy for £14.44 go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99. It will be available in audio at audible.co.uk
After Years of EU War on Russian Gas Gazprom Selling More Gas to Europe Than Ever
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:26
Despite years of effort from the EU, Russia's grip over natural gas supplies in Europe is tightening, not waning.
Gazprom shipped 190 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe in 2017'--a record high, according to Bloomberg. In 2018, that figure is expected to dip slightly to 180 billion cubic meters, which will still be the second most on record.
The higher reliance on Russian gas may come as a surprise, not least because of the ongoing tension between Russia and some European countries on a variety of issues. Russia's intervention in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea in 2014 led to a standoff between Russia and the West'--but Europe's imports of Russian gas are up more than 25 percent since then, despite a lot of rhetoric in Brussels about diversification.
There has been some progress. U.S. LNG has begun arriving on European shores for the first time, promising to compete with Russian gas. Importing LNG has been a lifeline particularly in some areas that are acutely exposed to Russia's gas grip. Lithuania began importing LNG, offering an alternative to Russian gas and forcing price concessions from Gazprom.
For years, U.S. LNG has been billed as somewhat of a game changer, threatening to end Russia's control of the European market. There have been some notable concessions from Gazprom'--more flexible pricing, for example, and an erosion of oil-indexed pricing'--but the Russian gas giant has not lost market share. A lot of U.S. LNG has been shipped to Latin America, not Europe.Part of the reason is that European natural gas production continues to fall, leaving a void that Russia has been eager to fill. At the same time, Gazprom's Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev told Bloomberg that coal prices are expected to rise a bit in 2018, making Russian gas more competitive.
Meanwhile, Russia is not leaving the LNG game to the Americans. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently inaugurated the start of the Yamal LNG project in Russia's Arctic, a massive $27 billion LNG export terminal developed by private Russian gas company Novatek that was completed on time and on budget.
The global LNG market is dominated by Australia and Qatar, while the U.S. will increasingly grab market share as new terminals come online in the next few years. But Yamal LNG puts Russia on the map, and Russia is aiming to control 15 to 20 percent of the global market, according to the FT. ''Starting from today, the number of people who have never heard of us will decrease dramatically,'' Leonid Mikhelson, CEO of Novatek, said. ''Russian gas will be marketable on the global arena.'' Russia does export some LNG from Sakhalin in the Far East, but Yamal is positioned to service Europe as well as Asia.
The FT noted that the first shipment of LNG from Yamal was sent to the UK.
Then there is the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a proposed project that will double the capacity of the existing line that runs from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The project is vociferously opposed by some Eastern European countries, as well as the United States, but it has the support of Germany. If completed, it will lock in even more market share for Russia.All of this isn't necessarily a huge threat to European energy security as long as supplies are secure. The threat of alternatives from other LNG suppliers could keep Gazprom honest. The price concessions offered thus far are evidence that Gazprom will need to remain competitive in order to hold onto market share. At a minimum, the availability of LNG weakens the threat of a cutoff of supply from Russia. And as crude oil prices rise, the practice of linking gas prices to oil will probably continue to weaken.
But overall, Russia remains the dominant supplier of gas to Europe, despite years of promises from European politicians to diversify. Few see that changing anytime soon.
Russia's share of the European market will rise to 40 percent by 2035, up from 30 percent now, according to an estimate from BP.
Source: OilPrice.com
Carter Page - Wikipedia
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:21
Carter William Page (born June 3, 1971) is an American oil industry consultant and a former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump during his 2016 Presidential election campaign.[1] Page is the founder and managing partner of Global Energy Capital, a one-man investment fund and consulting firm specializing in the Russian and Central Asian oil and gas business.[2][3][4] He has been a focus of the 2017 Special Counsel investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials and Russian interference on behalf of Trump during the 2016 Presidential election.[2]
Life and career [ edit] Carter Page was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 3, 1971,[5] the son of Allan Robert Page and Rachel (Greenstein) Page.[6][7] His father was from Galway, New York, and his mother was from Minneapolis.[8] His father was a manager and executive with the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Company.[9] Page was raised in Poughkeepsie, New York, and graduated from Poughkeepsie's Our Lady of Lourdes High School in 1989.[6]
Page graduated in 1993 from the United States Naval Academy; he was a Distinguished Graduate (top 10% of his class) and was chosen for the Navy's Trident Scholar program, which gives selected officers the opportunity for independent academic research and study.[10][11][12] During his senior year at the Naval Academy, he worked as a researcher for the House Armed Services Committee.[13] He served in the Navy for five years, including a tour in western Morocco as an intelligence officer for a United Nations peacekeeping mission.[13] In 1994, he completed a master of arts degree in National Security Studies at Georgetown University.[13]
Business [ edit] After leaving the Navy, Page completed a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations[10] and in 2001 he received an MBA from New York University.[14] In 2000, he began work as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch in the firm's London office, was vice president of the company's Moscow office,[3] and later served as COO for Merrill Lynch's energy and power department in New York.[11] Page has stated that he worked on transactions involving Gazprom and other leading Russian energy companies. According to business people interviewed by Politico in 2016, Page's work in Moscow was at a subordinate level, and he himself remained largely unknown to decision-makers.[3]
After leaving Merrill Lynch in 2008, Page founded his own investment fund, Global Energy Capital with partner James Richard and a former mid-level Gazprom executive, Sergei Yatsenko.[15][3] The fund operates out of a Manhattan co-working space shared with a booking agency for wedding bands, and as of late 2017, Page was the firm's sole employee.[2] Other businesspeople working in the Russian energy sector said in 2016 that the fund had yet to actually realize a project.[2][3]
Page received his Ph.D. in 2012 from SOAS, University of London, where he was supervised by Shirin Akiner.[2][10] His doctoral thesis was rejected twice before ultimately being accepted by different examiners. One of his original examiners later said Page was unfamiliar with "basic concepts" such as Marxism and state capitalism.[16] He sought unsuccessfully to publish his doctoral thesis as a book; a reviewer described it as "very analytically confused, just throwing a lot of stuff out there without any real kind of argument."[2] He ran an international-affairs program at Bard College and taught a course on energy and politics at New York University.[17][18]
Foreign policy and links to Russia [ edit] In 1998, Page joined the Eurasia Group, a strategy consulting firm, but left three months later. In 2017, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer recalled on his Twitter feed that Page's strong pro-Russian stance was "not a good fit" for the firm and that Page was its "most wackadoodle" alumnus.[19]Stephen Sestanovich later described Page's foreign-policy views as having "an edgy Putinist resentment" and a sympathy to Russian leader Vladimir Putin's criticisms of the US.[2] Over time, Page became increasingly critical of US foreign policy toward Russia, and more supportive of Putin, with a US official describing Page as "a brazen apologist for anything Moscow did".[4] Page is frequently quoted by Russian state television, where he is presented as a "famous American economist".[3] In 2013, Russian intelligence operatives attempted to recruit Page, and one described him as an "idiot".[2][20] News accounts in 2017 indicated that because of these ties to Russia, Page had been the subject of a FISA warrant in 2014, at least two years earlier than was indicated in the stories concerning his role in the 2016 Presidential campaign of Donald Trump.[21][22]
Page was the recipient of an International Affairs Fellowship (1998''1999) from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and has remained a consistent participant and contributor there since his fellowship.[23][24] He has also written columns in Global Policy Journal, a publication of Durham University in the UK.[3]
Trump 2016 presidential campaign [ edit] Page served as a foreign-policy advisor to Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign. In September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials investigated alleged contacts between Page and Russian officials subject to U.S. sanctions, including Igor Sechin.[4] After news reports began to appear describing Page's links to Russia and Putin's government, Page stepped down from his role in the Trump campaign.[1][25]
Shortly after Page resigned from the Trump campaign, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a warrant from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil Page's communications.[26] To issue the warrant, a federal judge concluded there was probable cause to believe that Page was a foreign agent knowingly engaging in clandestine intelligence for the Russian government. Page was the only American who was directly targeted with a FISA warrant in 2016 as part of the Russia probe. The 90-day warrant was repeatedly renewed.[27]
In January 2017, Page's name appeared repeatedly in a leaked contract intelligence dossier containing unsubstantiated allegations of close interactions between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.[28][29][30][31] By the end of January 2017, Page was under investigation by the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. He has denied wrongdoing.[32] The Trump Administration has attempted to distance itself from Page, denying that he was in fact an "advisor" to Trump.[2]
In October 2017, Page said he would not cooperate with requests to appear before the Intelligence Committee and would assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.[33] He said this was because they were requesting documents dating back to 2010, and he did not want to be caught in a "perjury trap." He expressed the wish to testify before the committee in an open setting.[34]
Testimony before the House Intelligence Committee [ edit] On November 2, 2017, Page testified to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee that he had informed Jeff Sessions, Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks and other Trump campaign officials that he was traveling to Russia to give a speech in July 2016.[35][36][37]
Page testified that he had met with Russian government officials during this trip and had sent a post-meeting report via email to members of the Trump campaign.[38] He also indicated that campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis had asked him to sign a non-disclosure agreement about his trip.[39] Page's testimony contradicted statements by Trump and his associates that no one from the campaign met with Russian officials or had any dealings with them in the months leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[38][40][41] Sessions was an advisor on national security to the Trump campaign, and after Trump won, he nominated Sessions to serve as United States Attorney General.[35] Page's testimony contradicted Sessions' testimony during his confirmation hearings in January and February 2017, in which he denied any knowledge of anyone from the Trump campaign interacting with anyone from Russia.[35] Lewandowski, who had previously denied knowing Page or meeting him during the campaign, said after Page's testimony that his memory was refreshed and acknowledged that he had been aware of Page's trip to Russia.[42]
Page also testified that as part of his July 2016 trip to Russia, he had met with Arkady Dvorkovich, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, contradicting his previous statements not to have spoken to anyone connected with the Russian government.[43] In addition, while Page denied a meeting with Igor Sechin, the president of state-run Russian oil conglomerate Rosneft as alleged in the Donald Trump''Russia dossier, he did say he met with Andrey Baranov, Rosneft's head of investor relations.[44] The dossier alleges that Sechin offered Page the brokerage fee from the sale of up to 19 percent of Rosneft if he worked to roll back Magnitsky Act economic sanctions that had been imposed on Russia in 2012.[44][45][46] Page testified that he did not "directly" express support for lifting the sanctions during the meeting with Baranov, but that he might have mentioned the proposed Rosneft transaction.[44]
See also [ edit] References [ edit] ^ ab Rogin, Josh (September 26, 2016). "Trump's Russia adviser speaks out, calls accusations 'complete garbage' ". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 29, 2016 . ^ abcdefghi Zengerle, Jason (December 18, 2017). "What (if Anything) Does Carter Page Know?". New York Times. ^ abcdefg Ioffe, Julia (September 23, 2016). "The Mystery of Trump's Man in Moscow". Politico. Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016 . ^ abc Isikoff, Michael (September 23, 2016). "U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin". Yahoo! News. Retrieved September 24, 2016 . ^ "Carter William Page in the Minnesota Birth Index, 1935''2002". Ancestry.com. June 3, 1971. (Subscription required (help )) . ^ ab Howland, Jack (March 3, 2017). "Page, Poughkeepsie Native, Linked to Trump-Russia". Poughkeepsie Journal. Poughkeepsie, N.Y. ^ "Minnesota, Marriage Index, 1958''2001". Ancestry.com. June 20, 1970. (Subscription required (help )) . ^ "Hennepin County Marriage License Applications, Allan R. Page and Rachel Greenstein". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN. March 28, 1970. p. 18. (Subscription required (help )) . ^ "2 Workers Promoted at Central Hudson". Poughkeepsie Journal. Poughkeepsie, N.Y. August 2, 1984. p. 22. (Subscription required (help )) . ^ abc Gidda, Mirren (April 12, 2017). "Who is Carter Page and Why is the FBI Surveilling Him?". Newsweek. New York. ^ ab Mufson, Steven; Tom Hamburger (July 8, 2016). "Trump Adviser's Public Comments, Ties to Moscow Stir Unease in Both Parties". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2016 . ^ Page, Carter W. (May 17, 1993). "" Balancing Congressional Needs for Classified Information: A Case Study of the Strategic Defense Initiative" "(PDF) . Ft. Belvoir, Va.: Defense Technical Information Center. ^ abc Hall, Kevin G. (April 14, 2017). "Why did FBI suspect Trump campaign adviser was a foreign agent?". Washington, DC: McClatchy DC Bureau. ^ Lucas, Ryan (November 7, 2017). "Carter Page Tells House Intel Panel He Spoke To Sessions About Russia Contacts". NPR.org. Washington, DC. p. Transcript, page 41. ^ "Capital Markets: Company Overview of Global Energy Capital LLC". New York: Bloomberg News. 2017. ^ Harding, Luke (December 22, 2017). "Ex-Trump adviser Carter Page accused academics who twice failed his PhD of bias". The Guardian. London. ^ Scott, Shane (April 19, 2017). "Trump Adviser's Visit to Moscow Got the F.B.I.'s Attention". The New York Times. New York, NY. ^ Goldman, Adam (April 4, 2017). "Russian Spies Tried to Recruit Carter Page Before He Advised Trump". The New York Times. ^ Stephanie Kirchgaessner; Spencer Ackerman; Julian Borger; Luke Harding (April 14, 2017). "Former Trump adviser Carter Page held 'strong pro-Kremlin views', says ex-boss". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-04-14 . ^ Goldman, Adam (April 4, 2017). "Russian Spies Tried to Recruit Carter Page Before He Advised Trump". New York Times. ^ Phillips, Ariella (August 3, 2017). "Former Trump adviser Carter Page under FISA warrant since 2014: Report". Washington Examiner. Washington, DC. ^ Perez, Evan; Brown, Pamela; Prokupecz, Shimon (August 4, 2017). "One year into the FBI's Russia investigation, Mueller is on the Trump money trail". CNN.com. Atlanta, GA. ^ CFR Staff (2013). "International Affairs Fellows, 1967-2013"(pdf) . Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved January 12, 2017 . ^ His activities were during the period 1999''2016,[citation needed ] esp. 2007''2009, e.g., see CFR Staff (2013). "Search Results, Carter Page, Results from CFR". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved January 12, 2017 . ^ Shane, Scott; Mazzetti, Mark; Goldman, Adam (April 19, 2017). "Trump Adviser's Visit to Moscow Got the F.B.I.'s Attention". The New York Times. ^ Matthew Rosenberg; Matt Apuzzo (13 April 2017). "Court Approved Wiretap on Trump Campaign Aide Over Russia Ties". The New York Times. p. A13. Retrieved 13 April 2017 . ^ Nakashima, Ellen; Barrett, Devlin; Entous, Adam (April 12, 2017). "FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page". The Washington Post. p. A1. ^ Sengupta, Kim (2 March 2017). "US Senate calls on British spy Christopher Steele to give evidence on explosive Trump-Russia dossier". Retrieved 6 March 2017 . ^ Bensinger, Ken; Miriam Elder; Mark Schoofs (January 10, 2017). "These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia". New York: BuzzFeed News. Retrieved January 12, 2017 . See also the attached full transcript of the dossier. ^ First major new report, from Bernstein, et al., at CNN: Evan Perez; Jim Sciutto; Jake Tapper; Carl Bernstein (January 10, 2017). "Intel Chiefs Presented Trump with Claims of Russian Efforts to Compromise Him". CNN. Retrieved January 12, 2017 . ^ Editorial regarding the journalist issues raise by the published leak and subsequent story: Wemple, Erik (January 10, 2017). "BuzzFeed's Ridiculous Rationale For Publishing the Trump-Russia Dossier". The Washington Post News. Retrieved January 12, 2017 . ^ Schmidt, Michael S.; Matthew Rosenberg; Adam Goldman; Matt Apuzzo (2017-01-19). "Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-20 . ^ "Carter Page says he won't testify before Senate Intelligence panel in Russia probe". Politico. Retrieved 2017-10-11 . ^ "Carter Page subpoenaed by Senate intel committee". CNN. Retrieved 2017-11-01 . ^ abc Raju, Manu; Herb, Jeremy (November 2, 2017). "Carter Page testifies he told Sessions about Russia trip". CNN.com. Atlanta, GA. ^ Price, Greg (November 7, 2017). "Carter Page Says Russia Trip was Approved by Trump Campaign Manager Lewandowski". Newsweek. New York, NY. ^ Correll, Diana Stancy (November 6, 2017). "Corey Lewandowski and Hope Hicks knew about Carter Page's trip to Russia". Washington Examiner. Washington, DC. ^ ab Mazzetti, Mark; Goldman, Adam (November 3, 2017). "Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian Officials in 2016". New York Times. New York, NY. ^ Raju, Manu; Herb, Jeremy; Polantz, Katelyn (November 8, 2017). "Carter Page reveals new contacts with Trump campaign, Russians". CNN.com. Atlanta, GA. ^ "Ex-Trump adviser Carter Page contradicts Sessions in testimony about Russia trip". Fox News. New York, NY. November 3, 2017. ^ Tacopino, Joe (November 2, 2017). "Carter Page: I told Jeff Sessions about my trip to Russia". New York Post. New York, NY. ^ Lima, Cristiano (November 8, 2017). "Lewandowski: 'My memory has been refreshed' on Carter Page Moscow trip". Politico. Washington, DC. ^ Chia, Jessica (November 3, 2017). "Carter Page flew to Moscow, met with Russian government officials during presidential campaign: report". New York Daily News. New York, NY. He has previously denied meeting with any Russian government officials during the trip. Just yesterday, Page said he traveled to Moscow to deliver a speech and that the trip was ''completely unrelated to my limited volunteer role with the campaign.'' ^ abc Tracy, Abigail (November 7, 2017). "Is Carter Page Digging the Trump Administration's Grave?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved November 7, 2017 . ^ Shepherd, Todd. "Carter Page: Committees have 'completely blocked' me from testifying". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 1 December 2017 . ^ Bertrand, Natasha. "Memos: CEO of Russia's state oil company offered Trump adviser, allies a cut of huge deal if sanctions were lifted". Business Insider. Retrieved 1 December 2017 . External links [ edit]
Democratic women plan all-black fashion statement for State of the Union - NBC News
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:21
WASHINGTON '-- Taking their cue from the Golden Globes, a group of Democratic women in Congress plans to wear black to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address later this month.
Support for the symbolic protest is high within the Democratic Women's Working Group, which includes all of the Democratic women in the House, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., told NBC News on Tuesday.
Photos: Black is the new black at Golden Globes
"This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it," Speier said.
Speier said that she and the other members of the DWWG were inviting men and women attending '-- both Democratic and Republican '-- to join in.
Trump is scheduled to speak to Congress in the annual address on Jan. 30.
Dozens of actresses and several men dressed in black for the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday in Beverly Hills, California, in a statement of solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct as part of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Mariah Carey, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Billie Jean King at the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on Sunday. Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Google Attempt to 'Fact Check' News Results Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Media - Breitbart
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:03
It's already been a bad week for Google: explosive information released in James Damore's class action lawsuit has revealed an atmosphere of extreme progressive bias at the company, complete with the open shaming and intimidation of conservatives and white males. Now there is evidence that the company's hyper-partisan bias is trickling down into its product.
Currently, when you search for a news site, for example, ''Breitbart News,'' Google will show you a list of topics that the site has focused on, as well as a tab for ''reviewed claims.'' These are stories that have been reviewed by ''fact-checkers'' like Snopes and Politifact.
Like Google, these so-called ''impartial fact-checkers'' claim to be unbiased, but have a history of partisan favoritism. Snopes, for example, is staffed with rabid anti-Trumpers, while Politifact is funded by a Clinton Foundation donor and routinely comes to empirically dubious conclusions that typically favor Democrats.
Not all news sites have a ''reviewed claims'' tab under their name, however. Some just have ''writes about,'' with no reviewed claims. And yes, there's a pattern. Virtually all the websites affected by Google's ''fact-checking'' system are conservative or right-wing, with the exception of Upworthy and, according to the Daily Caller report, Occupy Democrats.
Among the other news sites not fact-checked by Google:
CNN (busted for fake news about Donald Trump Jr's alleged connections to Wikileaks)Rolling Stone (their ''Rape on Campus'' story is among the most significant cases of fake news in recent memory)NBC (known for their fib-telling anchors)ABC (had to suspend Brian Ross for spreading fake news)But perhaps this isn't Google's fault. It could be the fact-checkers, right? Maybe they're just so biased, they never fact-check the left wing and mainstream media?
Wrong. Even they can't be that brazen. The really damning detail for Google is that claims made by outlets like CNN and MSNBC have been fact-checked before. Claims made by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow have been rated as ''false'' by Politifact on four occasions since 2010, ''mostly false'' on five occasions, and ''pants on fire'' (the least truthful rating) on one. Chris Matthews has received two ''false'' ratings and one ''mostly false'' rating in the same period. CNN's Don Lemon received a ''false'' rating in 2014 for claiming he was able to ''go and buy an automatic weapon.''
This meets the definition of a ''reviewed claim.'' Lemon made a factual claim live on CNN, it was reviewed by a third-party fact-checker, and found to be false. So why doesn't it appear under a ''reviewed claims'' tab when you Google CNN?
There's only one explanation: Google is even more biased than the fact-checkers.
Furthermore, as the Daily Caller notes, some of the ''claims'' listed by Google are misrepresentations of conservative media.
For example, Google says that Breitbart claimed an illegal alien was charged with starting a California wildfire:
What the linked story actually claims is that an illegal alien was suspected of starting a California fire. That is a completely different claim.
Combined with the information released in the Damore lawsuit, Google's brazen progressive bias has been laid bare for the world to see. And it's still only Wednesday.
You can follow Allum Bokhari on Twitter, Gab.ai, and add him on Facebook. Email him securely at allumbokhari@protonmail.com.
Immigration agents raid dozens of 7-Eleven stores
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:01
"This is what we're gearing up for this year and what you're going to see more and more of is these large-scale compliance inspections, just for starters. From there, we will look at whether these cases warrant an administrative posture or criminal investigation," said Benner, acting head of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers.
"It's not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big medium and small," he said. "It's going to be inclusive of everything that we see out there."
7-Eleven Stores Inc., based in Irving, Texas, with more than 8,600 stores in the U.S., didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Though agents arrested 21 people suspected of being in the country illegally during Wednesday's sweep, the action was aimed squarely at management.
Illegal hiring is rarely prosecuted, partly because investigations are time-consuming and convictions are difficult to achieve because employers can claim they were duped by fraudulent documents or intermediaries. Administrative fines are discounted by some as a business cost.
George W. Bush's administration aggressively pursued criminal investigations against employers in its final years with dramatic pre-dawn shows of force and large numbers of worker arrests. In 2008, agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained nearly 400 workers. Last month, Trump commuted the 27-year prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, former chief executive of what was the nation's largest kosher meatpacking operation.
Barack Obama's administration more than doubled employer audits to more than 3,100 a year in 2013, shunning Bush's flashier approach. John Sandweg, an acting ICE director under Obama, said significant fines instilled fear in employers and draining resources from other enforcement priorities.
Trump is pursuing "its own kind of unique strategy" tied to its broader emphasis on fighting illegal immigration, including enforcement on the border, Benner said. Some workers may get arrested in the operations but authorities are targeting employers because they are job magnets for people to come to the country illegally.
"We need to make sure that employers are on notice that we are going to come out and ensure that they're being compliant," Benner said "For those that don't, we're going to take some very aggressive steps in terms of criminal investigations to make sure that we address them and hold them accountable."
Wednesday's operation resulted from a 2013 investigation that resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in New York and Virginia. Eight have pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages, and the ninth was arrested in November.
In the 2013 investigations, managers used more than 25 stolen identities to employ at least 115 people in the country illegally, knowing they could pay below minimum wage, according to court documents. The documents say 7-Eleven corporate office does automated payroll, requiring franchisees provide employee names and Social Security numbers to pay workers through direct deposit or check.
The 7-Eleven stores served on Wednesday will be required to produce documents showing they required work authorization, which Benner said will become more common. Audits may lead to criminal charges or administrative penalties.
In Los Angeles' Koreatown, seven agents arriving in three unmarked cars closed a store for 20 minutes to explain the audit to the only employee there, a clerk with a valid green card. Agents, wearing blue jackets marked ICE, told arriving customers that the store was closed briefly for a federal inspection. A driver delivering cases of beer was told to wait in the parking lot.
The manager was in Bangladesh and the owner, reached by phone, told the clerk to accept whatever documents were served. Agents said they would return Tuesday for employment records they requested.
Neither 7-Eleven nor was its parent company, Seven & i Holding. based in Tokyo, was charged in that case.
"Just as the IRS performs audits of people all the time of their tax returns, the same purpose here is to ensure a culture of compliance in this area," he said.
Sir Porritt's Island of Climate Criminals '-- Quadrant Online
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:00
That catastropharians consider themselves so much brighter and more insightful than the knuckle-dragging rest of us is not news, yet the vaulting arrogance of climate cultists can still surprise. Take the deep-green Forum for the Future, which cheerfully anticipates penal colonies for sceptics
The Kerguelen islands are horridly cold and windy specks near the Antarctic, populated by a few score of French scientists and several thousand sheep. But to a leading British green group, Forum for the Future, it has enormous potential as an internationally-run penal colony for global warming sceptics.
The Forum's founder-director is Jonathon Porritt, 67, Eton- and Oxford-bred Chancellor of Keele University, adviser to Prince Charles, and Green Party activist. [1] The Forum's fancy for Kerguelen can be found in its 76-page report ''Climate Futures '' Responses to Climate Change in 2030'', written in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, a company which should know better. This scenario, one of five, involves the naughty world delaying the reduction of emissions, for which we must all suffer. The document even conjures a fictional climate criminal and imagines him being deported to Kerguelen in 2028. He is Jean-Claude Bertillon, leader of the No Climate Change Party in Canada, ''convicted of denying the existence of climate change''.
The report actually fantasises three penal colonies which, from the context, must be for for climate criminals. The other two are Britain's frosty South Georgia[2] and the South Island of New Zealand. Written in 2008, the document attempts to show how CO2 emissions will wreck the planet within a couple of decades unless civilisation turns away from the sins of consumerism and economic growth. As we are now almost half-way to the 2030 forecast date it is possible to get a handle on how the Forum's timeline is working out, and perhaps to gain an inkling of any substance to the report's assertion that our descendants will look back on us with the same disgust we reserve for the slave-owners of yesteryear.
The authors '-- and Porritt himself '-- long for an eco-catastrophe that would eliminate all public doubts about climate doom. Their manifesto says,
''Because of a chilling lack of confidence in our leaders '... our only hope would be for an isolated, serious pre-taste of climate change to happen soon enough for the political and behavioral response to have a useful impact.''
This is probably wishful thinking, as Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future and chair of the UK's Sustainable Development Commission, pointed out:
'I have occasionally fantasised about a low mortality-count scenario where a Force Six hurricane takes out Miami, but with plenty of warning so the entire city is evacuated with zero loss of life. The insurance industry in America would collapse because this could be a $50-60 billion climate-related 'natural' disaster. The industry wouldn't be able to cope with that. There would be knock-on pain throughout the global economy, massive, traumatic dislocation. This would act as enough of an injection of physical reality, coupled with financial consequences for leaders to say: 'Ok, we've got it now. This isn't just about some nasty effects on poor countries: this is devastating for our entire model of progress.' The response to that would be a negotiated transition towards a very low-carbon global economy that builds increased prosperity for people in more equitable and sustainable ways.'''
The report says its five scenarios are all possible, based on ''a review of the current science'' and ''input from scores of experts.'' In all five scenarios global warming and extreme weather are, of course, far worse and more perilous than even the 2007 IPCC report suggested.[3] Here are some of its prescribed green correctives:
''Expensive, state-funded information campaigns reinforce the need for changes to lifestyles and aim to keep the mandate for state intervention strong. Inevitably parallels are drawn between this and the authoritarian state propaganda of the twentieth century.
'''Climate crime' is a social faux pas everywhere, but in some countries it is a crime to publicly question the existence of anthropogenic climate change or to propose actions that could in some way contribute to climate change.
''It is very rare to come across dissenting voices with any real power, but resistance to overly strong state intervention is occasionally violent. The media in some countries has been permitted to discuss whether the single focus on resolving climate change means that other equally important or inter-linked issues are being ignored.'' (Report's emphasis, not mine)
Meanwhile,
''in some countries a licence is now required to have children and these are awarded according to a points system. Climate-friendly behaviour means points'...
''It is not unusual for governments to monitor household energy consumption in real time, with warnings sent to homes that exceed their quotas. For example, citizens could be told to turn off certain appliances such as washing machines or kettles or even have them switched off remotely.''
In 2014 Harvard luminary Naomi Oreskes forecast the extinction of all Australians amid climate woes. The Future Forum is more moderate, envisaging merely the abandonment of waterless central Australia, a ''collapse of Australian agriculture'', and a ''particularly toxic'' combination of drought and recession.[4]
In what the Forum authors call ''alarming reading'', Australia's Friends of the Earth climate experts predict the disappearance of Arctic summer ice by 2013, ''almost a century earlier than suggested by the IPCC''. The actual 2013 minimum was about five million square kilometres of sea ice, and it was a bit more than that last year.
The authors let slip some of the green's secret tradecraft, in terms of their projected advances in fostering ever-creeping state control under the smokescreen of controlling emissions:
''In most cases this has happened gradually, ratcheting up over time, with citizens surrendering control of their lives piecemeal rather than all at once, as trading regimes, international law, lifestyles and business have responded to the growing environmental crisis. And so in 2030, greenhouse gas emissions are beginning to decline, but the cost to individual liberty has been great.''
One is hardly surprised to find such a green-minded document citing Cuba as a beacon of hope for quality of life. But also Nicaragua and Bhutan?
There is the distinct possibility that non-western development paths could gain greater credence. At one extreme, the development strategies adopted today by Cuba, Bhutan, Nicaragua or Thailand could be the pioneers of future diversity. Here, new priorities, particularly around 'quality of life', have sidelined many aspects of traditional western development models.
Here are some snippets from the scenarios.
2009-18: Global depression and harrowing malnutrition are caused by high oil and commodity prices. In 2017, ''authorities (are) warned to prepare for a 'suicide epidemic' in the US caused by the Depression.'' [Reality: Dow Jones index now at record levels and oil prices relatively low.]
2018: Reunification of Korea with Pyongyang as the capital. [Great work, Kim Jong-un!]
2020: The year of no winter in the northern hemisphere.'¨ [Right now, the US and Europe are blanketed by extreme cold and snowfalls].
2022: Oil hits US$400 a barrel [current price: US$60],[5] making world trade and air travel prohibitively expensive. The carbon price makes carbon ''one of the most important and expensive commodities in the world today''. [In reality the carbon futures price has collapsed to about US$8 a tonne. Labor's Rudd-Gillard carbon price was about $A23.]
2026: NATO has defined breaking the 2020 Beijing Climate Change Agreement as an attack on all its members, to be defended by military force.
2029: Planned permanent settlement of the Antarctic Peninsula, taking people from climate-stressed countries. Styled as the first true global community, its population is projected to be 3.5 million by 2040.
2030: Waterless Oklahoma has been abandoned. Texas becomes independent [so much for the Civil War of 1861-65].
2030: ''The US president launches a re-election campaign with a populist speech entitled 'What is the Point of the UN?' after a debate in New York descends into factional chaos.'' [Donald Trump last month beat the forecaste by 13 years].
Some predictions in the document are quite good, albeit easy ones. Try these:
2026: Supercomputer Alf-8 correctly predicts general strike in France. [Well, doh!]
2012-30: China is accused of lying and cheating on its emissions pledges.
The document's part-hidden agenda is propaganda for the lunatic ''simplicity movement'' in which everyone returns to an idyll of backyard vegetables and disdain for material things, such as cars and toasters. For example, in 2022 ''a general retailer in the UK announces that it has sold more wool for home use than manufactured knitwear for the first time in its history.'' In other words, won't it be wonderful when we all have to knit our own clothes.[6][7]
The authors also take for another run the failed Club of Rome's 1972 ''Limits to Growth'' diagnosis: ''Prices for raw materials are very high and getting higher, having major impacts on manufacturing processes and the world economy'... Proposals have been tabled for commercial mining ventures on the moon'... The world is in a deadly race to develop new processes before resources run out completely.''
In a passage obviously written by academics, the academics become the heroes of the future: ''Communications like the 'world wide internet' have fragmented. A small group of academics preserve a global network, their dream to 're-unite' the world.''
The report's best prediction, undoubtedly, is for an upsurge in rent-a-bikes. I counted four of those yellow oBikes on my dog-walking path just this morning.
Tony Thomas's book of essays,That's Debatable '' 60 Years in Print, is available here
[1] One of his predecessors as Keele Chancellor was Princess Margaret (1962-86).[2] South Georgia's national day each September 4 is dedicated to the Patagonian toothfish.
[3] ''The scenarios are based on wide research and consultation and a rigorous methodology.''
[4] The 2017 reality: Australia's winter grain harvest last year was down 40% on 2016, which had smashed records by 30%. World crop production hit a record, thanks partly to higher CO2 levels and mild long-term warming. Wheat production, for example, was at a record 750 million metric tonnes.[5] In 2008, when the report was written, oil was at US$150 a barrel
[6] I tried knitting during train trips to school at age 14 but my outputs were never successful.
[7] A nest of ''simplicity'' people currently push the same line at Melbourne University's Sustainable Society Institute. The green-infested Australian Academy of Science hosted a Fenner conference for zero-growthers in 2014, some of them advocating 90% cuts to Australia living standards.
* the headline on this article was changed several hours after publication for no better reason than this seemed a better one '' rf
Potassium Iodide Sales Surge After Trump's 'Nuclear Button' Tweets : Shots - Health News : NPR
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:59
Pharmacist Donna Barsky measures potassium iodide at the Texas Star Pharmacy in 2011 in Plano, Texas. Richard Matthews/APhide caption
toggle captionRichard Matthews/AP Pharmacist Donna Barsky measures potassium iodide at the Texas Star Pharmacy in 2011 in Plano, Texas.
Richard Matthews/AP A Twitter battle over the size of each "nuclear button" possessed by President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un has triggered a surge in sales of a drug that protects against radiation poisoning.
Troy Jones, who runs the website www.nukepills.com, said demand for potassium iodide soared last week, after Trump tweeted that he had a "much bigger & more powerful" button than Kim '' a statement that raised new fears about an escalating threat of nuclear war.
"On Jan. 2, I basically got in a month's supply of potassium iodide and I sold out in 48 hours," said Jones, 53, who is a top distributor of the drug in the United States. His Mooresville, N.C., company sells all three types of the over-the-counter product approved by the Food and Drug Administration. No prescription is required.
In that two-day period, Jones said, he shipped about 140,000 doses of potassium iodide, also known as KI, which blocks the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine and protects against the risk of cancer. Without the tweet, he typically would have sent out about 8,400 doses to private individuals, he said.
Jones also sells to government agencies, hospitals and universities, which aren't included in that count.
Alan Morris, president of the Williamsburg, Va.-based pharmaceutical company Anbex Inc., which distributes potassium iodide, said he has seen a bump in demand, too.
"We are a wonderful barometer of the level of anxiety in the country," Morris said.
A spokeswoman for a third company, Recipharm AB, which sells low-dose KI tablets, declined to comment on recent sales.
Jones said this isn't the first time in recent months that jitters over growing nuclear tensions have boosted sales of the drug, which comes in tablet and liquid form and should be taken within hours of exposure to radiation.
It's the same substance often added to table salt to provide trace amounts of iodine that ensure proper thyroid function. Jones sells his tablets for about 65 cents each, though they're cheaper in bulk. Morris said he sells the pills to the federal government for about a penny apiece.
Yet, neither the FDA nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that families stockpile potassium iodide as an antidote against nuclear emergency.
"KI (potassium iodide) cannot protect the body from radioactive elements other than radioactive iodine '-- if radioactive iodine is not present, taking KI is not protective and could cause harm," the CDC's website states.
The drug, which has a shelf life of up to seven years, protects against absorption of radioactive iodine into the thyroid. But that means that it protects only the thyroid, not other organs or body systems, said Dr. Anupam Kotwal, an endocrinologist speaking for the Endocrine Society.
"This is kind of mostly to protect children, people ages less than 18 and pregnant women," Kotwal said.
States with nuclear reactors and populations within a 10-mile radius of the reactors stockpile potassium iodide to distribute in case of an emergency, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. An accident involving one of those reactors is far more likely than any nuclear threat from Kim Jong Un, Anbex's Morris said.
Still, the escalating war of words between the U.S. and North Korea has unsettled many people, Jones said. Although some of his buyers may hold what could be regarded as fringe views, many others do not.
"It's moms and dads," he said. "They're worried and they find that these products exist."
Such concern was underscored last week, when the CDC announced a briefing on the "Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation." One of the planned sessions is titled "Preparing for the Unthinkable."
Hundreds of people shared the announcement on social media, with varying degrees of alarm that it could have been inspired by the presidential tweet.
A CDC spokeswoman, however, said the briefing had been "in the works" since last spring. The agency held a similar session on nuclear disaster preparedness in 2010.
"CDC has been active in this area for several years, including back in 2011, when the Fukushima nuclear power plant was damaged during a major earthquake," the agency's Kathy Harben said in an email.
Indeed, Jones saw big spikes in potassium iodide sales after the Fukushima Daichii disaster, after North Korea started launching missiles '-- and after Trump was elected.
"I now follow his Twitter feed just to gauge the day's sales and determine how much to stock and how many radiation emergency kits to prep for the coming week," Jones said, adding later: "I don't think he intended to have this kind of effect."
Kaiser Health Newsis a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of theKaiser Family Foundationthat is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Follow JoNel Aleccia on Twitter:@JoNel_Aleccia.
Dem-ordered study to expose illegal online gun sales backfires | Fox News
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:59
The Government Accountability Office said they were largely unsuccessful in attempting to illegally purchase guns online. (Reuters)
A Democrat-backed study meant to expose illicit online gun sales instead seemed to show the opposite -- with hardly any sellers taking the bait when undercover investigators tried to set up dozens of illegal firearm transactions.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., as well as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, had commissioned the Government Accountability Office report to look into how online private dealers might be selling guns to people not allowed to have them.
Their efforts were based on a 2016 report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which claimed that ''anonymity of the internet makes it an ideal means for prohibited individuals to obtain illegal firearms.''
''Congressional requesters asked that GAO access the extent to which ATF is enforcing existing laws and investigate whether online private sellers sell firearms to people who are not allowed or eligible to possess a firearm,'' the GAO report said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., led the charge for GAO to commission the report. (AP)
Over the course of the two-and-a-half year investigation, agents tried to buy firearms illegally on the ''Surface Web'' and the ''Dark Web,'' generally by sharing their status as ''prohibited individuals'' or trying to buy across state lines.
But the GAO revealed that their 72 attempts outside of the dark web were all ''unsuccessful.''
''Private sellers on Surface Web gun forums and in classified ads were unwilling to sell a firearm to our agents that self-identified as being prohibited from possessing a firearm,'' the GAO reported, noting that in their ''72 attempts ... 56 sellers refused to complete a transaction once we revealed that either the shipping address was across state lines or that we were prohibited by law from owning firearms.'' In the other cases, the investigators' website was frozen or they encountered suspected scammers.
On the dark web, GAO agents successfully purchased two guns illegally, as the serial numbers on the weapons were ''obliterated'' and ''shipped across state lines.'' But in the attempt to purchase, the GAO agents ''did not disclose any information indicating they were prohibited from possessing a firearm.''
Based on the findings of the study, the GAO said it is ''not making recommendations in this report.''
Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined with Sen. Brian Schultz, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., to commission the GAO report. (AP)
Cummings, Warren and Schatz did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment on the GAO's findings.
The National Rifle Association seized on the report to claim that online sales are in fact regulated, calling the study an "embarrassment" for the gun control lobby.
''GAO's findings showed nothing so much as that private sellers advertising online are knowledgeable about the law, conscientious, and self-policing,'' The National Rifle Association said, adding that online gun sales are ''subject to the same federal laws that apply to any other commercial or private gun sales.''
The NRA described the study as an attempt to model the findings of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2015 report, titled ''Point, Click, Fire: An investigation of illegal online gun sales,'' which found that 62 percent of private sellers were willing to proceed with a sale, even if the prospective purchaser could not pass a background check.
Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.
Marvel creator Stan Lee is accused of groping nurses | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:58
Comic book legend Stan Lee has been hit with several allegations of sexual assault and harassment by nurses caring for him at his Hollywood Hills home, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The Marvel creator, 95, is alleged to have repeatedly groped and harassed a string of young female nurses employed to care for him.
He is said to have asked for oral sex in the shower, walked around naked and wanted to be 'pleasured' in the bedroom.
The nursing company which employs the women and caters for celebrities and high end clients is now in a legal dispute with icon Lee, DailyMail.com has learned.
But as yet no police complaint has been made and no lawsuits filed.
A lawyer representing Lee told DailyMail.com that Lee 'categorically denies' the 'false and despicable' allegations and fully intends to clear his 'stellar good name' and suggested the allegations could be part of a shakedown.
Lee, 95, is the former president and chairman of Marvel and co-created Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the X-Men, Hulk among many other beloved comic book heroes.
Scroll down for video
With his new nurses: Stan Lee was photographed with an assistant and a medical worker leaving a clinic earlier this month in Beverly Hills. But other nurses who worked for a previous company and who DailyMail.com is not naming or photographing, say he groped them and asked for oral sex in the shower
Comic book staple: Stan Lee went from a stellar career taking Marvel from a minor publisher to to the biggest name in comic books and for decades has been a fixture at comic book conventions, appearing last weekend at Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans
Fortune: Stan Lee's personal fortune is estimated at $50 million after a lifetime of involvement in the Marvel empire. He personally co-created Spider Man and the X-Men, which have gone on to help the total take of movies Marvel has franchised equal $23 billion and counting
Marvel is the highest grossing movie franchise in history having raked in $23billion at the box office and Lee as an executive producer boasts a personal fortune of around $50 million.
A source with knowledge of the situation, said: 'Stan is an old man who has seemingly lost his way.
'He doesn't seem to care what people think of him, he's lost his filter. There has been a stream of young nurses coming to his house in West Hollywood and he has been sexually harassing them. He finds it funny.
'He walks around naked and is vulgar towards the women, he asks them for oral sex in the shower and wants to be pleasured in his bedroom. He uses the word p***y and f**k in their presence.
'He's also very handsy and has groped some of the women, it's unacceptable behavior, especially from an icon like Stan.'
The source added: 'The owner at the nursing company has openly said to people that Stan has sexually harassed every single nurse that has been to the house. That got back to Lee and sparked this whole thing.
'It appears the owner, who has nursed Stan herself, eventually decided enough was enough.'
A rep for the nursing company confirmed that the female owner had received several complaints from nurses who had worked at Lee's house and she had complained directly to Lee.
Dailymail.com is not naming the company as to do so would identify the women.
The nurses, for whom clients pay $1,000 a day, worked on shift rotation at the house and were available to him 24/7, seven days a week.
Their duties included taking Lee's blood pressure, bringing him food and drink and making sure he took his medication.
The nursing company parted ways with Lee towards the end of last year.
Lee's attorney Tom Lallas sent a cease and desist letter to the owner of the nursing firm on December 20.
In the letter, seen by DailyMail.com, Lallas accuses one or more 'individuals' at the firm of having 'published' to others 'defamatory' claims that Lee has 'sexually harassed one or more of the Nurses who has provided Services at the Lee home.'
In a statement to DailyMail.com Lallas said: 'Mr. Lee categorically denies these false and despicable allegations and he fully intends to fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character.
'We are not aware of anyone filing a civil action, or reporting these issues to the police, which for any genuine claim would be the more appropriate way for it to be handled.
'Instead, Mr. Lee has received demands to pay money and threats that if he does not do so, the accuser will go to the media.
'Mr Lee will not be extorted or blackmailed, and will pay no money to anyone because he has done absolutely nothing wrong.'
Widower: Stan Lee's wife Joan died in July 2017 after 70 years of marriage.
Film franchises: The Marvel franchises, including X-Men and Spider Man have now topped $23 billion in box office takings
Shane Duffy, CEO of Lee's company POW! Entertainment, said: 'At POW! Entertainment it's our policy to not comment on personal issues relating to Stan Lee and his life.'
A new nursing company has since stepped in to care for Lee at his exclusive home in the exclusive Hollywood Hills' Bird Streets area.
The property, which boasts a pool and commanding views over LA, is believed to be worth in excess of $20million.
Julie Wozniak, a rep for the new firm Vitale Nursing Inc, insists that Lee has been nothing but 'polite, kind and respectful' since they took over.
'It has been a privilege to care for him,' she added.
Another source close to the producer also jumped to his defense.
'Stan is 95 years old and has had an excellent reputation throughout his career,' the source said.
'People think because of Stan's age he's an easy target and he can be forced into giving them money.
'I don't believe these allegations...Stan is being taken advantage of.'
Lee was widowed in July 2017 when his wife of 70 years, Joan, died aged 95. The couple had one daughter, J.C. Lee.
He remains a fixture on the comic book circuit thanks to his career which saw him go from first writing comic books, to becoming editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, its publisher and chairman, and taking it from a small publishing company to the dominant force in a multi-billion dollar industry.
But others close to the movie producer are worried about his alleged behavior and question why the fit 95-year-old even needs 24/7 care at home when he's able to travel worldwide for comic book conventions.
What's more, DailyMail.com has learned that Lee's burly minder has been accused of 'intimidating' and 'frightening' some of the nurses involved, further casting a difficult light on Lee's reputation.
The man, Max Anderson, has been Lee's right hand man for years and acts as his road manager at comic book conventions. He is often seen in photo shoots alongside Lee.
Anderson - real name Mac Anderson - has a serious criminal past.
According to court records in Riverside, California he has a 2002 felony conviction for beating and injuring his wife, for which he was jailed for 365 days and spent 36 months probation.
Questions over minder: Max Anderson - real name Mac - is Stan Lee's right hand man but has convictions for domestic violence
Then in 2010, according to court records, he was found guilty of beating his son with a belt, putting him in a chokehold and slamming him on the floor.
The boy went to school with his arm in a sling which raised the alarm with teachers.
For that crime he was sentenced to 36 months probation, a fine and anger management and parenting classes.
It is understood that some nurses complained about Anderson as well as Lee.
The source said: 'Max is a big guy and some of the nurses are scared of him. 'They have accused him of intimidating them and say a lot of the sexual harassment has gone on in front of him, like some boys' club.'
The allegations of sex assault and harassment aren't Lee's only problems.
Earlier this week it emerged someone stole $300,000 from him with a fraudulent check.
Lee filed a police report on Tuesday after discovering that the money had been withdrawn without his knowledge.
Money managers for Lee discovered a check for the missing amount marked as a 'loan' that they believe may have been forged, according to TMZ.
The check in question was made out to 'Hands Of Respect LLC' which according to the gossip site is 'a merchandising company'. Sources told TMZ that 'neither Stan or his money managers wrote or authorized the transaction.'
Beverly Hills PD are investigating the possible forgery.
Then on Thursday it emerged that someone also used the comic book legend's money to buy a condo.
It appears $850,000 of Lee's money was used to buy the property in West Hollywood.
The revelation came to light after Lee's team carried out a full audit of his accounts following the discovery of the first forged check.
Classified Military Satellite Goes Missing After SpaceX Launch - Bloomberg
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:57
A military satellite launched by Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. appears to have crashed into the sea after a malfunction while being boosted into orbit, a potential setback for the billionaire's rocket program.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 seemed to lift off successfully from the pad at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Sunday carrying a classified payload in a mission code-named Zuma. But afterward, the U.S. Strategic Command said it wasn't tracking any new satellites, an indication that the satellite somehow failed to deploy properly.
''After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately,'' SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said in an emailed statement. ''Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible. ''
Even without clarity on what went wrong, the mishap represents a possible turnabout for Musk, who was coming off a record year of launches and rounds of fundraising that rendered his closely held company one of the most valuable startups in the world. Compromising relationships with the military would carry significant consequences: Defense contract launches were estimated to be valued at about $70 billion through 2030 in a 2014 government report.
SpaceX's review so far indicates that ''no design, operational or other changes are needed,'' Shotwell said. The company doesn't anticipate any impact on its upcoming launch schedule, including a Falcon 9 mission in three weeks.
SpaceX's statement muddied assertions of a failure in the second stage of the Falcon 9, as a U.S. official and two congressional aides familiar with the launch had said. The satellite was lost, said one of the aides, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The other aide said both the satellite and second-stage rocket fell into the ocean.
Watch Elon Musk's SpaceX launch the classified payload for the U.S. government referred to by code name Zuma.
(Source: Bloomberg)
It's possible that the Zuma satellite failed to separate properly, meaning the fault may not have been with the launch system, according to discussions on SpaceX's Twitter feed. Commentary during a webcast of the launch appeared to confirm that the fairings housing the payload were successfully deployed.
Tim Paynter, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman Corp., which was commissioned by the Defense Department to choose the launch contractor, declined to comment on the payload adapter, saying ''we cannot comment on classified missions.'' Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, the Pentagon spokesman for space policy, referred questions to SpaceX.
Busy YearThe launch was SpaceX's first in what is due to be a busy year. The company has said it plans about 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 last year. The takeoff had been pushed back several times since late 2017, with the past week's extreme weather on the East Coast contributing to the latest delay.
The Zuma mission was a success on at least one count: SpaceX successfully landed the rocket's first stage for reuse in a future launch, a key step in its goal to drive down the cost of access to space.
SpaceX's 23-minute webcast of the event Sunday evening included the Falcon 9 launch and the rocket's first-stage recovery on land in Florida. Cheers from employees could be heard from Mission Control at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
The webcast then concluded. During launches for commercial satellite customers, SpaceX typically returns to the webcast to confirm that the payload has separated from the second stage, but Zuma was a classified mission so the lack of further messages wasn't surprising.
Falcon HeavySpaceX -- which was founded and led by Musk, who also heads the electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. -- is slated to demonstrate the maiden flight of Falcon Heavy, a larger and more powerful rocket, later this month.
SpaceX, along with Boeing Co., also has a contract with NASA to fly astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the ''Commercial Crew'' program, with the first crucial test flight scheduled for the second quarter.
SpaceX competes for military launches with United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp., which was the sole provider for the Pentagon until Musk began a campaign in Congress and the courts challenging what he called an unfair monopoly. After a rigorous Air Force review, SpaceX was certified in 2015 to compete for military launches.
United Launch Alliance is scheduled Wednesday to send a Delta IV rocket to space for the National Reconnaissance Office, a U.S. intelligence agency.
'-- With assistance by Rick Clough
10 Takeaways From Glenn Simpson's Fusion GPS Senate Testimony
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:54
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released a semi-redacted transcript of testimony Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017. Simpson had called for release of the testimony in a New York Times op-ed proclaiming the importance of transparency. Simpson and other Fusion GPS principals have resisted invitations to testify from the committees investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. When faced with a subpoena, Simpson used his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to negotiate for a closed-door interview in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The transcript of the testimony runs 312 pages. Feinstein excluded exhibits that were attached to the testimony and redacted highly relevant information about which FBI agents were working with Clinton-funded operatives to investigate the Trump campaign.
During the testimony, staff for Republican chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley alternated with staff for ranking member Feinstein, each group taking one hour at a time. The two followed different paths of questions. Republicans drilled down on Fusion GPS's work for Russian company Prevezon Holdings before discussing the work on the Russia dossier. Democrats focused on the contents of the dossier before asking about other Russian contacts.
Fusion GPS is facing scrutiny about whether its work for Prevezon violated federal requirements to register as a foreign agent, whether people mentioned in the unverified and salacious dossier were defamed, and all sorts of unanswered questions about its work creating the dossier on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
In his testimony, Simpson didn't answer or carefully answered questions covering areas where he's legally vulnerable while also defending the dossier product he commissioned. Here are key takeaways.
1. The Most Interesting Part Turned Out Not To Be TrueWhile the testimony is full of details, far and away the most interesting revelation was Simpson's claim that the FBI had a source within the Trump campaign. Simpson said that Christopher Steele, the freelance spy paid for dispatches about Trump, was told by an FBI official that they had a confidential informant in the Trump campaign. This ''human source from inside the Trump organization'' was acting in a ''voluntary'' manner. It was someone ''who decided to pick up the phone and report something.''
Understandably, that was the big headline many media outlets put with their initial stories on the transcript, including USA Today: ''Dossier author Christopher Steele told FBI had source inside Trump Org'' and the Washington Post: ''Ex-spy behind Trump dossier was told FBI had source inside network, testimony reveals.'' The only problem is that it apparently is not true.
Ken Dilanian, the NBC reporter who frequently helps Fusion GPS disseminate stories for its clients, said that ''a source close to Fusion GPS'' had a correction to offer:
While Simpson used his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to negotiate an interview that was not done under oath, it's still a federal crime to give the committee false information. It is unclear if he corrected the false testimony with the committee or just worked through his collaborator Dilanian.
2. The Substance Of The Dossier Was Not Verified By Fusion GPSSometimes the dossier contained publicly known information, such as Carter Page's trip to Moscow, or Vladimir Putin's well-known dislike of Hillary Clinton. As for the salacious and substantive claims of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia, they remain salacious and unverified.
In their testimony on the Hill, various FBI officials have been unable or unwilling to cite anything that was verified from the dossier other than the Page trip or Russian animosity toward Clinton. The creator of the dossier himself told a British court that the information he collected was ''unverified.'' In his testimony, Simpson says his confidence in the dossier is based on his confidence in Steele, who he says has a history of providing good information.
He says that unlike actual evidence that can be introduced in a court of law, the gossip Steele provided is different. ''So by its very nature the question of whether something is accurate isn't really asked. The question that is asked generally is whether it's credible,'' he says. ''You don't really decide who's telling the truth.''
When Simpson talks about having Sen. John McCain share the document with FBI leadership after the election, he still doesn't know if it's accurate, explaining, ''we just wanted people in official positions to ascertain whether it was accurate or not.''
3. The Impetus For Going to the FBI Turned Out To Be Disinformation Or MisinformationAnother interesting tidbit from Simpson is that Steele contacted the FBI because of his belief that Russians had a compromising tape of Trump in a hotel room, referring to the dossier's allegation that Trump had prostitutes urinate on a bed that President and Michelle Obama had slept on in the Ritz Carleton in Moscow. Amazingly, Simpson reveals this shortly after saying that Steele is a professional at knowing when he's getting disinformation from a source. But not only is there no evidence that Russians have such a tape, or that such a tape would have any value against known perv Trump in any case, there's substantial evidence that Steele was the victim of misinformation at best, if not disinformation.
The single most famous and salacious vignette from the dossier is this ''golden shower'' scene in the hotel room during a 2013 trip to Moscow. Yet this summer, President Trump's longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller told congressional investigators that on that trip someone offered to send five women to Trump's hotel room. Schiller said he took it as a joke, and declined. He also testified that he told Trump about it when he escorted him back to his hotel room and that the two had a laugh. From this nugget of reality was spun a pornographic and difficult to believe scene of Trump using prostitutes to defile the Obama hotel bed.
The reality of the scene versus the unverified dossier's version of events speaks to the credibility of everything that's in the dossier. It also speaks to Steele's ability to discern fact from fiction, and good intelligence from getting played. For that matter, it speaks to Simpson's judgment about the quality of his researchers.
Yet when congressional investigators asked Simpson if Steele would know if he were being fed false information, Simpson is vehement. He says, ''a trained intelligence officer can spot disinformation that you or I might not recognize, certainly that was Chris's skill, and he honed in on this issue of blackmail as being a significant national security issue.''
4. The Dossier Author Was In a Relationship With The FBIThis has already been reported extensively, but Steele was sharing information with the FBI. As mentioned above, he immediately took the fantastical sex scene from his first dispatch to the FBI. Simpson details how that happened, asserting over and over that he had nothing to do with going to the FBI with the opposition research he was commissioned to produce for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. He says that Steele said of the FBI, ''they want everything I have.''
Simpson says that the FBI paid for Steele to travel to Rome to share the information, and that they talked about a further financial relationship that didn't come to fruition. Simpson does reveal that the FBI was also sharing information with Steele. As mentioned in the first point above, the FBI told him they had a source who was corroborating their salacious allegations. It is unclear whether the FBI official was wittingly or unwittingly sharing FBI intelligence with someone being paid by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
Simpson also reveals that he told media outlets that the FBI and Steele were working together. He told congressional investigators that he viewed Steele's chats with the FBI to be separate from the work he was hired to do by Clinton and the DNC. However, he did admit to highlighting the fact that Steele had interacted with the FBI when he was selling journalists on the dossier before the election.
It's also worth noting that Congress was briefed on the contents of the dossier during the campaign by the FBI, not Steele or Fusion GPS. That's according to a Fusion GPS-sourced story in September 2016 by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo! News. The relationship between the FBI and Steele, based on unverified information, was serious.
5. Russia Is Either Good Or Bad, DependingSometimes when Simpson is speaking about Russia, such as when discussing why he was investigating Trump's ties there, he is unsparing. Simpsons says, ''one of my interests or even obsessions over the last decade has been corruption in Russia and Russian kleptocracy and the police state that was there.'' He says he's well-versed on Putin's consolidation of power.
But the other part of the testimony is about his work for Prevezon Holdings, a firm owned by the son of Pyotr Katsyv, a powerful Russian government official. It battled with the U.S. government over its handling of some of its money, settling a few months ago. Fusion GPS was tasked with digging up dirt on Bill Browder, a businessman who launched an international campaign for sanctions against Russia.
One of the key figures in the testimony is Natalia Veselnitskaya. She figures in both the questions about Prevezon, and the questions about the dossier. First, let's look at how Simpson describes the infamous meeting Veselnitskaya had with members of the Trump campaign at Trump Tower in June. He first cites the dossier claim that Trump and his inner circle have ''accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his democratic and other political rivals.'' Then he cites the Trump Tower meeting where Veselnitskaya was supposed to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton as proof of this:
So the issue with the Trump Tower meeting, as I understand it, is that the Trump people were eager to accept intelligence from a foreign government about their political rivals and that is, you know, I would say, a form of interference. If you're getting help from a foreign government and your help is intelligence, then the foreign government's interfering. I mean, you know, I think that also '-- of course, in retrospect we now know this was pretty right on target in terms on what [the dossier] says.
But when Simpson is talking about Prevezon, it's entirely different. Asked about Veselnitskaya, Prevezon's lawyer, he admits that she hired Baker Hostetler, which hired him. He acknowledges connecting Baker Hostetler with his former colleague Chris Cooper, who made a film to help fight the sanctions against Russia. He acknowledges meeting with all sorts of people who are lobbying to remove the sanctions against Russia. And he admits that his work was to find dirt on Browder, the man behind the sanctions against Russia. When asked if he understood who his work benefited, he says, ''We did not believe that was being done on behalf of the Russian government.''
If Trump campaign officials meeting with Veselnitskaya was improper and treasonous, one wonders what working for Veselnitskaya is.
6. Despite Knowing Everyone At Trump Tower Meeting, Claims No KnowledgeIn his testimony, Simpson says he had no idea that Veselnitskaya was going to meet with Trump, despite meeting with her both shortly before and shortly after the meeting. He tells investigators that some of Paul Manafort's notes from the meeting ''touch on things that I worked on'' on behalf of Prevezon, but that he didn't realize she was going to talk about it with them. And he acknowledges that he either worked with or knows of four attendees at the meeting: Irakle Kaveladze, Veselnitskaya, Rinat Akhmetshin, and Anatoli Samochornov. The last one also worked on the Prevezon case.
7. Simpson Misleads About Democratic TiesIn the lengthy testimony, Simpson skates in and out of privilege to share the content of the research he works on for clients. But when asked for specifics, or about the marketing of his work, he frequently declined to answer questions. He declined to answer dozens of questions, such as ''Did you share that decision with anyone, that [Steele] was going to go to the FBI with this information?'' and ''Did Fusion disclose hard copies of the memoranda to any journalists?'' and ''Did Mr. Steele ever share with you who his sources were?''
At the time of his testimony, Fusion GPS was still fighting congressional requests to find out who paid for the opposition research on Trump. It turned out to be Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. His clients were literally the DNC and their nominee for president. Yet when asked if he had ties to Democrats, he denied it.
Q. At a news briefing on August 1, 2017 White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Fusion GPS as a democratic linked firm. Is that an accurate description?'...
A. I would not agree with that description.
I'll add one more thing to the response to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, which is her assertion that we are a Democrat linked opposition research firm. I think I addressed this earlier, but to be clear, we don't have a business of '-- we're not an appendage to the Democratic party.
8. Fusion Pushed Dossier During CampaignOne of the things that has helped Fusion GPS escape scrutiny or tough stories is the role they play in supplying stories to reporters around town. Simpson's testimony frequently characterizes the relationship as if reporters come to him seeking information that he then shares. But asked if Fusion GPS's business involves getting media outlets to publish stories, he says it is.
Some people believed that since the dossier was not published until January 2017, it was not used during the campaign. Simpsons says otherwise. He says part of the purpose of being hired for opposition research was to share information with journalists. He says, ''some of it was gathered for the possibility that it might be useful to the press.''
And he says he did share it with the press. ''I had spoken with reporters over the course of the summer and through the fall about the investigations by the government and the controversy over connections between '-- alleged connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Some of what we discussed was informed by Chris's reporting.''
Simpson discusses briefing reporters from The New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and others in both September and October of 2016. Simpson says the FBI was displeased with the chats with the media. ''I remember Chris saying at some point that they were upset with media coverage of some of the issues that he had discussed with him.''
9. Journalistic RetaliationSimpson says he was deeply concerned by FBI Director James Comey's letter announcing a reopening of the investigation into Clinton's mishandling of classified information. He says he had been asking reporters or encouraging reporters to ask the FBI about whether they were investigating Trump's ties to Russia. It backfired.
On October 31, The New York Times published its report saying the FBI had found no problematic ties between Trump and Russia. ''[I]t was a real Halloween special,'' he said. Court filings say Steele briefed a reporter from Mother Jones on the contents of the dossier in late October. Late in the evening of October 31, David Corn published a piece at Mother Jones titled: ''A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump: Has the bureau investigated this material?''
Simpson also says Steele severed his relationship with the FBI at that point, ''out of concern that he didn't know what was happening inside the FBI and there was a concern that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people and that we didn't really understand what was going on.''
He also says Steele told him the FBI ''mentioned that they didn't like media coverage, that there was media coverage of, you know, FBI interest in Donald Trump. I don't know what it was that they didn't like.''
10. What Was Feinstein Thinking?The testimony included interesting information about the dossier and the FBI's handling of it. (As well as a claim someone had been killed over the dossier!) Despite Simpson's refusal to answer many questions, it helps explain how opposition research gets into the mainstream media. And transparency is always nice.
But for a committee that had worked fairly well in a bipartisan manner, Feinstein's decision to unilaterally release testimony against the wishes of the majority in the middle of an ongoing investigation was a curious one.
She may have been upset with her colleagues Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for not consulting her before making a criminal referral for Steele on the basis of false statements to federal authorities. But the committee still has to interview Jared Kushner, who may now consult Simpson's testimony. If committees are simply deciding to be more transparent, the House faced a request to declassify information related to the dossier's use by the FBI.
19 Insane Tidbits From Damore Suit About Google's Office Environment
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:44
This article quotes communications that contain obscene language.
The lawsuit James Damore filed against Google on Monday provides a fascinating glimpse into the way the company and many of its employees see the workplace in terms of a demographic hierarchy, and what happens to those who diverge from the consensus view.
Details from diversity training sessions, accounts of alleged reverse discrimination, and screenshots of internal communications on company forums and message boards in the lawsuit cast the company culture as extremely hostile to employees with unpopular opinions, especially heterosexuals, men, white people, and those who hold conservative views.
Damore and another former Google employee, David Gudeman, allege the company discriminates against white male conservatives, and maintains illegal diversity quotas for hiring managers. Damore was fired last year after an internal memo he wrote positing that men and women have biological differences that affect their work preferences and abilities was leaked and went viral.
In screenshots laid out in the lawsuit, ''Googlers'' as they call themselves, talk openly of blacklisting and purging the company of employees whose views or identities are deemed outside the bounds. Employees were allowed to award those who spoke out against Damore's memo ''peer bonuses'' '-- a company kudos of sorts monitored by the ''Google Recognition Team.''
''We want to be inclusive of people not ideas'' one employee identified as Alon Altman wrote in a message included in the lawsuit. Damore says that sentiment was backed up at an Inclusion and Diversity Summit he attended in June, when he was told by Google employees the company does not value ''viewpoint diversity,'' but actively strives for ''demographic diversity.''
The lawsuit succeeds in suggesting a sharply divisive worldview pervades Google, in which those deemed worthy of tolerating (women, minorities, transgenders, etc.) are to be protected and agreed with at all costs '-- the recipients of unbridled compassion and understanding '-- while those who fall outside the bounds are to be ruthlessly disowned and expelled. Here are 19 of the most notable and bizarre snapshots of corporate culture laid out in the lawsuit.
1. 'Living as a Plural Being'In a section claiming Google tries to ''stifle'' conservative parenting styles, the suit reads: ''Google furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics. The only lifestyle that seems to not be openly discussed on Google's internal forums is traditional heterosexual monogamy.''
A footnote next to the word ''plurality'' adds: ''For instance, an employee who sexually identifies as 'a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin' and 'an expansive ornate building' presented a talk entitled 'Living as a Plural Being' at an internal company event.''
The suit also includes a screenshot of the presentation on ''living as a plural being'' when the presenter is discussing how to address coworkers with multiple identities. Examples of ''not okay'' etiquette listed include ''addressing any one headmate in particular; we're all listening!''
2. 'Don't hire white men'A few of the messages show Google employees proposing hiring practices that exclude certain groups of men, or putting women in charge of hiring for a year to ensure diversity quotas are met. One employee wrote: ''Alternate proposal: moratorium on hiring white cis heterosexual abled men who aren't abuse survivors.''
3. 'Bias busting' Damore recounts attending ''voluntary'' diversity training because Google employees stressed attendance as necessary if he were to advance in the company. ''At the in-person training, entitled 'Bias Busting,' Google discussed how biases against women exist in the workplace, and how 'white male privilege' exists in the workplace,'' the suit reads. ''The training was run by the 'Unbiasing Group' at Google.
4. 'I will keep hounding you until one of us fired' After a coworker leaked his memo to the public, Google's human resources instructed Damore to work remotely for a while to let emotions cool, after he forwarded them a particularly angry email from another employee. ''You're a misogynist and a terrible person,'' read a late-night email from Alex Hidalgo, a Google engineer. ''I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. Fuck you.''
5. 'The Derail document' The suit claims Gudeman was fired in part because he took issue with the merits of a ''derail document'' written by Google manager Kim Burchett. ''The thesis of this document is that on this one particular set of topics, the left-wing political frame of systematic bias, must always dominate, and the receiver must accept that frame, and its associated worldview, in their response,'' the suit claims. It does not provide the actual document.
In his response, Gudeman said ''the point of this document is to disallow any defense at all that a man might make when some woman complains about bias. There is no defense. The woman is always right. The man has no alternative but to submit to her superior moral position. We have a word for that attitude, it's called 'sexism.'''
He says the criticism was widely derided and deemed ''un-Googley.''
6. 'You did something so amazing that Matthew Sachs awarded you a Peer Bonus'The suit includes a screenshot of one of the emailed ''peer bonuses'' awarded to those who opposed Damore.
''Congratulations, Simone Wu!'' the email begins. ''You did something so amazing that Matthew Sachs awarded you a Peer Bonus. Here's what Matthew Sachs had to say: Simone has been doing a fantastic job speaking up for Googley values and promoting [diversity and inclusion] in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is [Damore's memo] '... Visit your award history page to see your certificate to print and proudly hang on your cube, wall, fridge, robot etc.''
7. 'Discourage them all throughout the industry'''If we really care about diversity in tech, we don't just need to chase serial offenders out of Google, we need to discourage them all throughout the industry,'' a lengthy internal post on Damore read. ''We should be willing to give a wink and a nod to other Silicon Valley employers over terminable offenses, not send the worst parts of tech packing with a smile '...''
8. 'I will hurt you'Damore's memo prompted another employee to post this quote: ''I'm a queer-ass nonbinary trans person that is fucking sick and tired of being told to open a dialogue with people who want me dead. We are at a point where the dialogue we need to be having with these people is 'if you keep talking about this shit, i will hurt you.''
9. 'Relies on crowdsourced harassment'Google encourages employees to enforce unwritten norms by harassing and ostracizing those who break them, according to the suit, and by allowing employees to create ''blocklists'' on their communications systems. ''[Google] relies on crowdsourced harassment and 'pecking' to enforce social norms (including politics) that it feels it cannot write directly into its policies,'' the suit states.
10. 'I'...apologized for whitesplaining' In a message from July 2017, a repentant Google employee publicly realized he was ''whitesplaining'' black history. ''I (a white Googler), in an attempt to build a rapport with a Black Noogler and demonstrate my lack of ignorance of Black History, ended up whitesplaining Black History to him'...thereby demonstrating my ignorance of Black History in the process. A few minutes later, feeling like a complete idiot, I went back to him and apologized for whitesplaining.''
His comment was lauded by another Googler.
11. 'You're being blacklisted'...at companies outside Google'Google manager Adam Fletcher wrote in 2015 he would never hire conservatives he deemed hold hostile views. ''I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team,'' he wrote. ''Ever. I don't care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I'll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.''
''You're being blacklisted by people at companies outside of Google,'' he added. ''You might not have been aware of this, but people know, people talk. There are always social consequences.''
12. Conservative author triggers 'silent alarm' over lunch with employeeConservative blogger Curtis Yarvin, who advised Steve Bannon and other members of the Trump administration, triggered an alarm when he visited the Google campus to lunch with an employee. Security escorted him off the premises. The suit alleges other conservatives are on that list, including Alex Jones and Theodore Beale.
13. 'Should inclusion on the list require something resembling a trial?'Burchett once proposed creating a list she would personally manage of ''people who make diversity difficult,'' to include employees who did things like make statements ''unsupportive of diversity.'' She suggested the list could serve as a punishment that could incentivize ''better'' behavior among the offenders listed.
''Things I'm still pondering: should inclusion on the list require something resembling a trial? should people be removed after some period of time if they start behaving better?''
14. 'Throw away that bad apple with no regrets' The suit says Google manager Jay Gengelbach discussed blacklisting an intern whose views proved intransigent, despite the efforts of Google employees to bring him around to their views. ''I was there at the lunch were said intern said the things he did,'' Googler Matthew Seidl replied on the thread. ''A number of people there did try to esquire as to what he was basing his belief on and give counter examples. They didn't really take.''
Another Googler chimed in, ''Throw that bad apple away with no regrets.''
15. 'I won't say violence has no place' In one thread, employees discussed at length whether Trump's win meant it's time for a violent revolution. ''How do people cope with this?'' one employee wrote. ''I've never been part of a military or war effort before. '... I don't know how useful I'll be.''
Another advised: ''Get in touch with your friendly local antifa. '... I won't say violence has no place, but if you are going to be doing anything risky, I can't overemphasize the important of networking with people who've been thinking about scenarios like the one we're in for years, and building relationships with them. We are only powerful if we organize.''
''This list is not truly anonymous,'' another cautioned.
16. 'If you don't want to get punched '...' One employee explained what to believe if you don't want to get physically assaulted. ''There is literally only one reason an antifascist would be violent towards you. You are a fascist. '... If you don't want to get punched by an antifascist, it's simple: don't go to white supremacist rallies and don't own white power symbols.''
17. 'How to (Properly) Punch a Nazi'Two more bits on punching Nazis. In the first, an employee explains why peaceful measures aren't enough when facing people with certain views. ''How do you let people know you don't take their ideas seriously? '... No-platforming fascists does scale. So does punching one on camera.'' And a cartoon sent around depicts a Nazi-punching strategy.
18. 'Psychotic break from reality' Those who oppose certain liberal orthodoxy must be either ''deeply deceived'' or have had ''some sort of psychotic break from reality,'' another employee wrote, adding: ''What you think of as information is nonsense.''
19. 'This is where my tolerance ends, with intolerance'''You can't support Donald Trump without also supporting his racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia,'' a Googler wrote in a lengthy communication on Trump supporters. ''Or even worse, if you vote for Donald Trump because of his economic policy or because you feel the other party is corrupt, then what you're saying is that economics is more important than the safety of your peers. This is where my tolerance ends: with intolerance.''
Google briefly responded to Damore's lawsuit Monday in a statement reported by The Verge. ''We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore's lawsuit in court,'' a spokesperson said.
Does a local pub's discount for women violate a man's human rights? - London - CBC News
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:13
A London, Ont., pub's promotion that offers women a 13 per cent discount as a nod to the wage gap has prompted a possible human rights complaint, the restaurant's owner says.
Women who fancy the Manhattan clam chowder or Cobb turkey wrap at The Morrissey House will now get to enjoy lunch or dinner at a discount on Mondays.
It is owner Mark Serre's way of tackling the gender pay gap that has left Canadian women earning 87 cents an hour for every dollar made by men, according to Statistic Canada data.
But the promotion, dubbed "Mind the Gap," was hit by a complaint on Saturday from a London man adamant that the discount was discriminatory.
((Ruben Sprich/Reuters))
The complainant vowed to lodge a formal gender-discrimination complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission if Serre didn't stop the discount offer, according to the restaurateur.
"It's his right. If he feels wronged, then I applaud him for taking it to the OHRC. But I think he's taking it the wrong way," said Serre.
"As a general rule of life, women should get paid equally. I think that's important. Is it worth my 13 per cent on a Monday night? Absolutely. Is it worth a conversation? Absolutely. I hope people embrace it."
Lawyer questions validity CBC contacted officials at the OHRC who said an application was not processed on Monday and would likely take time to go through.
Serre is confident a possible complaint wouldn't stand at the provincial level, as other women's nights in London have been given the green light to operate.
Susan Toth, a London-based human rights lawyer who also specializes in employment law, echoed Serre's sentiments.
Toth questioned whether a possible complaint would have a chance at succeeding in court, given a similar situation in London was dismissed.
"There's a difference between formal equality, which essentially means everyone gets treated exactly the same, and substantial equality, which recognizes that sometimes you need differential treatment to reach an equitable state," she said.
"[You can] put everyone in the same size booster box, but if you're extra short you may need a higher booster box than someone who is average height. So it's OK to give someone a little extra leg up, and that might be the only way to establish equality."
Local charities a focusFor the last eight years, Monday nights at The Morrissey House, a Dundas Street eatery, have been reserved for crowds taking part in pub quizzes over pints.
Now, the Monday women's discount night will also involve donations to local charities such as Anova, My Sisters place, Life Spin and the London Abused Women's Centre, among others.
Megan Walker, executive director of the London Abused Women's Centre, hopes to see other local restaurants and shops follow suit.
"This is really really progressive and so important, particularly when we know that the most recent stats Canada on gender pay gap show women only earning 87 per cent to every man's one dollar," she said.
"Men have a lot of power and privilege in society '... men already making more money than women are."
Minimum wage hike influenceThe Monday women's discount seemed fitting to roll out in 2018 along with other changes influenced by a provincial minimum wage hike, said Serre.
The pub took steps to slightly shorten hours in December to mitigate any negative fallout from the hike in the new year, he said.
"We had to adapt'... We understand that there will always be change."
The Mind the Gap women's discount begins today.
Supersonic Craft-bull crap Speedboat
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:09
Google MapsHTTP/1.1 200 OK Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:09:10 GMT Pragma: no-cache Expires: Fri, 01 Jan 1990 00:00:00 GMT Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate Content-Security-Policy: base-uri 'none'; object-src 'none'; script-src 'nonce-s53D1/aiPnE41kvfqNZq' 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval' 'strict-dynamic' https: http:; report-uri https://csp.withgoogle.com/csp/mapslite/2.ml_20180102_1 Content-Encoding: gzip Server: mafe X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN Alt-Svc: hq=":443"; ma=2592000; quic=51303431; quic=51303339; quic=51303338; quic=51303337; quic=51303335,quic=":443"; ma=2592000; v="41,39,38,37,35" Transfer-Encoding: chunked
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Sexual Harassment In the Academy: A Crowdsource Survey. By Dr. Karen Kelsky, of The Professor Is In (www.theprofessorisin.com); you can still submit your info using the "FORM" - Google Sheets
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 13:54
TimestampWhat Happened and When? (Feel free to include incidents that happened to you or to others close to you in your program/department/campus/lab/disciplinary group)What Was Your Status When the Incident(s) Happened?What Was the Status of the Perpetrator(s) (Particularly, relative to you)?What Type of Institution Was It?(Optional) What Was The Name of the Institution(s)Your Field/DisciplineThe Gender of the Harasser
Institutional Responses to the Harassment (If Any)Institutional/Career Consequences for the Harasser (If Any)The Impact of the Harassment on Your CareerThe Impact of the Harassment on Your Mental HealthThe Impact of the Harassment on Your Life Choices/TrajectoryOther Comments You'd Like to Add (If you'd like me to know your name or the name of the perpetrator, please email me privately at gettenure@gmail.com. The purpose of this survey is to gather anonymous information to give a sense of scale. As always, I will publish no information without explicit permission and extensive prior discussion)What Was the Gender of the Harasser?12/1/2017 14:59:39There were rumors (unsubstantiated, just gossip) that my advisor had an affair with one of his female graduate students before I was a student here. An older grad student who supposedly knew of the affair told me I was a ''typical _____ student'' because I was a woman, conventionally somewhat attractive, and young (22 when I came into my PhD program).22Senior grad student, someone who was about to graduateOther R1HistoryNone; I didn't realize how insulting it was until laterNoneJust self doubt (yay for impostor syndrome!)See aboveMakes me more aware of my status and position in power relationshipsMale12/1/2017 15:01:54When I was in grad school a male faculty member "joked" to a group of three female PhD students (myself included) who had just mentioned how stressed we were about comps, that "all [we] had to do was wear tight, low-cut dresses and [we'd be fine." Several years later a male faculty member stared at my breasts repeatedly, whenever I passed him in the hallway, etc, to the point where I had to sit on the same side of the table as him during meetings so as to not keep catching him doing it when I was on the opposite sidePhD student/Assistant Professor
At least Associate, if not Full at that pointMore Than One Institution (feel free to elaborate in "Comments")York University in Toronto and University of Lethbridge in LethbridgeHistoryNoneNoneAs a PhD student I learned that when senior men want to harass you and make disgusting "jokes" there was nothing I could do about it, and was reminded of that lesson when the U of L faculty association said it could do nothing about the man who was harassing me. It was a powerful lesson about not really belonging in the academy.It is one more thing I have to think about, worry about, feel unwelcome about, as a woman in the academy.Male12/1/2017 15:02:01A senior colleague made overt sexual comments to me, including describing himself naked and having sexAssistant ProfessorFull ProfessorMore Than One Institution (feel free to elaborate in "Comments")HistoryNoneNoneThe harasser also later plagiarized my work.Male12/1/2017 15:04:24Kissed on the mouth in front of entire board of a prize committee at dinner following conference (I was the one receiving the prize)Visiting Assistant Professor
They were a tenured prof at another universityMore Than One Institution (feel free to elaborate in "Comments")HistoryNoneNoneNo longer wished to be part of that professional association; it happened in front of the most important person in my field of study who laughed as the incident occurred so I no longer sought his mentorshipI was mostly annoyed, not scarred, but it made me feel like the professors in my male-dominated area of study mainly saw me as a piece of ass, not an emerging scholarI left academia, not because of this incident aloneI actually do not know the name of the person who did this to me - he just walked up in the middle of me taking my leave from a dinner and grabbed meMale12/1/2017 15:16:35Stalked, harassed, threatened by a colleague who also threatened the safety of my toddler daughter.Adjunct instructor with half time appointment in program administration
same. He was a colleague with identical appointmentOther R1University of Nebraskarhetoric and compositionafter I filed an EEOC claim I was placed under the direct supervision of the harasser. Informed that if I complained I would be fired. Wound up fired anyway (as I assumed would happen)None.I was subsequently RIF'd and did not work for 18 months. Ultimately settled for another adjunct position at a different institution. Based on my salary at the time of dismissal,lost income after fifteen years is ~$500,000Impossible to assess. Worst thing that has ever happened to me ( worse than divorce, worse than breast cancer). I went down fighting for respect and ideals.Again, inestimable. Entirely undid my career to the extent that it took five years to regain my footing, restart research, restore faith in the professoriate and myself.Male12/1/2017 15:18:58An email detailing sadomasochistic acts being done to me.Undergrad TARandom studentR2UM-St. LouisPhysics''You don't want to spoil this nice young man's life do you? It was just a joke''He was told to go back to his home institution, an R1.NARandom emails make me nervous.Male12/1/2017 15:20:08Professor of graduate course made sexual jokes about students in class; forced students to answer questions about sexual experiences as ''fun ice-breakers.''Graduate studentProfessorOther R1Told I could pursue sexual harassment charges formally through the university but the professor would know my identity. Chose not to for fear of career.NoneMale12/1/2017 15:21:54It did not happen to me, but was passed Down by femal grad studentsGrad studentTenured Professor and on degree committeeOther R1Iowa State UniversityPhysicsNANAI did not go to him for help when I struggled and as a consequence failed the qualifierImpacted my ability to get help and be successful*** was ''grabby'' and inappropriateMale12/1/2017 15:24:07Sexual harassment (unwanted touching and comments about pregnancy and pregnant body)ABDDepartment ChairOther R1SociologyDean told me to "grow a thicker skin"NoneNone of job outcomes; shaped my view of academiaMade pregnancy and degree completion very difficultMale12/1/2017 15:24:28Male students locked me in a supply closet.InstructorStudentsOther Type of SchoolWestern Iowa Tech CCScienceNever toldI passed them all.I quit teaching and went back to grad school.I have PTSD from it.I am never teaching again.Male12/1/2017 15:28:00Lied about title iX. Sent inappropriate/emotional textsResearch AssistantBossElite Institution/Ivy LeagueWritingNoneNoneNone, but lots of fear that it will laterI was afraid to walk on campusI don't know yetMale12/1/2017 15:29:12Several women masters students (I'm male) told me about a senior tenured male professor who made mild to utterly obscene sexual comments to them. I looked up university policies and procedures around this and identified courses of action, but none wished to pursue anything and did not want me to act on their behalf. The university required them to lodge a complaint as anything I said would be hearsay, so no action was taken. The professor is now head of department.Graduate (masters) student.
Professor, unconnected to my research, but pals with my former supervisor and most of the senior male staff. They hang out together, and some say used to use the department email list to trade in vile sexist jokes.Elite Institution/Ivy LeagueUniversity of AlbertaSocial sciencesNone.None.None.Some. It still is, years afterward, distressing to hold information that I am unable to act on. I find myself angry and frustrated when I think about it.Picked my PhD carefully.I have heard of other incidents. A colleague is staff in an institution where a serial abuser has recently been fired under police investigation. Allegations go back years and involve numerous male-on-male sexual assaults by a well known professor who groomed and assaulted his graduate students. Staff had reported numerous times over the years to the university administration that something awful was happening, but the institution failed to act, and thus did not remove the abuser from access to the people he was abusing. In a separate instance, someone relayed to me observing a sexuality studies professor expose himself to students at a conference.Male12/1/2017 15:39:58Gender based harassmentTTTTRegional Teaching CollegeMale12/1/2017 15:40:49Conference - male PI put his hand down my pantsPostdocRandom PI from another labMore Than One Institution (feel free to elaborate in "Comments")Plant BiologyMale12/1/2017 15:43:04A professor I wanted to work with met with me in his office and told me he was no longer having sex with his wife, suggesting he was looking for that role to be filled. When I nervously and unbelievingly laughed, he dismissed me and wouldn't work with me.First-semester grad student
Professor in the grad program I was working inElite Institution/Ivy LeagueComparative LiteratureNoneNoneLeft that grad programDoubt of my academic abilitiesSignificant '-- got a Ph.D. years later at a much less prestigious school. Cannot get a job with this Ph.D.Male12/1/2017 15:49:12At the beginning of my Ph.D. program, I would stop by the office of a professor whose work I admired. It was my second semester in the program and I was enrolled in his course. As we were talking, he asked me who I was TA-ing for. I told him and he then asked if "the freshmen boys thought she was attractive?" I felt blindsided by this question and uncomfortable. I responded with "Why would I know that?" I found it creepy, but shook it off as an older man trying to be funny. On another occasion, he lamented to me how the undergraduates now were all too busy on their phones between class instead of "going back to their dorm rooms to get to know each other better." He would always pepper our conversations with comments like these which made interacting with him uncomfortable. I was hoping to get some kind of guidance and mentorship as I went through the program since he is recognized name in the field. I never felt like I was taken seriously because of his inappropriate comments. Another time, I was dressed up to give a lecture in a tasteful outfit which included a knee-length pencil skirt and knee-high boots--holdovers from a previous job in an non-profit office setting. He came up to me in a hallway and stood much too close to tell me how "sexy" he thought my outfit was and how I should dress like that more often. That was the last time I ever wore a skirt. The rest of the time in the program, I dressed androgynously in jeans and over-sized t-shirts. I also stopped going by his office. Whatever contacts or advice he could have given me was not worth having to listen to his creepy comments about his loneliness or how he'd love to have his female students to his apartment, but "the bed is much too small." I felt that he was testing the waters to see if he could get away with more than just saying something questionable. I decided I never wanted to be alone with him, ever. Comparing notes with other females students, I found out he did it to almost every women he encountered, but since he was a decades-long member of the faculty, nothing was ever done about his behavior.He may have received a slap on the wrist about 15 years ago, but that's about all. I changed the direction of my study so I would not have to take his courses, or include him on my dissertation committee. It caused me stress and made me doubt myself and my worth as an academic.Ph.D studentFull professorOther R1HistoryNever reported it.None.It made me question why I was in academia in the first place.Overall stress.Moved into another subfield so as to avoid him at the university and at conferences.The worst part of all this is that I am a 1st gen graduate student and a WOC and this person makes a big show of being a friend to women and underrepresented groups in academia. I can see how he can be manipulative, especially with younger women who may not know how the professor/student relationship is supposed to work. He is retired now and has since moved out of the area.Male12/1/2017 15:59:07Verbal sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.Lewd comments, lewd questions, disclosure of their personal sex history, life, questions, desires, quandaries.
Inappropriate commentary on female students.
Womanizing comments.
Questioned me about my own sex life, practices.
Commented on my appearance every time they saw me, one way or another.
Told stories of past inappropriate behaviour with students and provided justifications.
Sexualized comments about my students.
Ranking other departmental members by their looks and intelligence, in addition to ranking students in similar ways. Good looks = intelligence. Some of my students were better looking than me, according to him, and therefore more intelligent than me as well. It's a real ego boost to know that your colleague thinks that your 19 year old students out shine you in the realm of intellectual achievements.
One day we were walking down a hallway in a classroom building and a young female student walked by. He turned his head, looked her up and down, and said - Damn, why do they have to be so cute? Couldn't they tone it down to make life easier for us?
Spoke regularly of the influence he had on my eventual tenure application.
1st Year Tenure Track Assistant ProfessorTenured Professor, Senior Professor in Subject Area within department, Designated Departmental "Mentor"Other Type of SchoolPsychologyAfter I had been in the department for many months, someone else in the department came to 'check in on me' to let me know that it was generally known that my harasser was a harasser and they wanted to make sure I was okay. They didn't want to make sure he was reported, or that anything was done to stop it, they just wanted me to know they knew that he was an issue and that he had been an issue in the past as well. ?!?!?!? Taking the perspective of an objective outsider, this is horrific. It is institutional support, knowledge and protection of someone who is a serial offender. As the person experiencing the harassment and trying to make sense of it, I actually felt better after the person spoke with me and I learned that "I wasn't the only one." At least this let me know that 'it wasn't in my head' and it also made me feel somewhat 'off the hook' about whether or not I had a responsibility to report the behaviour. My main concern before had been whether this person was treating other people this way as well or potentially treating the students in the same way. I was worried that somehow I was the only one with this information and that if I didn't tell anyone I would be complicit in whatever other 'bad deeds' he was committing on campus. It sounds ridiculous to actually type this out, but knowing that the department and the administration already knew that this person was a predator took the weight off of me, and therefore made me feel better. It also made me angry. Why did they leave me be for so many months? Why wasn't I warned immediately? And really, why is this person employed at the university? This last question though, seems almost silly. We all know the reasons why. Instead of making a fuss or trying to prove a case, they just sit back and hope that he will retire. The women in the department take on additional students in order to avoid the potential situation of having a known predator serve as a student's primary supervisor. The women in the department teach overloads, have classes filled past the cap because one of the senior, tenured professors is a known predator and therefore cannot be trusted with upper level courses. Honestly, if you cannot trust someone with a room of 20 young girls, why can you trust them with a room of 90 young girls?None. He is biding his time, pulling in a full professor salary at the top of the grid waiting until it is absolutely necessary to retire. He doesn't have to do research, he doesn't have to supervise students (because they're worried about how he'll interact with them if he does), he doesn't have to teach new courses. He has a great job.Too soon to tell. I haven't quit yet. I tend to not go to my office very much. I work mostly from home whenever possible. I began doing this so as to avoid his visits to my office. Eventually, it seemed to work. When I do go to my office now, he doesn't seem to come knocking. However, I continue to go rather irregularly, so for all I know, he does still come knocking and I am just not there to answer. In the long run, this could have a negative impact on my career if it has created the impression that I am not around. I know that they tell tenure track people to "look busy" and to "be seen." I've basically done the opposite in an attempt to avoid him as much as possible. Luckily, I think that my track record on paper will make up for this, as there's very little else to find fault with me on other than the amount of time I spend in my office vs. working from other locations.Starting a new tenure track position is known to be stressful, but honestly, it was this harassment that made the beginning of my position as a professor the most stressful and the most upsetting. I wrote 3 grants in my first year, taught an overload, and published 5 manuscripts. I did not find any of that stressful - I enjoyed my work. What kept me up at nights, what brought me to tears, and what made me hide from my office was the stress and discomfort of wondering what to do about the sexual harassment I was experiencing. Teaching 3 new courses, teaching for the first time ever, writing grants, continuing my research - none of that brought me to tears in my first year. The only thing that brought me to tears was my experiences with this one individual - who was supposedly doing all that he could to 'help' me.The experience really burst my bubble. I honestly believed that the trope of the 'old creepy male professor' was a thing of the past. I never in my life expected that I would come face to face with the cold reality that this still takes place. It has tarnished what should have been the most exciting part of my career up to this point.Good idea. the Chronicle of HE seems to be collecting similar info, but you have better questions - so I filled yours out but not theirs.Male12/1/2017 16:01:40A much older professor had a lot of graduate students over to his house. He proceeded to drink to much and request over and over that I massage his shoulders. This was in front of all the other graduate students. I relented and massaged his shoulders a little. He loudly and playfully moaned. Everyone laughed. I was really embarrassed.Masters studebtMy professorRegional Teaching CollegeBiologyI never said anything about it to anyone. But another graduate student told a different professor who jokingly referenced the incident to me later.Male12/1/2017 16:07:28I was invited to coffee by a senior faculty member that ended up as drinks at a restaurant. The course of the evening became progressively worse as this man twice my age promised to advance my career while he suggested other perks. He went on to explain how his marriage was stale and how cute I was and how he had to get to know me the monent he saw me. I was a visiting faculty member at an R1 public university who had just finished my dissertation. I trued to steer the conversation away from sexual inuendos but the senior faculty member would not let up. I had to state that my fiance was picking me uop and that I had to leave. He said he would live to see me again. I smiled politely and walked away. I told a permanent faculty member who expressed shock but that's it. I was only there for a yar and avoided this maan for the rest of my time there. No one else ever sought me out.Visiting LecturerTenured favultyOther R1University of MichiganReligious Studies but this was a Near eastern Studies programShock. This was just a minor offender. There was a worse offender in the department who also still had his job.NoneNoneSelf doubt and general suspicion of senior menNoneMale12/1/2017 16:10:04Professor sexually harassed another professorgraduate studentprofessor in departmentSmall Liberal Arts CollegeWomen's and Gender StudiesNoneNoneN/AN/AN/Awoman professor harassed another woman professor in the department but faced zero consequences.Female12/1/2017 16:20:29Senior colleague hit on me, made overt sexual advances on several occasions'--including in his own home with his wife & child in rooms down the hall.UntenuredTenured'--In affiliate department (But on my review & reappointment committee)Small Liberal Arts CollegeReligious StudiesDid not reportN/aHe left within a year or so & I did a few years later. No lasting professional consequences.Has made me question my place in the academyN/a (thankfully)Male12/1/2017 16:33:11a young gay graduate student often touched the bodies of female graduate students because he believed he could have accessgrad studentyounger grad student in an MA programOther R1indianacommunication studieshe is a darling of the fieldMale12/1/2017 16:34:50Cohortmate became fixated on the idea that I "hated men" and had forced his last OKCupid date, coincidentally a friend of mine, to decide she didn't want a second date. Screamed at me in our office.MFA studentWe were both students but he had a very close friendship with the program director.Other R1creative writing--master'sProgram director told all my classmates to stop speaking to me, and many of them did. She also waited until a night when I was sick to tell everybody how much I earned for my fellowship. I attempted to use a medical excuse (I was seeing a therapist to deal with the fallout) to miss a class, but then she told everybody I was in therapy.noneI cannot get letters of rec from any of my former professors and will never be a professor of creative writing. My program director warned all new hires about me during a time of high turnover so I could not have good relationships with most faculty.I became suicidal thinking that the years of my life I had put into academia would now mean nothing, and that I had no friends in my program. I had to start therapy.I got into a different academic field in which I have yet to be harassed, took my last year of the degree to study that field on another campus (while writing my novel at the same time), and am trying to get into PhDs in my new field. Maybe this sort of derailing harassment will take place again, but I'm mostly just not speaking to male colleagues now in hopes of avoiding their attention. I also don't trust women faculty members who seem to get along with men too well, to be honest.MFAs are so rife with this shit. It might be the false notion that artists are all progressive liberal feminists (admins who believe this assume I'm lying about my professors' and classmates' not-at-all-feminist behavior), the fact that a person can be pretty stupid and reactionary and still write good enough poems to get into one of the many programs that exist, the notion that as artists we don't have to conform to the same rules as everybody else.Someone at a campus across the country refused to write me a recommendation letter to Sewanee two years ago because she didn't "think it was safe for young women." She was talking about ***. Famous writers with tenure track positions at many different universities knew about *** for many, many years, and didn't do shit. I mean, sometimes they said vague stuff to their own students about not thinking Sewanee was safe, but mostly they didn't do shit.
Male12/1/2017 16:47:54As an undergrad music major I had to take private lessons with the piano teacher. He sexually assaulted my best friend, also a piano major who was very very homesick and had no way to get home. He was from her hometown. He got her when she was drunk and high. She wouldn't report but I left the piano studio. He kept touching my arm. I would wear my hair down on the side he sat in to hide my face. He would try to brush it back or told me to pin it up. I couldn't take it anymore and left.Undergraduate student
Professor of piano, which was my major instrument then.Regional Teaching CollegeEnglishNone. I was too afraid to tell. They were all men and all friends.None.Changed to another instrument I wasn't as good at and then left the school.I don't like to play piano anymore.Not sureMale12/1/2017 16:53:38Senior white male colleague from another department (we share a building) came into my office & closed the door. He wanted to talk to me about my reappointment file (pretenure 3rd year review). He told me he was shocked it took so long to achieve 3rd yr review (it wasn't: I was on time), looked at my pregnant body & said ''well it's because of all your pregnancies, no doubt.'' (I'd been pregnant once.) told me I was ''brave'' to be so far behind (again: I was not) & ''knocked up.''Assistant professorFull professor, on tenure & promotion committeeOther R1Male12/1/2017 16:55:49Touched without consent repeatedly in a social situation.Assistant ProfessorEmeritus professor. Had been part of search committee.R2Cultural StudiesI distanced completely from a person I thought was invested in my success. I don't have any other real mentors in my department, and I'm less interested in asking for support from male colleagues.It's made me paranoid of interaction with male colleagues, and men in general.Male12/1/2017 16:56:40Senior white male colleague knocks on door, brings female undergraduate with him. Announces that he is going to hug her, needs ''any woman to witness,'' before I can say anything has full-bear-hugged this undergrad. I protest, saying this is inappropriate and, in a joking tone to diffuse the sfuddnt's Obvious discomfort, I can't undo harassment for him by virtue of being a woman. He, still touching the student, said: ''But it sure makes this look friendly, doesn't it.''Assistant professorFull prof, endowed chairOther R1HumanitiesNoneNoneNoneMale12/1/2017 17:12:49Sexually harassed, assaulted and raped by a professor when I was an undergrad. This was in the 70's.Undergrad student.Chair of the department I majoredRegional Teaching CollegeTheatrePTSDI was young. This experience early in my life was a real bloc to my success for many years.Male12/1/2017 17:14:23In my first tenure track job, my colleague (same rank, hired at same time) repeatedly posted highly innappropriate and offensive misogynist materials and comments on social media'-- where he was linked to all of our senior colleagues. No one else said anything.Assistant professorSame rankOther R1I left the institution the following year. His presence (and the lack of response from senior colleagues) made my work environment feel toxic.I spent too many days worrying about what he had done, what he'd do next and how I should respond. I lost many writing days to this anxiety and anger.Left my R1 TT position for a TT at a smaller institution.Male12/1/2017 17:20:01I started a new job as a visiting assistant professor and within the first month I got an email to my faculty email account from a source I couldn't trace back to that told me the sender had been watching me since I started working there ,found me very attractive and knew I was married but was interested in pursuing an affair with me. I wrote back to say I had no plans to cheat on my marriage.First month of a three year visiting assistant professor line
I got the impression it was a fellow faculty memberSmall Liberal Arts CollegeMathI never told anyone but my husbandNoneI will never know. I had been told on my hiring that my three year visiting position had a 99% chance of converting to tenure track but in fact, it did not and there was never a reason it didn't.It's been 18 years since this anonymous email and I still remember it and feel affected by it. For the next three years after receiving this email, I never knew who had sent it and felt that they had some right to suggest that I violate my marriage vows. I felt guarded around colleagues wondering if they sent it. I felt concerned about my interactions with colleagues lest they think I was flirting or being too friendly.Other than still wondering to this day who it was, it hasn't affected my life choices. I was happy once the position ended and I found a tenure track job and could get away from whoever had made his unwelcomed advance and uncomfortable working environment.Unsure (if harassment was anonymous, for example)12/1/2017 17:36:42I have never personally been harassed or assaulted by anyone in my department. However, I would definitely say that my department and my graduate student colleagues have certainly contributed to a hostile work environment within the department. When I entered, the graduate cohort definitely felt like a "boys club" where the students with the most power were men, and their behavior fueled socializing and hierarchies in the department. Most of their socializing consisted of drinking and taking drugs until losing all control of themselves. It was not uncommon for them to exposing themselves at parties and even public places like bars.Ph.D.Most of them were graduate students, although at least one professor contributed to this environment by making out with a Ph.D. student in a departmental party at a conference.Other R1Indiana UniversityCommunication and CultureNoneLittleI've been scarred by the behavior of these people. I don't want to relate to my colleagues like this but it's been very difficult to forge connections with this toxic group. I avoid attending social or even professional departmental events because of this. I also feel that my own career as a student has suffered because I haven't been given the same level of recognition as the department.I have anxiety and depression that have been exacerbated by these experiences.This experience within the department has definitely hampered my completion and my comfort moving ahead in the field.Please do not ignore hostile work environment. It's very common and often overlooked as a problem.Male12/1/2017 17:38:46My male boss (mid-50's) described his sexual attraction to a celebrity. On another occasion, he commented that it would be less expensive to hire women to do the job his wife did (cook, maid, prostitute..) He would constantly commend a female graduate student on what a good job she did "taking care of her body". This happened in a STEM lab in the last 5 years.graduate student and undergraduate student
tenured full professorOther R1Chemistrydid not turn him inAvoided discussing topics outside of researchI felt judged for my appearance and that I had gained weight in graduate school due to stress and having kids. My boss also favored the graduate student he found attractive, which made the other lab members resentful.None, but I am more aware of the harassment that occurs. At the time, I thought this was normal and did not realize that it was very inappropriate for a male PI to discuss his sexual preferences with his students.Male12/1/2017 17:39:01It was my first national conference that I would be presenting at. Being a grad student, I didn't have a lot of money so I volunteered to help run the conference in exchange for my entry fee being waved. One of the coordinators of the conference, after setting up, suggested we all go eat. So we did and the conference's organization paid for the dinner and the very expensive wine. The second bottle of wine wasn't finished by the group and so the organizer took it back with him saying he didn't want to waste good wine. That night, the conference organizer in question sent me a text (he had all the volunteer numbers) suggesting that ''this bottle of wine wasn't going to drink itself.'' I remember feeling immense fear but I ignored the text, locked my door, and said the next day that I had put my phone on ''do not disturb.'' The next day, I was invited to dinner by a prominent scholar that I wanted to talk to about her work. To my surprise, several people, including the conference organizer were invited also. As long as I am with the group, I thought, it should be fine, and it was, until it was time to go back and four of the group entered a taxi and I found myself alone, in a city I had never been to before, with this man. We wandered around the Harvard campus and my brain was close to panic. I was creeped out, trying to keep the conversation casual, and wondering how to get away. This was before the time of Uber and Lyft. It was hard to think and I belatedly realized how much my wine glass kept being refilled. He eventually proposed sex which I refused'... again, and again. Somehow, I was grabbed and his lips were on mine. I pushed him away and strongly said ''no.'' We eventually made it back to the hotel where I went to my room, alone, and sobbed.My presentation at the conference was well received. I was hailed as ''impressive'' and ''brilliant.'' Yet, all I could think of was avoiding the conference organizer.
Grad Student (Masters)
Conference CoordinatorOther R1MusicnoneI became depressed and withdrawn.Male12/1/2017 17:43:12In grad school, I was paid $7500 for 9 months. After bills and rent, I didn't always have money left over to eat. So, when a PhD student at the same grad school who had also gone to my undergrad years before me offered to get dinner after one of his classes, I was relieved. We got dinner and drinks. The conversation was fine and I was thankful for the food. He complimented me on my intelligence and said I was pretty but that was it for that night.When he offered dinner after class again, I was, again, thankful that I would eat that night. This time, however, he kept pressing martinis on me and I kept saying no to more drinks and he then asked if I would fuck him. I said no, and he told me that he wanted some sort of compensation for the amount he was paying in dinner and drinks. I remember his hand on my thigh trying to get higher and him boasting about his, um, speed and that he could be ''like a jackhammer.'' Somehow, I got back to my apartment and then sobbed.
When I would see this man in future years, my stomach would turn every time and when he got a job at a nearby college, I nearly threw up
Grad Student (Masters)
PhD StudentOther R1Kent State UniversityMusicnonenoneI became depressed, withdrawn, and fearful whenever I would see him or even just knowing that he is around young students, both high school and college.I want to be more active in my field but I don't want to interact with him at conferences, and he is reasonably well-known in my field now and continuing to grow in prominence.Male12/1/2017 17:49:341. The Chair of the French Department tried to follow me home, with the intention of initiating sexual relations with me (Fall 1981); 2. I was propositioned repeatedly by a senior colleague (1986-1990); 3. I was groped by one senior colleague (1990) and propositioned by another (1990-1991).1. Graduate Student (1981); 2. Assistant Professor (1986-1990); 3. Assistant Professor (1990-1991).
1. Department Chair and Chair of major awards committee; 2. Senior Colleague; 3. Senior Colleagues. All could decide to end my employment and deny grants or awards.Elite Institution/Ivy League1. Yale; 2. Brandeis; 3. CornellFrench1. Did not report (harasser was one of the most powerful people in the profession; had told friends of mine he harassed that he could destroy their careers); 2. Was told that nothing could be done, as the harasser was too powerful; 3. Did not report - there was no mechanism to report harassment at the time, and one of the harassers was protected by administrators at every level of the university.None.1. Was denied a dissertation completion grant; 2. left the second institution; 3. Mentors of harassers (also friends of harasser in incident #1) tried to interfere with the tenure process to block my tenure, but did not succeed.Stressful. I no longer trust the institution I work for (also because of insistent protection of harassers of students, and willingness to destroy students' careers in order to achieve that protection).Left first job because of it.Male12/1/2017 17:50:45I was stalked for a yearA PhD studentMy ex-boyfriend and a fellow grad student in my programOther R1A U Cal campusInterdisciplinary HumanitiesFor various reasons I don't have good memories of this, but I know that he eventually left or was asked to leave the program. But it was not an immediate action, even after I received a restraining order.I don't think he even finished his doctorate. Not sure what he is doing now.Delayed the completion of my dissertation, I emotionally and physically/geographically distanced myself from my program (including my fellow students, advisor, and committee members), and university.PTSD, depressionMale12/1/2017 18:02:04When I was a grad student, a professor tried to make out with me at a party that was pretty well-attended by the people in our department. I told him two or three times that it was a really bad idea, but he didn't let up. When he said "Kiss me!" and grabbed my behind, I pushed him aside, ran away, and hid behind a couch. I later found out that the very next thing he did was to sexually assault another student in a more egregious way. When she filed a complaint, I stepped forward as well.Graduate StudentAssistant Professor. He wasn't on my committee, and, by that time, I wasn't taking any of his classes.Other R1The administration took the complaint seriously: Within a couple of days, he was banned from campus, and his tenure pack was frozen. He was eventually offered the choice to either resign or to undergo the university's disciplinary process. The department didn't handle it as well. In an effort to protect our privacy, they neglected to tell his students that he wouldn't be returning to campus for the foreseeable future, and didn't say much more to the faculty. I know of two faculty members who weren't aware of the gravity of the situation until some grad students clued them in.He chose to resign rather than face the disciplinary process. Last I heard, he was working in someone else's lab.Considering how much professional networking occurs at mixers where alcohol is served, this experience has added another dimension to my networking nervousness. That said, I'm lucky that we're in different subfields, so the direct impacts are very limited.In the first week afterwards, I spent an afternoon under my desk feeling like I was at the bottom of the ocean and nothing was real. It's the only anxiety attack I've ever had. Paradoxically, it had a lot to do with the swiftness of the university's response. Over the course of 48 hours or so, I went from wondering if the university would take us seriously to knowing that I'd played a part in getting him removed from the university. It was some seriously heavy emotional whiplash.I definitely developed an emotional trigger around workplace/academic sexual harassment. Several years later, I was a real mess for a week after #metoo went viral.
None so farEven though I stood up for myself, the other student, and who knows how many future students, I don't feel proud or empowered. Even though consequences happened where consequences were due, it isn't a happy situation and it never will be.Male12/1/2017 18:13:17In summers 2002 & 2003, my first 2 summers after beginning PhD program, I went into the field to work on a large language documentation project. One of the program directors (and biggest name in the entire field) made it perfectly obvious within the first day of my arrival that he was "available." He hit on me repeatedly, which freaked me out b/c he was much older and had all the power. I did a lot of "laughing it off," and swatting of hands. I played the coquettish thing so he would not be offended by my rebuffs and haaaated myself for it. I was terrified of being alone with him but often had to take meetings with him (in his hotel room-- that's where we were based). He often offered wine. Nothing happened, right? I was just constantly uncomfortable and needing to protect myself and my place in the project.Early PhD studentHe was without question the biggest name in the field.Other Research AgencyLinguisticsDidn't reportNoneI changed entirely the direction of my research, which set me back and stressed me out. I also had to grieve the loss of my dream field of study. I still grieve it even though I've moved well beyond itI had a mini breakdown during my second summer on the project and left early. Never to return.I changed what I chose to study and wrote a thesis on something entirely different but which I'm still proud of. I mostly felt ashamed. Ashamed that I had to titter and laugh when I really wanted to yell at him and tell him to knock it the fuck off and that his "flirting" was scary and weird. Ashamed that I couldn't take it anymore and flipped out and left the project (it was embarrassing).Male12/1/2017 18:20:31On my very first day as a Teaching Fellow, an older male faculty member told me that the best piece of advice he could give me is to always erase the chalkboard up and down, rather than side to side-- that way "my ass won't shake." Similar comments have continued ever since. Now at adjunct status, I feel relatively powerless and generally just grin and bear it.Teaching FellowColleagueSmall Liberal Arts CollegeEnglishMale12/1/2017 18:20:481989 (a long time ago) professor at Harding University (a Christian school associated with Church of Christ denomination) had side hustle of photography and his office was covered in photos of young college women that he had taken. Whenever I went to him with a question in his office, he would say, "ok I'll answer your question but first give me a hug" and, being the obedient Christian girl that I was, I would oblige and he would give me a two-armed full body hug. Happened numerous times but I was socialized to feel like he was just being fatherly. Then one Saturday I was driving next to the science center and saw him in the parking lot and drove over to say hi. Rolled window down and exchanged a few words and then he sticks his head inside the car and kisses my cheek. I was stunned and didn't know quite what to do so just drove away.Undergrad student, one of his students
My professorOther Type of SchoolHarding University in Searcy ArkansasDon't want to sayNone, not reported and I never heard of anyone reporting him although I'm sure he did it to othersNoneNoneNoneNoneMale12/1/2017 18:24:24Soon after starting my graduate program, one of my intended dissertation committee members approached me at a "welcome" party for new graduate students to ask if I had any same sex encounter that I wanted to tell him about as he gave me a very creepy smile and backed me into a corner and grabbed me by the waist. Later I found out he had a reputation for sexually harassing and assaulting female graduate students.PhD Studentassociate professor- dissertation committee memberOther R1HistoryAnother committee member suggested that since he was the only professor in one of my intended minor fields, I should consider changing that minor field. I did.None.The subfield I initially planned on would have helped me in the job market right now.I had to take a class with him a year and a half later. I hated every second of it. He stared at me constantly and once told me I shouldn't wear heals if I didn't want "boys" to stare at me. I also ended up switching major professors because my first major professor was friends with the harasser. I feared he would end up being the same way, and again I'd have no recourse.I changed my subfield and major professor. It's hard to measure what long term impact these changes had.Male12/1/2017 18:25:45A senior professor in my partner's department was drunk and he saw me from across the room and stumbled and fell over my child's train set on the floor and landed on my leg. Then when the host introduced me to him, he held onto my hand and wouldn't let go and started talking about a rape case he had heard of on the news in Pakistan. This man was drunk and falling all over me, while my small child was next to me and my partner was nearby. We were at a department party at a another senior faculty member's home. For a while the host just stood there with a grin on his face and then he then alerted my partner that there is a senior faculty who is drunk and talking to me. My partner then rushed to my side and saved me from further conversation with this man. I felt pressured to stay in the conversation because he was a senior faculty member in my partner's new department.I was an adjunct professor in another department.
He was a tenured, senior professor in my partner's department. My partner was untenured at the time and I was not tenure track yet.R2Dartmouth College (fyi, this faculty member is different from the ones under investigation at the college)None. He is a lawsuit waiting to happen but it will never happen.I was scared for a long time. I took an adjunct course in his department for one term and was scared to run into him. I also felt gross and violated after the event. I felt objectified and sexualized, even though my partner and small child were also present at the event. It was disgusting.I saw him in the hallway after the incident in my partner's department and it felt like he was following me. I ran out of the building and still saw him in my peripheral vision. I no longer visit my parter's building let alone his office.Male12/1/2017 18:36:59I apologized for not immediately recognizing a colleague in the hallway, explaining that he looked different due to a new pair of glasses. I said that I also appreciated unique glasses. He said, "It's kind of the same thing as you wearing fancy lingerie under your clothes." I said, "no, not really the same thing at all" and walked away. The creepiness and inappropriateness only hit me lateran untenured assistant professor
a full professor in another, related department (who has, incidentally, never been able to tell me and another female colleague apart - we came to the university at the same time and are both relatively young, but that's where the similarities stop. And yet he insists on saying we are the same person - something he has said to us multiple times as well as to other colleagues.)Other R1HistoryNone (I did not officially report it)None (I did not officially report it)None (this was, in part, why I did not officially report it).I definitely think twice about being anywhere near this colleague and resist being in the same room with him. It made me second guess the way that all of my male colleagues speak to and look at me.I refuse to let his offensive comments dictate my life choices or career trajectory.I feel like there are countless examples of gender bias and discrimination that few people would clearly identify as "sexual harassment" but are none the less troubling. They are even more frustrating to document or prove. I'm irritated at myself and my institution that I didn't feel confident enough to report this person. But it's the daily insults and condescension and gender discrimination and misogyny that really makes my blood boil. And, it seems to me, that is what makes the more blatant examples of sexual harassment and assault permissible - at least at my institution.Male12/1/2017 19:03:35I don't even know where to start, so many things happened when I was a graduate student. One professor made wildly inappropriate comments and discussions about his sexual past in class. Every class. He once asked me, when I came to class with a bruise on my face from falling off of my bike, "What? Does your boyfriend beat you or something?" (in front of the entire class). Another professor physically assaulted me by slapping my arm hard and grabbing it to get me off of a wheelchair ramp (I didn't realize it was a wheelchair ramp, and there wasn't a wheelchair user coming). He later screamed at me in front of undergraduate students. I had a male graduate student peer smack me on the backside with his backpack when were were standing in front of an entire lecture hall full of undergraduates. When I was an undergraduate a departmental admin. assistant started a rumor that I was sleeping with a male professor. Oh, I have also faced some awful harassment from some male undergraduates, when I was a graduate student and again as a Visiting Assistant Professor.graduate student, undergraduate student, VAP
full professor *2, graduate student, assistant professor, undergraduateMore Than One Institution (feel free to elaborate in "Comments")EnglishNone. I didn't even know who to talk to. I think when I was an undergraduate, I talked to my adviser about the rumor. She said she'd look into it, I think.None.I am currently an Assistant Professor, but it has been a long, agonizing road of self-doubt, self-blame, self-hatred, impostor syndrome, etc.Inestimable. I don't even have words to describe the levels of anxiety, soul-crushing depression, and thoughts of suicide. It's significantly impacted my physical health as well.Left that field entirely, though that was a majorly positive outcome.Male12/1/2017 19:12:23At the time, I was a 27 year old female. On a phone interview for a tenure track position at a top tier liberal arts institution, the older male interviewer (only person on the call with me), talked to me for over an hour (this was supposed to be a 15 minute phone chat) about his personal life, culminating in him telling me a story about how he and my graduate advisor (another older male) wore speedos to seduce women in a hot tub at a conference. I felt incredibly uncomfortable, but did not end the call because it was a tenure-track job interview. I was not invited to an on-campus interview. I was advised to report him to HR, but did not pursue that for obvious reasons.6th graduate student on the job market
Interviewer; full professor and big name in the fieldSmall Liberal Arts CollegeI prefer not to answerIt made me more likely to target jobs where the majority of the people in the department were female, but given the current market, there really wasn't much that I could change.Male12/1/2017 19:19:26Was sexually harassed (lewd comments, inappropriate evaluations of my work and person) for years. Reported. Nothing was done. Witnessed a tenured faculty member physically assault a student in his office. Reported. Nothing was done. Had students show me firsthand, irrefutable evidence of multiple faculty members and administrators soliciting them for inappropriate relationships (sexts, etc.). Reported. Nothing was done. Was consistently body shamed, humiliated, and plagiarized by female colleagues who were complicit in (or afraid to challenge) the "boys club." Reported. Nothing was done. Finally left academia after a decade of trying to power through the toxic culture of my institution. Spent a year in therapy. Lost friends, was blamed or told I was overreacting by former colleagues. Feel embarrassed and frightened to maintain friendships with former colleagues who were sympathetic to my plight. Had to completely rebuild my life. I was a good teacher, a good colleague, a good scholar. My former institution, and my discipline, lost a lot when they lost me.Fulltime faculty, untenured
Professor, Associate Professor, Director, Department Head, Program DirectorRegional Teaching CollegeHumanitiesNoneNone. Most were rewarded with tenure.I left my career.Had to go into therapyTotally changed my life trajectory.Academics are, by and large, people with poor social skills, little experience in professional/private sector working environments, minimal management training, and an inflated sense of their importance. They also don't recognize that intellect is NOT a substitute for emotional intelligence, and therefore they do a lot of mental gymnastics to justify their abusive and predatory behavior. This includes faculty members who believe they are 'in love' with their victims. Using someone, especially someone who needs your mentorship or supervision, for emotional validation is NOT love.Various incidents with people of different genders12/1/2017 19:37:28One of our "rockstar" faculty members was known to have slept with every single female Asian grad student in our department.I found out about it at the Christmas party in the first year of my PhD when my practicum leader told us over wine that she'd performed oral sex on this professor in his office.
Tenured full professorOther R1Social SciencesNone to me, but he did end up marrying a (European) student whose dissertation committee he had served onðŸ–'I was ABD after my 4th year, and have since taken a medical leave of absence for issues related to preserving my mental health. I was not a victim in this incident, but it was a first drop in what would later become an overflowing bucket of ambient departmental toxicity.Male12/1/2017 19:54:05While an undergraduate, I was sexually assaulted by a fellow student and began an adjudication process. Part of this process was having the school's Title IX coordinator email my professors with vague details (i.e. that I was working with the office and might need some extra help and that professors should reach out to me and be flexible). I felt very lonely during this process and the professor in question emailed me offering to be a friend and ally. I desperately needed supportive people in my life and I was more than happy to try and take him up on his offer. He came on very strongly in class and in emails to me, complimenting my work endlessly. Eventually, during my senior year, he became my undergraduate thesis advisor in the department. In our meetings together he would often make strange comments about "not wanting me to get the wrong idea." For instance, he told me that he didn't want to shut the door when we met and that he didn't want to read more suggestive lines of my poetry out loud to me when giving critique "in case someone walking by heard." Also in these meetings, I would catch him looking at my chest, thighs, and other body parts in a sexualized way before averting his eyes. He told me inappropriate things about his childhood and tried to insert topics like incest into our conversations, perhaps because he had read my sexual abuse into my poetry or because he knew I was pursuing a Title IX case. He would constantly try to bring up my father or compare himself to my father (i.e. "I know I'm not your dad, but I'm really proud of you"). He would constantly compare me to his girlfriend, later wife, and set up a meeting between us for unknown reasons. He seemed thrilled that it had gone well. He would ask me deeply personal questions about my case and my life and I would leave these meetings feeling as though I had something taken from me. He would send emails filled with winky and smiley faces. I felt unsettled by his behavior, but it wasn't until I started talking to others in the department that I learned I wasn't alone. One fellow student told me that she had quit the department because of him and that he "loved little girls" like me. I also found out that he had been sleeping with one of his master's students and dumped her as she was graduating. This relationship was initiated after he invited the student to go out for wine. Later, the professor shared with me the unofficial guide to grad school that he gave all hopeful MFAs. One of the pieces of advice was that "some professors may prefer to meet over wine." Also in the guide was a recommendation that students attend a popular writing conference so that they could "have consensual sex with other writers ;)." Almost every female student I knew that had taken his classes seemed to fall into his web, talking about him constantly and despairing if he criticized their work. One of these students sent the professor a very sexual poem that was explicitly about him, and instead of taking appropriate actions he sent her back an email asking not to write about him because he "had to be careful about these things" because he'd "run into trouble before." This professor is very well-connected in his field and seems to know everyone, especially since he runs a printing press.Undergraduate studentProfessor, thesis advisorOther R1University of ArizonaCreative Writing/EnglishI am sure that the institution knows about the professor's behavior, considering his comments about needing to be careful and to leave his door open. I never reported what happened because I didn't realize the full impact of his actions until after I graduated. I noticed that he no longer seems to teach in-person classes, only online ones, as if he has been relegated to that (instead of being truly sanctioned?)None that I am aware of, only some that I can speculate about (see above).I feel wary about going to meetings with male professors alone and find myself overanalyzing everything they say. I feel he has deprived me of access to resources (such as networking) and support that I could have if I did not have these anxieties. He made me doubt my own talents and abilities--are all male professors complimenting me only because they want to sleep with me? This experience along with other institutional betrayals has all but taken away my sense of trust in institutional proceedings, such that I would likely not choose to ever go through them if something else were to happen to me. I lost relationships with other professors in the department and other students who are still in his web because I can't stand to see them enable him and sing his praises as if it's not known that he's a creep and not at all the "ally" he would like us to think he is.I felt crazy for assuming that he was targeting me because he knows how to do so in a very subtle way (perhaps he's learned that sleeping with his students outright is the fast track to trouble?) His behavior made me feel even more isolated and lonely in a time when I was already struggling. I am angry as hell about his abuses of power and exploitation of those he knows or assumes have already been victimized. I talk about these incidents frequently in therapy and feel stuck--what can I do? how can I fix the situation? who else is he hurting now? I feel an immense burden. I have nightmares in which I try to remedy his behavior, to get back at him, to make him accountable.I no longer write poetry or have much interest in the field. I chose not to go to one of the prestigious MFA programs I got into because the two faculty members I wanted to be my advisors were both friends of this professor (as are most poets). However, I'm now in the PhD program of my dreams--one he did not write me a letter of rec for.Male12/1/2017 20:09:57When I was a grad student, a group of us - older grads and younger faculty, but some 40 and 50somethings too - from various universities went out for drinks and food after a conference reception. It was probably 11pm, we were in an upscale chain place in a major city. The bulk of the group were from a particular university. A married associate prof, male, hot shot in field, had a grad student on his lap (his advisee, not yet ABD), both were pretty drunk, and they started making out. It was pretty uncomfortable for all of the rest of us. We were waiting for food tho and a group of us promptly left. I was with a few other female grads and female committee member of mine and she was mid 40s at that point. We discussed how fucked up that was.I had a co-author who had been a grad student in that program and they told me that this faculty member did hot tub parties regularly with undergrads, slept with grads, etc.
A couple years later I brought this up to a good friend who was this guy's advisee. She knew nothing of it and I believe her. I felt weird about telling her about it.
Now, fast forward at least 5 years, and the grad student left the program but did publish with him.
He's still a big name.
I have no idea if he and his wife had an agreement about infidelity. And I'm still not totally sure to what degree this was wrong. But it isn't like he could write her a recommendation letter, right?
I feel weird around him.
Grad studentDistant senior facultyElite Institution/Ivy LeagueMale12/1/2017 20:10:27I was groped at a conference, during an evening off-site event.(specifically, I was standing next to a food truck by the beach, which was across the road from the conference hotel in Gulfport.)
The harasser sidled up next to me as I talked to someone else and then tried to grab my butt and then my breasts. I faked a phone call to get away from him.
Graduate student, PhD
Emeritus professor from another universityMore Than One Institution (feel free to elaborate in "Comments")Perpetrator was from Ole Miss, the conference was sponsored by U of Southern Miss at an offsite locationEnglishNone; I was told that there was no process in place to take action at an off-site conference. The professional organization who hosts this conference, however, did adopt harassment policies about four years later, directly in response to my experience. (An acquaintance of mine was on the conference committee that year, and she told them [with permission] what had happened to me.)None that I know of. He may have been blocked from attending that same conference a few years later, but I haven't gotten a clear answer about that.A person who left the field recently "named names" in a Facebook post last year, and he was one of the four ID'd. I have no idea if he suffered any consequences from that, either, seeing as he's now retired.
The "Big Conference" in my specialty was the following March and I was unable to network with anyone because he was trying to interfere with me the entire time. I had to avoid my own diss director's session. I ended up avoiding him by hiding off in a corner with a couple and their toddler during the final reception.I was already depressed at the time, and this made it much worse. I became even more disillusioned with grad school after my diss director (male) tried to minimize the incident, seemingly viewing the incident from the harasser's perspective and thus panicking. (It's OK now. He and I have had discussions about sexual harassment after that and he gets it now.)I did finish my degree. I seriously considered quitting grad school, however; for a time I lost my trust for other older, male academics who, up to that point, had been great mentors to me. I have also become very outspoken about sexual harassment's effects on graduate students. My field in English is the one that had the "big public blowup" recently about sexual harassment and misogyny, and that opened conversation encourages me to stay in the field.I know for a fact that my run-in was pretty darn tame in comparison to others, but what really makes me mad is that I was one in a decades-long string of incidents. The same person who harassed me that night harassed newly-hired TT professor about an hour later. I later found out from a colleague at Ole Miss that he had been a known harasser for years, and that their response to his bad behavior was to only allow him to work with male graduate students.I mean, think about it for a minute: no woman at the main research institution in that state could do dissertation work in his field, but he had male students graduate and go on to get jobs. How is that fair?
Male12/1/2017 20:14:09A faculty member, ***, Department of Anthropology, cornered women at parties, kissed and groped them.Graduate studentFacultyElite Institution/Ivy LeagueUniversity of ChicagoAncient Near East / AnthropologyIrrelevant - This was the 1970sNone. So far asa I knowNone, aside from the bitter memory. Not the same for his students.Male12/1/2017 20:30:47A colleague attempted to attack me in his office. I had to physically push him off of me and run out of the room.Visiting Assistant Professor.
Full Professor, Boss.Small Liberal Arts CollegePhilosophy''He's just like that. It was harmless. He must have thought you wanted to get together.''None.Hard to quantify.Had to start taking anti-anxiety meds just to be at work.Still dealing with it. Didn't change careers. Definitely lost faith.Male12/1/2017 20:48:50Professor made inappropriate sexual comments to me in class. Just blurted it out. After that point he graded me extremely harshly. I should have reported him.Graduate studentProfessorOther R1He'd done it to others. That's it - just told me that. He still teaches there, years later.NoneLuckily, just a lower grade than I should have had.I felt gross- he'd been thinking about sec with me IN CLASS. Then he punished me for it. I've had excellent male professors in my PhD program but it takes me a long time to trust.I finished my degree but later changed disciplines. My daughter is at that school now and I'll be telling her to stay far away from him.My experience was so mild compared to what others have endured. But it was still disgusting and it still sticks with me today. I had to decide to reject everything he said and wrote about me. He tried to tear me down for *his* mistake, and because I didn't need him for my degree, I didn't have to let him. Like I said - lucky.Male12/1/2017 21:27:27When I was an undergraduate, the head of the department slapped my behind with a rolled up newspaper while I was walking down the hall. Another time, I caught him staring at my chest while we were having a meeting about planning an undergraduate event.UndergraduateDepartment HeadR2A Canadian UniversityPrefer not to say.n/aNone. In fact, the harasser ended up marrying a graduate student.Made me extremely uncomfortable as an undergraduate student.The episodes upset me. As a young student, barely out of her teens, I felt confused, angry, disgusted and ashamed.One of the many instances that made my resolve to address gender issues in academia even stronger.Male12/1/2017 21:30:03(happened to friend, fellow student, late 90s): Clergy at R-1 university crossed boundary with friend who was seeking a conversion process under his counsel; interactions became more uncomfortable as clergy made inappropriate remarks, and violated personal space. Perpetrator leaned in to kiss friend, they ducked. Friend dropped conversion process (of course), university admin discouraged victim from reporting, but friend realized perpetrator had a known history of inappropriate behavior and university did nothing. Perpetrator (white) prided himself in being a race/civil rights advocate, went on to retire comfortably and remain 'beloved' in the public. Revolting.grad student (friend and confidante of victim)
NothingOther R1R-I in MassachusettsHistoryDiscouraged reporting, admin. knew perpetrator had a history of inappropriate behavior.None. Retired comfortably, 'beloved' in the community (might be dead now, for all I know).It shook my friend. We were MA students; friend went on to pursue PhD in other university & is now a tenured professor.On me? Made me further realize what a horror show academia was.No other comment.Male12/1/2017 21:42:05Intimidated by sports coach. I was in the school weight/machine room and watched a school coach get really close and make inappropriate comments to university female students he was training (this was back in the late 90s/early 200s, I don't remember exactly what he said). I mentioned to a young woman working out next to me (she didn't seem to be part of that group the coach was training) that I didn't like the way he spoke to the women. Next time I went to the gym the coach menacingly cornered me saying "I hear you've been saying things about me and I'm not going to have that." I answered, with my pulse racing at unimaginable speed and with the most clueless expression I could muster "I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about." He looked at me hesitatingly for what seemed an eternity (probably just a few seconds) and walked away but warned me to watch what I said. I never reported this incident to anybody for reasons I stated above.Grad studentI think he was a university coach (but nothing in relation to me).Other R1R-1, MassachusettsHistoryDidn't reportFrightened me. I was on an F-1 visa and I was terrified enough as a foreigner and as doctoral student. Didn't need more trouble and fear.Male12/1/2017 21:59:26Did not directly happen to me but to people around me. Lab head regarded male students as future colleagues, female students as sexual object. So no matter the merits, the men were treated to behaviors that would foster their professional careers, while women were objects of use or scorn. Said lab head was banging a student he also supervised.graduate studenthead of lab/holder of grants/professorOther R1public healthnone (teachers are explicitly allowed to date students)noneI left the fieldI didn't understand what was happening at the timeI left the field. Far less talented men have had excellent careers fostered by this individual.Male12/1/2017 22:20:45I had to meet with a professor after I received a poor grade on a writing assignment. The class was on a topic of great interest to me, but outside my department. He told me it was because I wasn't smart enough. I tried to argue that I'd done the research, and he started laughing and said "you know, you're smarter than you look." At the end of the semester, we had mandatory individual meetings and again the comments about my appearance and how I couldn't be taken seriously because I wasn't attractive to men.UndergraduateProfessor of my course. Untenured, assistant.Regional Teaching CollegeI never told.I'm now in a fully funded PhD program, but we'll seeI couldn't talk in classes for the rest of the semester. I'm still terrified of meeting professors one on one. My anxiety and disordered eating flared up.I really admired this professor's work to the point that I had been considering switching disciplines. But I ended up trying to go into a career with as little human contact as possibleMale12/1/2017 22:52:02At two separate conferences a faculty member made unwanted advances, including verbal propositions and groping under the table and in a shared cab. I know from conversation he would do this to more than one student at any one conference.Graduate studentTenured faculty - not my institutionSmall Liberal Arts CollegeHistoryNone - not reportedNone that I know ofNone - but I learned that in general I was expected to just shrug this off as "normal"I am more wary of talking one on one in conference settings and find myself nervous when isolated with male faculty I don't know... even those who pose no risk.Male12/1/2017 23:11:55A student routinely made sexist remarks in class, creating a toxic environment for me and other students. In spite of several discussions telling him to stop and many complaints to superiors, nothing was done. The semester just ended.Full time instructorA student in my courseRegional Teaching CollegeSocial sciencesPeople ignored, deflected, minimized or denied his behaviour. It just became 'my' problem.It's hard to know all of them, but I know he never experienced a formal reprimand that removed him from courses.I had to change my teaching schedule & workload to avoid this student, which negatively impacted my plans.The harassment increased my stress. It made me irritable and combative and caused hardship on my partner and our relationship. It also created problems with the student in my courses; they became harder to control and deal with because they were always in classes with a chaotic student.I experienced disappointment, mistrust and alienation by the institution's behaviors. My motivation and productivity decreased.
I have looked for work at other institutions. I don't trust certain people. I will never allow problems to be handled informally again.Women can experience gender-based harassment & violence from subordinates, including students. In some cases, these circumstances can be even more difficult to understand, name and stop. We often think talk about harassment as if it occurs because people have occupational power they can wield. But men in lower positions still have patriarchy, rape culture, sexism, etc.Male12/2/2017 0:13:58Two incidents to report. First, I (male, then in late twenties) had a peer make remarks concerning my appearance of a clearly sexual nature. The second incident was one witnessed: another of my peers ranted about our Department giving funding to women "so they could become pregnant".PhD StudentRough peers- one PhD student, another PhD candidate.Other R1HistoryBoth incidents were reported to faculty at the time. In the first case, I was advised by the Department chair to let him know if any future incidents occurred, but no direct action was taken in this incident. In the second case, I had to use a different and sympathetic faculty member to submit it for me, as the student who had made the threatening remarks was a favorite student of the Department chair (a different one than the first chair) in question. As far as any of us could tell, nothing was done.No direct impact for either of these two- the one who harassed me ultimately did not receive his PhD and is now deceased, while the one who made the threatening remarks received his PhD and is currently in the private sector.None- I obtained my PhD, and the issues I have faced in my career appear to have nothing to do with these incidents.The event that actually happened to me was one I recovered from quickly (it helped that I never encountered that student again)- however, the item I had told to me has been mentally bothering me for years, as I do not think I did enough and let fear curb me.No direct impact on either life choices or my trajectory- however, there is a degree of continued paranoia present, as the second Department chair (currently not Department chair, but a prominent figure in his field and a major wheeler-dealer in campus politics) is a powerful man who could ruin me if he found out I was discussing this.Thank you for offering this- I needed this outlet badly.Both male12/2/2017 2:27:46someone put a tip of finger at my back,studentprofessorOther R1CMUengeneringself confidencepoor choicesno impactMale12/2/2017 3:35:10I was at a departmental function -- Christmas drinks or or some such -- during my time as a masters student and witnessed an undergrad crying because a prof had just pinned her against a vending machine and tried to put his hand up her skirt. The prof was verbally reprimanded by a senior faculty member at the event itself, but nothing else was done about his behaviour.Masters student; the student this guy harassed was an undergrad.
He taught classes that I and the undergrad in question took.Other R1HistoryNo formal responseAbsolutely noneMale12/2/2017 3:42:15Found out that one of my colleagues had slept with one of our undergrad students. This was consensual, but still makes me hugely uncomfortable.tenure trackalso TTOther R1HistoryNone; our institutional policy explicitly allows sexual relationships with students.None.Male12/2/2017 3:51:37Shortly after I had started my post, I was out for drinks with a few members of the department. The head of department told a story about a professor in the department and a postgraduate student. This prof had touched this student inappropriately, and she had complained. But the HOD then said that this student had previously had a (consensual) relationship with another member of faculty, as if to imply that her complaint about inappropriate touching could therefore not be taken seriously. The whole thing was relayed like a big joke about this prof -- who is, for good reason, the butt of many departmental jokes -- and not like the serious incident it really should have been treated as.tenure trackhead of departmentOther R1HistoryNoneNoneThe way this story was told to me made me lose confidence in my HOD. I felt that, if something happened to me, I couldn't trust him to treat it sensitively. I also eventually stopped going to these regular departmental social events, because I felt really uncomfortable with the tone of some of the conversations.Male12/2/2017 4:07:53When I was applying to do my PhD, a senior (female) member of the department to which I was applying, and an ex-PhD student of the adviser with whom I was considering working both invited me for informal meetings to talk about my application. They both warned me that this particular adviser had a history of bullying his female postgraduate students; I later heard that this prof had caused at least one of his female students to leave the academy because of sexual comments and other bullying behaviour.PhD applicantPotential adviserOther R1HistoryNoneNoneThis prof is a senior figure within my field, and I am wary of working with him in any capacity.Because of the warnings, I got in contact with a potential adviser at a different institution, and went elsewhere. This turned out to be an excellent life choice; she was awesome. I am forever grateful to those two female academics for warning me about that prof.Male12/2/2017 6:10:13Textbook grooming (I know now) while trying to write my undergraduate thesis. It was all about the control -- wanted me to quit all other activities, dictate my schedule, etc. Absolutely used my lack of self-confidence to try to make me think I was dependent on him for any possibility of career advancement, then failed me when I didn't want to agree to his rules. That's without getting into the many inappropriate conversations, comments, and touching.Undergraduate student.
Tenured professor, thesis advisor.Small Liberal Arts CollegeMany years later and I still don't want to say.I never reported it.None that I know of.I don't know. It did take me years to come back to academia, so I absolutely could have been further along at this point, but there are positives to that. I don't like that that choice was essentially made for me, obviously, but I don't regret coming back to grad school with more life experience under my belt.I ended up traumatized and in therapy. My confidence still sucks.I don't know. Life never goes how you want it to go and I did interesting things, learned a lot more about myself, and messed up in a lot of ways outside of academia, which is probably for the best. How can you go through life regretting what it was, you know? If anything, I'm probably more independent and more conscious about making decisions for me...Male12/2/2017 6:22:22I was assisting my faculty mentor at a conference -as I had many times previous - with his walker/wheelchair, and while I had caught him watching me before, this time he was drunk (I guess he had been drinking that afternoon, because it was only 5:00 pm or so). He leered at me as I bent over to adjust the equipment and said, ''You know what I like best when women bend over to help me out? The view...'' and he tried to look down my blouse. I moved away, appalled, and his roommate/buddy looked away and said nothing. I excused myself and left. Later I asked some of his former graduate students about the incident (all women), and they confirmed he had said similar things to them while leveraging his disability to ask for their help.Second year assistant professor.
Full professor, my assigned faculty mentorOther R1EnglishDid not reportNone. He retired six months later due to worsening health.He was a poor mentor to start with, did not take the time to read my work or advocate for me properly during two annual reviews, and because of the added harassment I avoided him as much as possible and could not advocate for myself. Without the intervention of the department chair who hired me during those review meetings, it is well possible I could have been reprimanded even though I had met all expectations. It has also caused me stress since, as I feel like I'm carrying an awful secret and I'm supposed to respect my elder and help him with his disability but I can't stand to be anywhere near him now. I feel betrayed. That retirement party was awful to get through.A lot of extra stress worrying about getting tenure, at least until he retired and I was reassigned to a much better mentor. And feeling the mental pretzel of performing respect while being utterly repulsed when I knew how he was enjoying the situation.I refused to let him budge me, since my position was so hard-won, but I feared I would not be able to keep it because of his poor advocacy and I feared what would happen if I reported it (because everyone felt sorry for him because of his health problems). I couldn't trust him. But the only thing that really allowed me to stay, in some ways, was his retirement.Again, I spoke with other women who had worked with him and they had similar experiences. His health was terrible, but he clearly leveraged the pity and desire to help from young women (grad students, new assistant profs, staff) into something that was sexually satisfying to him.Male12/2/2017 6:26:51Postcolonial studies professor in my department (English) introduced me to another student as "the graduate student I would most likely have an affair with."Ph.D. CandidateAssociate Professor (not in my area--thankfully--so I could avoid coursework with him, etc.)Other R1University of North TexasEnglishI reported this week (close to three years later). Department chair took it very seriously. Forwarded to Office if Equal Opportunity. I am waiting to hear from them, although I'm not sure they'll need to contact me.None.None, thankfully.Significant, in that it was triggering and demoralizing, and added to my ongoing anger towards the academy, which doesn't protect women from harassment or emotional labor. This anger is snowballing now that I am in a TT job and seeing the problem from this angle.At this point, it's adding to the fuel that is compelling me to speak up.Male12/2/2017 6:28:45I was asked to coffee by a famous visiting professor who proceeded to put his hand on my leg and asked me to sleep with him.Graduate studentSenior visiting facultyElite Institution/Ivy LeagueBiblical studiesNoneNoneChilling affect on approaching and engaging senior scholarsWas made to feel as though I brought this on myself since no action was takenMy network of more senior scholars is as a result limitedMale12/2/2017 6:30:50I was a witness. A graduate student contacted me a year after I happened to walk in on her and her department chair. At the time I had a sense I had interrupted some type of physical intimacy. When the student called me a year later, she told me she had been very happy to see me at that moment because I had interrupted something very awkward. She was going to sue the harasser and asked if I would testify to seeing them together within arm's reach. However, I didn't hear from her or her lawyer again.The victim was a female graduate student. I was a tenured professor in another department.
The perpetrator was the victim's department chair.Other R1University of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterPublic HealthI don't know.I don't know. Ironically, the perpetrator was a member of the campus committee on sexual harassment. Years later he lost his chairmanship but this was attributed to absenteeism.The victim didn't complete her degree.As a witness and not the victim, I don't know.The victim was a promising student who didn't complete her degree.Male12/2/2017 6:31:16Inappropriate sexual advances at a work Christmas party at my own institution in the UK. The perpetrator had a reputation for this and approached another member of staff in the same way that night.Junior member of staff on probation
Senior member of staff. Not head of department but was part of my/all staff annual reviewElite Institution/Ivy LeagueHistorySome action after a long campaign of complaint. A note on his record, training, an apology etc.None. His position has improved since then.Long term period of stress and a lot of time spent on the complaint which I could have used in much more valuable waysLots of stressMale12/2/2017 6:36:07Emailed a lewd photographGraduate studentFamous senior professor not at my institutionOther R1Biblical studiesDean collected information anonymously from myself and other victimsNoneI cannot ask this person for a recommendationAnxietyLimits the interaction with this person and their networkMale12/2/2017 6:47:26Several white male faculty members that have been participating in the annual summer institute harassed and groped women, me included, but I've heard from several other women since.Graduate studentTenured facultyElite Institution/Ivy LeagueDartmouthAmerican studiesNot reportedNoneI felt uncomfortable attending any further events with the perpetrators which greatly reduced my ability to network and socializeAdded to my depression and feelings of inadequacyMale12/2/2017 7:21:09This happened in the 1990s, shortly after I received tenure and shortly after the senior professor in my sub-discipline (who had been a mentor to me) passed away. A male full professor in my department sexually harassed/assaulted several female graduate students in my department.I was a recently tenured associate professor.
He was a full professor, and with the death of my mentor, he became the senior professor in my sub-discipline.Other R1Social scienceOur chair had recently been promoted to a deanship and her hand-picked successor became our department chair. The dean said that she would handle it. It took a long time, and the end result was that the harasser was required to take a year-off without pay. By the time the case was adjudicated, the statute of limitations had run out so the students involved could not initiate a criminal case.One year without pay. He is still a full professor in our department.I was collateral damage. Two of the women students involved never finished their PhDs. The other members of my sub-discipline (female) were criticized frequently by the chair--why don't you all get along? It took me a long time to be promoted to full professor, and I still have to work with the harasser.I am a tough lady, but this annoyed the hell out of me.I had to work with my colleagues to re-build the sub-discipline.I trust that you will not identify me in any way. This could cause a lot of trouble for me.Male12/2/2017 7:23:00Repeated gender-based harassmentPh.D. CandidateProfessorOther R1MusicNone, although I tried reporting the incidentNoneI will no longer be pursuing a career in the academy. I cannot support an institution that thrives on harassment and abuse.Substantial. PTSD.I avoid certain buildings and classrooms on campus and am looking into alternative career options due to the emotional damage this has caused me.Male12/2/2017 7:35:362012. Professor in philosophy course (mostly male students) went on long digressions during lecture about how he liked Springtime because he enjoyed looking at undergraduate women's legs in skirts. This happened more than once and he would elaborate on how undergrad women shouldn't cover up too much, which races he prefered, etc. He used the phrase ''sexually aroused'' more than once. Students around me (all men) seemed to think this was hilarious and laughed.UndergraduateMy professorElite Institution/Ivy LeagueUniversity of ChicagoAnthropology (currently, was undergrad at the time)NoneNoneDecided not to major in philosophyI spent a huge amount of time that year thinking about it, especially when I was getting dressed or saw this professor on campus.Male12/2/2017 7:39:17My mentor asked me to go to a hotel with him. I laughed and hoped he was joking. He wasn't. He sabotaged my applications to graduate school. When I complained, he got a slap on the hand and I was counseled by the man who handled the complaint that I was not allowed to talk about the matter to anyone else. Of course, I was slandered at my alma mater by the mentor. It took decades to recover and totally altered my chosen career path. Ten years later I was in graduate school in a totally different field.Graduating SeniorHe was my mentor, a soon-to-be tenured Professor of Art.Small Liberal Arts CollegeAustin CollegeArtI was silenced and punished.He got a warning and Tenure.I lost a lot of time, confidence, and ended up in a different field.I'm still recovering after years of counseling. Lots of self doubt, despair, depression.This completely altered my career path.This sort of thing is still going on - teachers commonly sleep with their students. I only know of one prof who was fired for his behavior. Otherwise, it's well tolerated and excused.Male12/2/2017 7:47:331. a professor stared at my chest while alone in his office as a new graduate student, for like 10 whole minutes 2. a faculty colleague performing my teaching evaluation (he was tenured, i was not yet), stood side up against me in front of my students in my classroom and lectured me on the definition of rape, saying i had it wrong and shouldn't include 'rape' as part of my definition of sexual harassment in my syllabus1. grad student 2. untenured tenure-track faculty
1. professor 2. colleagueMore Than One Institution (feel free to elaborate in "Comments")University of California, community collegesocial sciencenonenoneavoidance of the two males involved, when in case 1 the professor could have helped me develop certain areas of my doctoral research and case 2 feeling uncfomortable and becoming a silent shell when required to work with this colleague; feelings of uncertainty, powerlessness, angera major obstacle to process; it takes time and a commitment to deciding how to move forward at work (what clothes to wear, what to do if he acts like this again, who to share this with, etc.) and the stress of processing takes a physical toll manifest in eating issue, insomnia, and unhappinessnoneMale12/2/2017 7:48:52Pregnancy discrimination: I am not sure if this counts as sexual harassment, but it was highly gendered and obviously the result of sexual behaviour. I was asked to resign my postdoctoral position for the entire academic year in which I would give birth. I spent the better part of the fellowship term fighting the Organization's effort and researching my nearly non-existent legal right to keep the award they were trying to revoke.Visiting ScholarDirector of the Institution (female), CFO of the institution (male), director of the fellowship program (female).Elite Institution/Ivy LeagueProfessional OrganizationArt HistoryThey fought it every step of the way, finally conceded that I could have time off to give birth, but only if I admitted that it was a favour or special privilege, not a right.Director was later fired for having faked her academic credentials. press coverage in Boston Globe.Hard to tell: I left full-time academia, in part because of this episode, but also because I had one, the another kid, and my partner and I decided to prioritize his more family-friendly and better-paying job.It was stressful; I'm still angry 8 years later.Female12/2/2017 8:08:38A professor in our department had a long history of sexually harassing students, usually Master's students. He was initially very friendly with students, wanting to chat with them, learn about them, and offering them opportunities to work with him or share is data. Then it would start getting weird and predatory. He would talk about sexual things (but always have some thin thread of connection to "research", even though he wasn't a sexuality researcher), would randomly touch us (e.g., put his hand on our hands), show us his BDSM character on his computer in Second Life, email inappropriate pictures (again with thin connections to research), would comment on other women's bodies and breasts. Many students who he was supervising ended up filing complaints and then leaving the program because of him. And yet he maintained his position in the department.Master's studentProfessor and department faculty memberOther R1University of TorontoSociologyFirst the department moved graduate student offices away from his office. Then they had all women students paired with men officemates to "protect" them from him. Then finally they moved his office to a different building. When he then sexually harassed a faculty member he was asked to retire early.None (asked to retire early although he was already well past retirement age)noneAnger thinking about why he was never disciplined; stress trying to avoid him in the department.I changed my research focus because he worked in the area I was interested in.Male12/2/2017 8:12:39Inappropriate comments galore. Example: Head of program, a publicly much esteemed elderly man, joking about how much he liked his new glasses because now he could see how much female students were NOT wearing. Chuckles ensued from the other two male faculty members present.Adjunct PeonHead of Program, BossOther R1UCHumanitiesStony faceMale12/2/2017 8:17:07(2007) As an undergrad, a Professor I took a class from only stared at my chest when talking to me, gave all the women (50% of the class) in the class low grades (men all received A's) and told the women they could raise them if they met him privately in his office. I went once, but left almost immediately because something was off. (2010) Professor who was/is prominent in my subfield at the time just stared at my chest during the entire conversation; (2015) Professor I worked for continually made lewd and inappropriate comments while teaching, and during TA meetings the comments were worseGraduate StudentProfessor/instructor; Professor in my field (not at my school but a Dean at another university); Professor I worked for as a TAOther R1HistoryInstitution prevented the first harasser from working at the university based on performance reviews. Others nothing was reportedFirst one did not work at the university again (as far as I know)The treatment from Harasser 2 made me decide to switch subfields for my dissertation because I did not want to have to pander to him. Harasser 3 hasn't impacted my career, but my immediate surroundings as I feel uncomfortable being with him. He also is in charge of selecting TA's for my program, and I have had to make moves to ensure that I don't TA for him, or have to meet with him privately.The objectification of my body by male professors really messed with my body-image issues for a while, and made me more insecure about my work (are they talking to me because of interest in my work or because they like staring at my chest?)Changed subfields in my career; alter my behavior in my immediate university surroundings to avoid contact with one professorMale12/2/2017 8:22:03at a regional conference in 2005, I saw one of the professors in my dept and a chair at a neighboring school plop down $20 bills to a very uncomfortable-looking and probably frightened female undergrad, about 19-20 years old, from a 3rd institution in a hotel bar, as if they were propositioning her. That professor has done other creepy/propositioning things to other students in my department since then.masters studentprofessor in my department and instructor in my classRegional Teaching CollegeTexas StateGeographyNone that I'm aware ofNone that I'm aware ofshame for not stepping up and doing the right thingdisgust at the old boy network in my schoola dedication to do the right thing, treat people fairly, and speak up when those in power abuse that powerMale12/2/2017 8:22:18I was sitting in the audience at conference panel; a professor in field sits next to me, and, things felt weird after a few minutes. It seemed he kept inching even closer to me and then he leans in and says: I hadn't seen such an incredibly sexy woman at an academic conference before.PhD studentTenured Professor in my field by had absolutely no relation to the institution where I was getting my PhD.Main conference in the fieldHumanities/Ethnic StudiesMale12/2/2017 8:33:04My interpersonal communication instructor asked me to have sex with him.I was a sophomore in college, aged 19.
My instructor was a tenured professor.Regional Teaching CollegeSt. Cloud State UniversitySpeech CommunicationEEO Officer indicated it was my fault.I think a letter went into his personnel file until I graduated.Male12/2/2017 8:35:35Chair of Search Committee for TT job in the department in which I was doing a post-docPost-doctoral student in the department/applicant for TT job in that department
Tenured professorOther R1University of PittsburghRhetorical Theory/CommunicationDefame the victimNoneLeft R1 institutions for liberal arts colleges and state universitiesDepression/anxietyMale12/2/2017 8:40:37As a junior faculty member I asked a senior colleague to read my book proposal. He suggested we discuss it at a bar and proceeded to work through 14 drinks as we discussed it (I started counting when it was getting crazy). He tried to kiss me at the end of the evening. Turns out most other colleagues knew about his drinking problem but I was too new to the institution to have known.Second,-year assistant professor
Tenured member of my departmentOther R1FrenchReported to HR, wasn't pursuedNoneI have stayed away from him since but I don't think he remembers the actual incident, given how much he had to drink. I decided it was best to leave it at that to avoid any further tensions since he has a vote on my tenure fileI did not feel safe in the department for a while, but have subsequently made peace with it and avoid contexts with too much drinkingI want to stick around and change it!Male12/2/2017 8:59:59I was sitting at my desk and suddenly felt hands on my shoulders. A senior faculty member was running my back and talking to me in a child voice, ''is everything okay, are you alright, what can I do to make it better.'' Several days later this sane person asked if I was suicidal.Assistant professorFull professorOther R1University of oklahomaCity planningTitle 9 officer: trust the system. Other university staff: get a lawyer.None.None so far, this is recent.Not good.Considering leaving academia.Male12/2/2017 9:02:22I was working on an independent summer research project. I needed a database designed to record responses to a survey I administered, and my advisor directed me to the manager of a division of the Center he ran, which employed a technician who was available to do these kind of supplemental technology policy. When I spoke with the manager about my project needs and how to contact the technician, he explained that the previous technician had graduated and the new one wouldn't start until after the summer ended. Ergo, there was no one on staff to help with my project. However, he added, because the new technician has already been hired and was another (male) graduate student who I knew, I "could probably work something out" (said with a wink and grin) to get my project work done. It was disgusting and uncomfortable.first-year masters student
He was a PhD-holding manager of a program within a Center affiliated with my graduate program. This was a Center where students from my program frequently found employment as graduate assistants either to supplement their teaching work or to continue in funding once their (5-year) teaching assistantships ran out.Other R1Ohio State UniversityEnglishnone (I didn't report it)see previousdelayed and limited the scope of my research, as I had to find alternate methods of building the tools I needed for my research. so, the impact is hard to calculate. one effect was that--because the project never really went anywhere--it sort of soured my relationship with this advisor and we stopped working together, meaning that I had a find another advisor.stress related to tanking project and having to switch advisorsagain, hard to say. the project could have been that start of something (and therefore changed the trajectory of my career), if it had gone better...Male12/2/2017 9:05:41My PhD advisor phoned my late at night, after he'd been drinking, to tell me he loved me and wanted a romantic relationship with me.PhD studentHe was my PhD advisor. He was a tenured, full professor and very senior in the department. I had admired and trusted him as a mentor for several years. At 60 years old, he was twice my age. I had met his wife and his children (who were my age). I had chosen to work with him as my advisor because I thought he was "safe" to work with (in contrast to other profs in the department who had "reputations").Other R1--ArtsAdvocate office suggested that my academic career would be negatively impacted (delayed completion, loss of department supports/jobs, no reference letters) if I launched a complaint.NoneDelayed completion. Loss of confidence.Anxiety and depression.I stopped wanting to be a TT prof, because the incident revealed to me how poisonous the academy was. I did not want to be a part of it.Male12/2/2017 9:17:51On paleontology fieldwork, BLM rep joined our crew for 1 night. He got very drunk and started making suggestive comments to me. Female Senior PI told me to go stay in my tent the rest of the night and sat outside until he had passed out in a lawn chair.Undergraduate (19 years old)
Bureau of Land Management officialSmall Liberal Arts CollegePaleontologyNo report filedNoneOnly do fieldwork with female-led crewsNoneNoneIt was a gross event, and I'm glad a female PI was there to re-direct the situation so nothing worse happened to me. I learned a lot about how women in positions of power can and should step in and shut down harassment.Male12/2/2017 9:17:54Would go around to women in the program and ask them sexual explicit questions for a ''survey'' such as ''When you give a blow job, do you lick the balls?'' Would also publicly show off naked pictures of women who allegedly sent these images to him, all while being in a shared office space where other female collugues could see and hear him. Would loudly refer to women as ''gutter sluts'' and openly mocked women and minority members. Ranked women in the program by ''sexual appeal'' and let it be know who he would ranked the highest. Would also loudly make claims women and minority students had an easier time getting into PhD programs due to the ''sympathy vote.'' All this and more place in just out Fall semester of 2015.2nd year Masters level graduate student
1st year masters level graduate studentOther Type of SchoolPsychologyWe made a report to Title IV and they thankfully responded by putting this student on probation. However the process of reporting was traumatizing in iteself.Was not allowed to be in the same space as other women who reported and had to take sexual harassment classes through Title IV. They were officially charged with sexual harassment and while on probation, if there were other reports of harassment they could have possibly revived harsher sentences. They continued on and graduated.The process in itself drained me and showed me how even in academia, women are not treated any different than outside of academia. This was my first real experience with such a profound example of sexual harassment and it has made me much more fearful of future incidents as I have advanced in my career.The process of going through Title IV was traumatizing. We had to read and respond to their reports so I had to read how multiple men in my program perceived me as a ''Feminazi'' and a ''man hater'' and had to read blatant lies made by the perpetrator. He brought in our sexuality to his report and basically had to read us victim blame us on an official document. We had to also read how others in the program thought we are making too big of a deal about this and were made to feel as if were crazy for perceiving these actions as sexual harassment. Faculty also knew what was happening so we did not feel as protected as we were promised to be. I and others had sought out therapy during this time to seek help for the psychological impact it was taking on us. I still am not fully recovered from this incident and this took place back in Spring 2016.I have seriously considered not joining acedemia as a professor and another woman who came forward was even considering to not go on and get her PhD (which was her dream). It also has shaped my area of interest where I now focus a lot on researching aspects of sexual assault as a way to make things better for other women in the future.Male12/2/2017 9:22:17We have had multiple incidents on our campus, most notably in the Biology department, where sexist jokes were allowed at a University sponsored event with no repercussions for those involved (https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/7/16262722/texas-tech-sexual-misconduct-investigation-sexism-biology). Several weeks after that article was released, the Dean of the college had breakfast with all the departments individually. When he came to our department, he went on a rant about how he doesn't think sexist behavior exists on our campus. My department chair also makes underhanded sexist comments. The one that sticks out was when I was asking to be classified differently in terms of summer teaching was divvied up (I'm non tenure track and therefore not the same classification as everyone else), my chair accused me of asking for favors for being a spousal hire. I also get scolded sometimes for having to leave work and go take care of my dogs but the same things do not happen to my husband, who is in the same department.Research Assistant Professor
Dean and our Department ChairOther R1Texas Tech UniversityPsychological ScienceNoneNoneI feel uncomfortable at work sometimesIt is a stressful event, so there is some added stress or anxietyI have been looking for other places to work but it is hard because I am part of an academic coupleI'm confused as to why what happened in the biology department on our campus was not bigger news. It is especially timely since there is a lot about sexual harassment in the news. Somehow this got swept under the rug largely and I feel the University would have provided a stronger response had their been negative publicity.Male12/2/2017 9:24:03I don't have a sexual harassment story. I have an "I'm the Hillary Clinton of my department" story. I'm a feminist researcher in a field (urban studies) dominated by engineers and economists, and I just want to write about the constant microaggressions I experience from my colleagues, from interrupting me and and talking down to me in front of graduate students to saying things like I was being "catty" about a younger, prettier colleague when I tried to get her promotion committee to address a criticism raised in her external tenure letter. When I complained to the Dean and Chair of the department, it was treated like "my little problem" with my colleagues rather than a systematic problem with an environment that is toxic for women, especially female graduate students. We have to warn our female PhD students NOT to seem too smart or too accomplished around one of my colleagues or else he will undermine and attempt to destroy them. Come on! My male colleagues NEVER speak up or confront the behavior.Assistant and Associate.
always seniorElite Institution/Ivy LeagueUniversity of Southern CaliforniaUrban Planning and Spatial AnalysisI was referred to the OEO, where I was forced to tell my story a bunch of times. Sympathetic, but very clear they had no intention of trying to get the leadership in my department to change the environment. They are about protecting the institution and wearing out victims, not proactively changing the contexts where harassment occurs.None.I have done ok. But it's been more of struggle than it should have been.That is a hard question. I would say that it's added considerably to stress and depression.I have thought about leaving the academy more times than I can count. I still think about it. Not because I don't love teaching and researching, but because I hate being in a world where I see female graduate students treated so badly.Male12/2/2017 9:38:17I was propositioned via text. It was an individual who is the same sex as me. I am happily married with kids.Assistant ProfessorVice PresidentSmall Liberal Arts CollegeMale12/2/2017 9:44:56After repeatedly asking for my graded midterm, my professor insisted that I must come to his office to retrieve it. Once I got there, he insisted that I sit down and go over what I missed. He sat next to me, touched my arms, and touched my hair. He got closer and closer until I finally jumped up and ran away.I spoke to two male professors who were my friends. They recommended that I tell the professor that I would report him if he didn't return my tests when he gave back others in class. They also suggested I report him. I was too afraid to do that. I just wanted to get away from him.
The following semester, he harassed my friend. She got a female faculty member to go with her when the student went to collect her test. All the female faculty in his department knew he did this to undergraduates yet did nothing.
Junior undergraduateFull professorOther Type of SchoolEast Carolina UniversityNone - I didn't report. No response (that we could see) when my friend reported.I could go on and on telling stories about harassment, as could most of your participants, I'm sure. Currently, I'm working in a department where we are constantly bullied by senior faculty. Though I have spoken to our dean, the end result has been that nothing has changed.Male12/2/2017 9:47:26I've been lucky in my mentors, but my ability to network with fellow academics (mostly grad students) has been really hurt by the number of men who don't want to work with me as a colleague. A typical scenario:I had a research fellowship to do work at a small archive, and there was a male grad student working there as part of the same program. We saw each other every day, and I tried to be collegial because we were working together, he was interesting, and his project was legitimately really good. Eventually we got lunch together, and it came up that I was in a relationship. Immediately the grad student's face fell and he looked ashen. We finished lunch and for the next few weeks, he barely spoke to me. I haven't spoken to the grad student since.
I've had other incidents where male grad students suggest doing conference panels together, working together in writing groups, and sharing networking contacts, but they suddenly vanish when my relationship status comes up. Closing off opportunities like that isn't something that you can report, because really all they've done is wasted my time and energy. It makes me suspicious about networking with male academics, and it was a factor in my decision to seek work outside academia.
grad studentcolleagueMore Than One Institution (feel free to elaborate in "Comments")HistoryN/AN/AI've limited my networking with male academics, and it derailed some joint projects that I thought were interesting.Distrust toward male colleagues who don't have partnersIt was a factor in my decision to leave academia. If my colleagues behave this way when they're grad students, what will they do when they have more power?Male12/2/2017 9:52:20Bizarre comment. Over mid-morning coffee on campus cafeteria, a male lecturer colleague said he was going downtown to buy a bed and would I be interested in coming along. I said no, cringing and feeling really uncomfortable. Moments later, an undergraduate female student came over to chat with same man. He also asked her if she wanted to go bed-shopping with him and, moreover, what type (of bed) did she think he should pick? Student rightfully stammered, went bright red and the whole scene was cringe-worthy.AdjunctColleagueOther R1Public R-1HistoryMale
Cryptocurrencies to draw more power from the grid than electric cars - MarketWatch
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 13:46
Mining for cryptocurrencies requires plenty of computational power, and power of the regular kind. Just don't expect it to upend the utilities industry, at least for now.
That's from analysts at Morgan Stanley, who predicted mining for bitcoin and its rivals would suck more power from global electric grids this year than electric vehicles would draw in the next seven.
The analysts estimated power demand to mine for bitcoin, a pioneering cryptocurrency, to equal 0.6% of the world's electricity consumption in 2018, or roughly equivalent to Argentina's consumption, they said in a note Wednesday.
That would be bigger than the investment bank's projected global demand from electric vehicles in 2025, but still small on an absolute basis, and not likely to have ''a material impact on utility stocks any time soon,'' the analysts said.
See also:Warren Buffett says bitcoin will 'come to a bad ending'
''Cryptocurrency power consumption is a very small percentage of global power usage, and given the dispersion of this demand, we believe it is not likely to impact utility valuations in the near- to medium-term,'' the analysts said. Consumption levels ''are manageable.''
It bears watching, however. Future energy consumption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology, blockchain, could become a hot topic for the sector, the analysts said.
''Bitcoin demand may represent a new business opportunity for renewable-energy developers, given the emergence of 'cheap, firm renewable energy' '' a combination of wind, solar and storage,'' they said.
That would include utilities such as NextEra Energy Inc. NEE, -0.82% Span's Iberdrola SA IBE, +1.13% Italy's Enel SpA ENEL, +0.77% ''new big oil entrants, or maybe new entrants backed by (initial coin offerings) capital raises,'' the analysts said.
They put a price range on ''mining'' one bitcoin at anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, including electricity and computer-power costs.
Related:Dimon's many bitcoin moments of regret, in one chart
The analysts estimated power costs would represent roughly a third of the cost of mining a bitcoin. A potential fall in costs of renewable energy and large-scale, long-term power storage would drive electricity costs lower, they said. In turn, that would spur more mining.
''Needless to say there are plenty of uncertainties which means energy consumption could inflect in either direction,'' the analysts said.
Seeking low electricity costs, bitcoin mining will continue to be concentrated on low-cost power generation countries such as China and, in the U.S., areas like the Midwest and Northwest, the analysts said.
Read more:7 cryptocurrencies to watch in 2018 if you're on the hunt for the next bitcoin
While that could have some impact on China's electricity demand and coal consumption, that impact is relatively small at the moment and the Chinese government's regulation might limit it even further, the analysts said.
In a typical mining operation, electricity consumption accounts for the highest fraction of operational costs, which is why the largest bitcoin mines are based in China, they said.
No, The EU Is Not Militarizing Africa To Halt Migration, But Simply To Organize It
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 13:28
Via GEFIRA,
We offer a counter-analysis to ''EU Militarizes Africa to Halt Migration'' that appeared on Strategic Culture Foundation.While the original article offers an interesting study of the latest neo-imperialist military involvement of European countries in Africa, spearheaded by French President Macron, we beg to differ on what is going to be the impact on migration flows and what are the EU goals. Recent events suggest a rather different conclusion. Let's go in order.
Last summer, when the news that NGOs were shipping migrants to Italy and cooperating with traffickers surfaced, the newly elected Emmanuel Macron quickly came up with a solution: hotspots in Africa where people seeking protection could go to and apply for the status of refugee,and, if granted such a status, could be moved to Europe in an official way.
The plan has been operational for a few weeks now: the first batches of positively-verified asylum seekers have been moved to Franceand Italy,while European governments are sending their troops to Africa to help manage the flow. The first groups come from the most afflicted area, Libya, due to its lack of a stable government, ironically resulting from French intervention of a few years ago, when the ''Arab Spring'' brought about the removal of Muammar Qaddafi, leaving the country in a state of perpetual civil war. After the Italian government had partially (up to 6000 migrants every month are still shipped to Italy) sealed the Libyan route, those who couldn't make it found themselves trapped in the North African country and NGOs started lamenting human rights abuses and slavery market in development.
The process is referred to as ''humanitarian corridors'' and is lobbied heavily by the open borders civil society. Asylum seekers whose request is accepted are transferred to their destination, while those whose request was rejected are moved back to their home country.
Finally, last week, on the occasion of the ''International Migrants Day'' the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos penned an article for Politico,expressing his commitment to open borders migration policies and outlining the EU's role on the matter: the flow will not be stopped, but managed.
Hence our different conclusion from Strategic Culture: it is true that the EU liberal establishment is rattled by the rise of right-wing anti-immigration parties, most notably the latest alliance forming the Austrian government between the recently elected Sebastian Kurz and the far-right Freedom party; however, the EU establishment finds that such popular rejection of their policies is unjustified, coming from ungrateful people who do not see the bigger picture, fail to appreciate the alleged benefits of vibrant and diverse multicultural societies, or are simply misguided by populist politicians or fake news from Russia.
The commitment to free movement of labour, a key component of modern liberalism, combined with that of capital and goods, remains. The approach changes. The Marie-Antoinettes of the liberal elite realize that the Brexit vote might have been partially instigated by the human flows following Merkel's decision to open European borders to Syrian refugees. But according to them, the problem isn't Merkel's policy, it's the mediatic impact of the human waves or the migrant boats in the Mediterranean, creating a fear among Europeans that they were being overrun. The new approach of humanitarian corridors aims to continue the flow; however, it will be meticulously organized, in theory barely noticeable to the view of the public. Migrants will keep arriving, not on foot or by boat but by plane.
The liberal elite wants to prove it can solve problems without compromising its values.
The plan resembles the one adopted by Merkel with the agreement with Erdoğan. While the human wave stopped, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have been flown to Germany since then. Liberal leaders are convinced that immigration is not a problem if managed orderly, and that anxieties of European citizens will go away if the media covers the topic correctly.
Will it work?We stick to the effectiveness of Merkel's policy, since it's the only precedent. The answer is no. Germany has already found out the hard way that integrating hundreds of thousands of people in such a short time is impossible, economically and socially. Merkel started early this year the ''Joint Way Forward'' scheme to return Afghan refugees to their home country, but even returns have turned out to be problematic, with pilots refusing to fly over safety concerns. Nonetheless, the economic costs keep rising and the German government is looking for ways to send Syrians back to their homes as well,much to the consternation of open borders advocates.
Politically, the refugee policy has killed Merkel's credibility for a relevant part of her former electorate. She had run and won her previous mandate under the simple message that voters knew her and what they could expect from her, but it didn't turn out that way. After this year's election, Merkel is currently unable to form a government after losing a significant number of votes to the anti-immigration AfD. The ''Jamaica coalition'' idea with the FDP and the Greens failed. Negotiations with the SDP are stalling. New elections would force her to relinquish power; the liberal elite had chosen her as the new ''leader of the free world'', a nominal role uniquely attributed to US Presidents in the past, out of rejection of Donald Trump, but it looks like they are going to need a new one as well. Predictably, it'll be Macron and he's already well on his path to repeat the same mistakes.
Merkel's attempt to quell dissent by enacting a number of censorship laws on social media has not worked either. The problem isn't the media, nor the allegedly unjustified criticism by Europeans; the problem is her policy.
An alternative pathAvramopoulous has presented his opinion that migration flows can't be stopped as an absolute truth. Yet, when one of the most committed countries to open borders, Sweden, found out that the flow was not compatible with its integrating capabilities, ranging from housing, to education, to social stability, it did reinstate controls to the border with Denmark to limit any further influx from the Third World, with the minister of a left-green coalition government announcing the measure in tears.More recently, the Swedish Finance Minister admitted that ''integration isn't working''and immigration costs for Sweden are unsustainable.
Avramopoulos's truth might as well be a lie, as we are shifting in the Orwellian phase of liberalism, where every word means the exact opposite. The flows envisaged by the EU chief have already proved to be unsustainable; if he doesn't have the will or the power to stop them, someone else will do it, without the need to give up on humanitarian assistance.
Can humanitarian assistance coexist with the necessity to curb migration flows to Europe?Instead of funding UN/UNHCR/IOM schemes to fly refugees to Europe, an alternative could be to create protection centers in stable countries neighbouring conflict areas. If there's a conflict in Eritrea, then the EU, European countries and the rest of international institutions could offer additional aid to the neighbouring Ethiopia in exchange for setting up centers for refugees and offer protection locally. If the crisis is in Sudan, then centers could be set up in the Central African Republic, or Chad, or Kenya, or the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Localized humanitarian protection has various advantages over the human corridor approach; while both allow the EU to save its face on humanitarian matters:
Individuals needing protection will actually be closer to the place that can protect them, without needing to travel to Libya or other North African shores.It's financially sounder; according to Oxford professor Paul Collier, it's 135 times cheaper to protect refugees locally, rather than bringing them to Europe, due to the cheaper currencies and standard of living of developing countries.The cheaper costs would allow taking care of bigger numbers.Once the emergency is finished, it'll be easier to return to their home countries.Family reunions would be easier as well.Finally, it'd prove to Europeans that leaders listen to them and reconcile the masses and the elites by providing a solution on an extremely divisive issue.
Catherine Deneuve and Others Denounce the #MeToo Movement - The New York Times
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 13:09
One of the arguments the writers make is that instead of empowering women, the #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc movements instead serve the interests of ''the enemies of sexual freedom, of religious extremists, of the worst reactionaries,'' and of those who believe that women are '''separate' beings, children with the appearance of adults, demanding to be protected.'' They write that ''a woman can, in the same day, lead a professional team and enjoy being the sexual object of a man, without being a 'promiscuous woman,' nor a vile accomplice of patriarchy.''
They believe that the scope of the two movements represses sexual expression and freedom. After describing requests from publishers to make male characters ''less sexist'' and a Swedish bill that will require people to give explicit consent before engaging in sexual activity, the women write, ''One more effort and two adults who will want to sleep together will first check, through an app on their phone, a document in which the practices they accept and those they refuse will be duly listed.''
They continue, ''The philosopher Ruwen Ogien defended the freedom to offend as essential to artistic creation. In the same way, we defend a freedom to bother, indispensable to sexual freedom.'' Though the writers do not draw clear lines between what constitutes sexual misconduct and what does not, they say that they are ''sufficiently farseeing not to confuse a clumsy come-on and sexual assault.''
Translations of the letter were quickly picked up by Twitter on Tuesday, and responses ranged from supportive to hostile. Asia Argento, an actress who accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her, criticized the Frenchwomen's letter on Twitter.
On the other side of the spectrum, Christina Hoff Sommers, who coined the term ''victim feminism,'' tweeted a quote from the letter and her remarks on it.
In France, tens of thousands of stories have landed on social media under the hashtag #Balancetonporc since the journalist Sandra Muller used it in October in a post on Twitter about an inappropriate come-on she received from a French executive.
The multitude of revelations in France has led to discussion of legislative proposals that would fine men for aggressive catcalling or lecherous behavior toward women in public, and lengthen the statute of limitations for cases involving minors. Marl¨ne Schiappa, France's junior minister for gender equality, said that France's parliament would also debate whether to establish a clear age below which a minor cannot consent to a sexual relationship. The decision came after French prosecutors declined to charge a 28-year-old man with rape after he had sex with an 11-year-old girl.
In March, Ms. Deneuve defended Roman Polanski, the director who pleaded guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl and who was accused by two other women of forcing himself on them when they were under age. While appearing on a French television channel, Ms. Deneuve said, ''It's a case that has been dealt with, it's a case that has been judged. There have been agreements between Roman Polanski and this woman.''
In concluding the letter, the writers return to the concept of self-victimization and a call for women to accept the pitfalls that come with freedom. ''Accidents that can affect a woman's body do not necessarily affect her dignity and must not, as hard as they can be, necessarily make her a perpetual victim,'' they write. ''Because we are not reducible to our bodies. Our inner freedom is inviolable. And this freedom that we cherish is not without risks and responsibilities.''
Aurelien Breeden, Debbie Leiderman and Peter Libbey contributed translation assistance.
A version of this article appears in print on January 11, 2018, on Page C7 of the New York edition with the headline: #MeToo? Now Wait Just a Minute, Frenchwomen Say.
Continue reading the main story
Immigration agents descend on 7-Eleven stores in 17 states
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:37
LOS ANGELES (AP) '-- Seven immigration agents filed into a 7-Eleven store before dawn Wednesday, waited for people to go through the checkout line and told arriving customers and a driver delivering beer to wait outside. A federal inspection was underway, they said.
Within 20 minutes, they verified that the cashier had a valid green card and served notice on the owner to produce hiring records in three days that deal with employees' immigration status.
The well-rehearsed scene, executed with quiet efficiency in Los Angeles' Koreatown, played out at about 100 7-Eleven stores in 17 states and the District of Columbia, a rolling operation that officials called the largest immigration action against an employer under Donald Trump's presidency.
The employment audits and interviews with store workers could lead to criminal charges or fines. And they appeared to open a new front in Trump's expansion of immigration enforcement, which has already brought a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests and pledges to spend billions of dollars on a border wall with Mexico.
A top official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the audits were "the first of many" and "a harbinger of what's to come" for employers.
"This is what we're gearing up for this year and what you're going to see more and more of is these large-scale compliance inspections, just for starters," said Derek Benner, acting head of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers.
"It's not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry '-- big, medium and small," he said.
After the inspections, officials plan to look at whether the cases warrant administrative action or criminal investigations, Benner told The Associated Press.
7-Eleven Stores Inc., based in Irving, Texas, said in a statement that the owners of its franchises are responsible for hiring and verifying work eligibility. The chain with more than 8,600 convenience stores in the U.S. said it has previously ended franchise agreements for owners convicted of breaking employment laws.
Unlike other enforcement efforts that have marked Trump's first year in office, Wednesday's actions were aimed squarely at store owners and managers, though 21 workers across the country were arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally.
Illegal hiring is rarely prosecuted, partly because investigations are time-consuming and convictions are difficult to achieve because employers can claim they were duped by fraudulent documents or intermediaries. Administrative fines are discounted by some as a business cost.
Amy Peck, an Omaha, Nebraska, immigration attorney who represents businesses, said an employer crackdown will never work because the government has limited resources and there are many jobs that people who are in the country legally do not want.
"When these audits occur, the employees scatter in the wind and go down the street and work for somebody else," Peck said. "You're playing whack-a-mole."
President George W. Bush's administration pursued high-profile criminal investigations against employers in its final years with dramatic pre-dawn shows of force and large numbers of worker arrests. In 2008, agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained nearly 400 workers. Last month, Trump commuted the 27-year prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, former chief executive of what was the nation's largest kosher meatpacking operation.
President Barack Obama's administration more than doubled employer audits to more than 3,100 a year in 2013, shunning Bush's flashier approach. John Sandweg, an acting ICE director under Obama, said significant fines instilled fear in employers and avoided draining resources from other enforcement priorities, which include child exploitation, human trafficking and money laundering.
Wednesday's audits arose from a 2013 investigation that resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in New York and Virginia. Eight have pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages, and the ninth was arrested in November.
The managers used more than 25 stolen identities to employ at least 115 people in the country illegally, knowing they could pay below minimum wage, according to court documents.
Neither 7-Eleven nor its parent company, Seven & I Holding Co. based in Tokyo, was charged in the case.
Julie Myers Wood, former head of ICE during the Bush administration, said the most recent inspections showed that immigration officials were focusing on a repeat violator. Part of the problem, Wood said, is the lack of "a consistent signal" between administrations that the U.S. government will prosecute employers who hire immigrants without legal status.
Some immigration hardliners have been pressing Trump to move against employers. Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said the inspections offered "a good sign" that the administration was serious about going after employers. But, he said, the administration would need to go beyond audits.
"It's important for Trump to show that they're not just arresting the hapless schmo from Honduras but also the politically powerful American employer," he said.
States with 7-Eleven stores targeted Wednesday were California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
In Los Angeles' Koreatown, agents gathered in a grocery store parking lot and drove through side streets in unmarked cars to their target location.
The manager was in Bangladesh and the owner, reached by phone, told the clerk to accept whatever documents were served. The clerk told agents he had no knowledge of documents required to prove eligibility to work and was asked to pass along brochures for voluntary programs aimed at better compliance with immigration laws.
"We need to make sure that employers are on notice that we are going to come out and ensure that they're being compliant," Benner said. "For those that don't were going to take some very aggressive steps in terms of criminal investigations to make sure that we address them and hold them accountable."
___
Merchant reported from Houston.
Rand Paul says he will filibuster surveillance bill if it doesn't include warrant protections | Rare
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:34
Sen. Rand Paul joined a bipartisan group of Washington lawmakers on Wednesday to announce his intention to filibuster the extension of the FISA Amendments Act.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took part in a press conference with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) among others, to oppose long-term extension of warrantless surveillance by the United States government.
Sen. Paul has been adamant in his opposition to long-term reauthorization, promising to filibuster any legislation that does not require a warrant to spy on American citizens under the FISA Amendments Act. Under Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Act, the FBI may conduct ''backdoor'' searches of American communications with foreign targets of suspicion without a warrant.
The bipartisan movement to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens has also attracted the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union and libertarian-conservative activist group FreedomWorks, all calling for an end to the mass surveillance.
Paul and Wyden have frequently worked together to tackle the surveillance state in the Senate, both promising to filibuster any legislation that would allow any long-term reauthorization Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Amash is also taking the lead in the House to push back against unwarranted mass surveillance.
''#Section702 enables massive, warrantless spying on Americans. I'm joining Rep. @justinamash , Sen. @RandPaul and a bipartisan group of House and Senate colleagues to speak out in support of FISA reform. Tune in,'' Wyden tweeted on Wednesday, including a live stream of the press conference from Amash's office.
''I absolutely oppose permanent reauthorization,'' Paul said in December. ''Any reauthorization has to be paired with more oversight, not less.''
The senators also expressed their support of Amash's amendment that would replace standalone reauthorization with the USA Rights Act (H.R. 4124), a FISA reform bill introduced by Lofgren.
''I will oppose #S139 and have introduced a substitute amendment consisting of the #USARIGHTSAct . Unlike #S139 , it limits the mass collection and broad use of Americans' data, and requires a warrant to search for it'--as the #4thAmendment requires,'' Amash tweeted on Monday.
You can watch the conference in its entirety here, courtesy of Fox News:
Many Ignored Evacuation Orders Before Mudslides - WSJ
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:25
Rescue workers on Wednesday continued searching for at least 17 missing people, and worked to reach dozens more trapped in homes surrounded by walls of mud.
Of 1,200 people given mandatory evacuation orders in the Montecito area, only 200 heeded the warning to leave, said Shawn Boyd, a spokesman with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, citing preliminary information.
''They all decided they didn't want to go,'' he said.
Mr. Boyd said at least 15 of the dead were recovered in the mandatory evacuation zone, but it wasn't clear if all who died lived in those areas.
In the broader county of Santa Barbara, 7,000 people were in areas requiring mandatory evacuation and 23,000 were in voluntary evacuation zones, said a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office. A significant number of people chose to stay put, the spokeswoman said, declining to confirm specific numbers in the area in and around Montecito, which was hardest hit.
Even for those accustomed to preparing for the familiar California pattern of drought, fires, and floods, the death toll and destruction were unexpected. Officials said that was explained in large part by the decision of many not to evacuate.
Montecito, an unincorporated neighborhood in Santa Barbara County best known for the wealthy executives and celebrities who own homes there, wasn't entirely under mandatory evacuation orders. Some neighborhoods were under voluntary guidelines.
What Causes a MudslideWildfires burn
Fire consumes the vegetation. Root systems that stabilize soil are destroyed.
Ash is added to the soil. A waxy water-resistant layer can be created.
Rain falls
Water is unable to sink into the soil. It runs off instead.
Flowing water moves larger soil particles and rocks downslope. Soil and rocks accumulate as they fall into a mudslide.
Wildfires burn
Fire consumes the vegetation. Root systems that stabilize soil are destroyed.
Ash is added to the soil. A waxy water-resistant layer can be created.
Rain falls
Water is unable to sink into the soil. It runs off instead.
Flowing water moves larger soil particles and rocks downslope. Soil and rocks accumulate as they fall into a mudslide.
Wildfires burn
Fire consumes the vegetation. Root systems that stabilize soil are destroyed.
Ash is added to the soil. A waxy water-resistant layer can be created.
Rain falls
Water is unable to sink into the soil. It runs off instead.
Flowing water moves larger soil particles and rocks downslope. Soil and rocks accumulate as they fall into a mudslide.
1
2
Wildfires burn
Fire consumes the vegetation. Root systems that stabilize soil are destroyed.
1
Ash is added to the soil. A waxy water-resistant layer can be created.
2
3
4
Rain falls
Water is unable to sink into the soil. It runs off instead.
3
Flowing water moves larger soil particles and rocks downslope. Soil and rocks accumulate as they fall into a mudslide.
4
. . Officials had issued persistent warnings and calls for evacuations in the days leading up to the mudslides. The state's worst wildfire had scorched the earth just weeks earlier, leaving the hillsides vulnerable to mud slides after heavy rains.
Montecito had been spared the brunt of that wildfire, leading some residents to believe the community was safe from the next disaster.
Many said they were surprised by the speed and force of a catastrophe.
''The depth of tragedy is soaking in,'' said Jacqueline Rubasky, a Montecito resident organizing community relief efforts.
As names of people still missing circulated within the community, so did stories of survival.
A real-estate agent was found hanging from a tree branch, alive, many hours after his partner had assumed the worst. A lawyer trapped inside his home without power for eight hours reconnected with frantic friends after rescue workers'--plowing street through street and then door to door'--cleared the area and pried open his door.
The mandatory evacuation line wove in and out of some neighborhoods, so some homes may have straddled evacuation zones, which are drawn up by law-enforcement officials.
County officials said they made clear in door-to-door visits who was ordered to evacuate and who was simply recommended to leave, shifting the burden of choice to individuals.
The evacuation zones raised questions over why the entire area wasn't under mandatory evacuation orders.
Mike Eliason, a spokesman with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, said preparation for floods after major fires usually involves ground assessments that take between one and two months to complete.
''We didn't have that time,'' Mr. Eliason said in an interview. ''It was more like a week of time.''
As helicopters airlifted people off rooftops and elite rescue teams dug into rubble, listening and looking for signs of life, Mr. Eliason called it the worst aftermath of a mudslide he had seen in over three decades on the job.
''This situation is definitely a worst-case scenario when it comes to this kind of mud-flow, debris and damage...how many people were affected in such a short order,'' Mr. Eliason said.
Officials estimate the mudslides and tumbling debris destroyed 100 homes and damaged 300.
Daniella Johnson, 51, lives on the cusp of the mandatory evacuation zone and decided Monday not to leave her home. Ms. Johnson wasn't sure at first whether she was under mandatory evacuation orders or not.
So she called an information hotline and was told her home lay inside the mandatory zone, but she chatted with neighbors and decided to stay put.
The Johnsons thought the hill behind their home would protect them. It did, but they have been trapped at home since, with mud and debris clogging surrounding streets.
''I had a hill behind me that I wanted to watch, it was stupid,'' Ms. Johnson said in retrospect. ''It was really stupid.''
Ms. Johnson had seen the worst of nature before. Her home burned down in a 2008 fire, and California's worst fire on record, last month's Thomas Fire, nearly burned down her home once again.
She marveled at surviving the mudslides, but still called it ''a disaster of biblical proportions'....No one could fathom it could come down like this.''
Wait, It Turns Out KodakCoin Is Not the Only Crypto Trick Kodak Has Up Its Sleeve
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:22
Photo: APYesterday, camera manufacturer Kodak'--whose stock was previously hovering around $3.10 a share'--announced that it was forming its own cryptocurrency, an ambiguously blockchain-based project called ''KodakCoin.'' As has happened with a number of smaller stocks, Kodak's stock immediately skyrocketed as soon as the words ''blockchain'' left its lips.
What was already dumb has gotten dumber. Apparently KodakCoin, which the company pitched as a form of token ''inside the new blockchain-powered KodakOne rights management platform,'' is not the only component of the company's dubious pivot to blockchain. In the CES shuffle we missed that Kodak, which again is ostensibly a camera manufacturer, also announced on Tuesday that it will be leasing out Bitcoin miners called the ''KashMiner.''
Per CES brochures, Kodak plans on renting out KashMiners for an astonishing $3,400 upfront payment and then taking half of whatever the machines produce over the course of a two-year contract. Kodak claims that if Bitcoin averages $14,000 for the next two years, the miners will generate $25 a day or $700 a month, of which the client would get $375.
What could possibly go wrong? Pretty much everything!
HowToGeek columnist Chris Hoffman called the KashMiner ''the dumbest shit I've ever seen at CES.'' As Berkeley International Computer Science Institute researcher Nicholas Weaver noted, ''The cost estimates are insanely wrong: Assumes no increase in mining rate, no power cost'' (though the language does specify Kodak's partner Spotlite will cover most operational costs including electricity).
Per BuzzFeed, economics professor Saifedean Ammous told them that Bitcoin ''would have to maintain an average price of $28,000 to offset the expected increase in computing difficulty and deliver the brochure's suggested returns of $375 a month or $9000 over two years.''
As of Wednesday evening, Kodak's stock price is hovering at around $10.70, a roughly 345 percent increase over what it was worth earlier this week. Like the possibly apocryphal John Maynard Keynes quote reads, ''The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent,'' at least if you're willing to give a 130-year-old camera company thousands of dollars to mine internet money for you.
[BuzzFeed]
Russian firm that promised to pay US millions after money-laundering settlement misses deadline
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:18
The Russian company that became widely known after disclosure of the Trump Tower meeting declared that it would have to miss the deadline this week for paying the US government nearly $6 million dollars in a civil settlement because it is now under investigation by Dutch authorities.
Word of Prevezon Holdings Ltd's professed inability to meet the deadline for payment came in a court filing in New York's Southern District. The Cyprus-registered company had been accused in a civil asset forfeiture case by the US Justice Department of having laundered millions in stolen Russian taxpayer money through the Manhattan real estate market. Shortly before the case was to go to trial, Prevezon settled with the government and agreed to pay $5.9 million without admitting guilt. The deadline for that payment was October 31, 2017.
Prevezon, which has been represented by Veselnitskaya in its case with the US government, has claimed that its refusal to pay on time is related to a hold placed on its funds held in the Netherlands in connection with a separate money laundering complaint filed in that country.
According to a letter from US Attorney Joon H. Kim to Judge William H. Pauley III, the US government had agreed to request that the government of the Netherlands allow payment of a debt, amounting to 3,068,946 Euros, or about $3.6 million dollars, owed to Prevezon by AFI Europe, a Netherlands-registered company.
The Dutch authorities had originally frozen that transaction as part of the US civil litigation. Upon relinquishment of the funds to Prevezon, as per the settlement, the company was granted 15 days to remit the full $5.9 million to Uncle Sam.
While the Netherlands complied with the Justice Department's request to unfreeze the debt in relation to the New York case on October 10, that same day, Kim writes, "Netherlands authorities seized the AFI Europe Debt based on their own independent investigation of Prevezon for money laundering, which relates to similar subject matter to this case ...The [US] Government did not request this seizure, the Netherlands authorities did not seek, or require, the Government's approval, and it is not part of or dependent on this action or the previous US-requested restraint, which has been fully released."
The letter continues that Prevezon has "advised the [US] Government that, in light of the seizure, it may refuse to make the required payment as due, and has requested extra time for its owner to 'consider his options,' including a possible motion to relieve Prevezon of its payment obligation." If that deadline is missed, letter said, the US Attorney intends to "file a motion seeking enforcement -- including appropriate relief for late payment."
This is the first documentary evidence that Natalia Veselnitskaya's client is not quite free and clear of its legal troubles. The US alleged that Prevezon was the beneficiary of some of the funds acquired in a 2007 tax fraud perpetrated by a Russian state-backed transnational criminal organization known as the Klyuev Group.
Prevezon, which is owned by Denis Katsyv, the son of Pyotr Katsyv, a powerful Russian government official, has maintained that it was never the recipient of any purloined money. But rather than take the money laundering case to trial, it settled out of court in May.
Veselnitskaya hasn't just represented her client faithfully in the New York legal system; she has tirelessly lobbied US Congress and also the then Trump campaign to do away with a US sanctions law named after Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian whistleblower who uncovered the alleged 2007 tax fraud.
Magnitsky's findings of a criminal conspiracy, which he argued was abetted by agents of the Russian interior and tax ministries, constituted the foundation upon which the Justice Department's case was constructed. (Magnitsky himself was arrested for tax evasion by the very authorities he implicated in this conspiracy; he died in Moscow pre-trial detention in 2009. In spite of a Russian presidential human rights council finding that Magnitsky had been physically abused in prison and denied urgent medical care, the Kremlin has maintained that his cause of death was "heart failure.")
As part of her legal counsel for Prevezon, Veselnitskaya helped retain the services of Fusion GPS, the Washington private intelligence firm, to conduct research aimed at strengthening Prevezon's defense, a rather awkward business arrangement, in light of the ongoing controversy over the Fusion-retailed Trump "dossier," as I noted last week in this space. Veselnitskaya has been particularly outspoken about the primary campaigner for the Magnitsky Act, the dead lawyer's former client William Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, a hedge fund whose properties were allegedly stolen and used in perpetrating the 2007 tax fraud.According to a response letter written to Judge Pauley, written by Faith Gay of the New York-based law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Prevezon's other counsel, the Netherlands complaint was filed by Hermitage Capital Management, "the same William Browder-managed entity that instigated this action," referring to the US civil asset forfeiture case.
Browder confirmed with me that Hermitage did indeed bring the case to the Dutch authorities' attention, which he says is criminal in nature, as opposed to the civil litigation pursued by the US. He insisted, however, that a decision to pursue the investigation was solely up to the authorities themselves. Marieke van der Molen, a media officer in the anti-money laundering unit of the Netherlands public prosecutor's office, did not return my request for comment on the case in time for publication.
Veselnitskaya has previously celebrated the resolution of the Prevezon case in the US as vindication of her client's innocence, even though that innocence was not technically established under the terms of the settlement.
On May 15, she posted on her personal Facebook page the following in Russian: "Just now, an almost 4-year battle of the American state with a Russian citizen is over. On the terms of the Russians. The deal in the case that was initiated four years ago by a fugitive tax fraudster has been approved today by Judge Pauley. The United States abandoned Browder and did the right thing. The thief should be in prison, and not walk around the corridors of Congress."
Veselnitskaya still represents Prevezon. Her name is also mentioned in Faith Gay's letter to Judge Pauley, seeking to "direct the [US] Government to seek immigration parole (or any other necessary temporary immigration status)" to permit her, as the defendant's Russian counsel, to attend further court proceedings in the New York Southern District.
A spokesman for the press office at the Southern District's Civil Division declined comment for this story.
Unrolled thread from @ECMcLaughlin #Resistance #RESIST #ResisterSisters
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:09
Unrolled thread from @ECMcLaughlin #Resistance #RESIST #ResisterSisters
Teacher removed from school board meeting in handcuffs | New York Post
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 04:01
A Louisiana teacher was violently arrested at a public school board meeting Monday night after she questioned her superintendent for giving himself a raise when teachers and administrators were made to go without.
Rene Rost Middle School English teacher Deyshia Hargrave was asked to leave the meeting because she was asking questions instead of making declarative statements during a public-comment portion of the Vermilion Parish school board meeting, according to KATC TV-3.
But once a city marshal got her out into a hallway, he started roughing her up as he slapped on the silver bracelets.
''Stop resisting,'' the marshal warns in cellphone footage aired by KATC.
''I'm not '-- you just pushed me to the floor,'' a visibly frightened Hargrave responds, her voice cracking.
''Hold on, I am way smaller than you,'' the woman then pleads as the marshal, who appears more than a foot taller than Hargrave, shoves her toward a school exit.
Moments before, Hargrave told district Superintendent Jerome Puyau that it was ''a slap in the face'' that he would get a raise even though teachers and support staff had not seen a pay hike in years.
She also posed several questions, and was warned to restrict her statements to comments only '-- even though the board was answering her questions, KATV reported. When she was called on to speak a second time, board president Anthony Fontana ruled her out of order and called in the marshal, the outlet reported.
The district will not press any charges against Hargrave, Puyau told the station.
Michelle Williams Didn't Deserve Equal Pay to Mark Wahlberg. She Deserved More.
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 01:44
There are actually people who think Michelle Williams didn't deserve to be paid as much as Mark Wahlberg.
Let that sit in your brain for a while.
Any rah-rah spirit that might have been buzzing following Sunday night's rousing, crusading Golden Globes telecast was, if not completely crushed by an anvil, then certainly bruised days later when one of the more egregious cases of gender pay inequity'--at least ones that have been made public'--came to light.
Actually, strike that. Maybe it wasn't a quell to the momentum, but a rage-fueled turbo boost, with yet another egregious injustice to bolster its case'--especially when you survey the ridiculous, offensive, and retrograde misogynistic reaction. In other words, exactly the attitude and accepted norms that Time's Up is rallying against.
On Tuesday night, it was reported that the four-time Oscar-nominated actress was paid $80 per day, totaling less than $1,000, for her work on now-infamous reshoots that took place over the Thanksgiving holiday for Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World. The impetus, as is by now old news, was to reshoot all of Kevin Spacey's scenes as tycoon J. Paul Getty with substitute actor Christopher Plummer, following Spacey's essential banishing from the industry due to allegations of gross sexual misconduct.
Williams's salary is commensurate with comments she made after agreeing to the reshoots, that she'd forego any pay in order to get the thing done: ''I said I'd be wherever they needed me, whenever they needed me. And they could have my salary, they could have my holiday, whatever they wanted. Because I appreciated so much that they were making this massive effort.''
It's also commensurate with Scott's assertion that all the actors participated in the reshoots for free.
''The salary gap is shocking in that it is such a perfect representation of Hollywood's systemic sexism and devaluing of women.''
The grenade of fury that detonated Tuesday night came, however, after a USA Today report revealed that Wahlberg, who had a supporting role in the film, did not work for free'--or even the scale pay that Williams received. No, he earned $1.5 million for a brief reshoot. In other words, Williams was paid less than 1 percent the salary of her male co-star.
(For what it's worth, the report confirms numbers that actress Jessica Chastain hinted at in a tweet the day before.)
The salary gap is shocking in that it is such a perfect representation of Hollywood's systemic sexism and devaluing of women.
Gender pay disparity is hardly an industry secret'--especially after leaked emails during the Sony hack uncovered by The Daily Beast made Jennifer Lawrence a famous face of the issue'--which is why Jezebel's Hazel Cills suggested that if Hollywood's actors really wanted to be allies, rather than wearing black in solidarity to the Globes this past weekend they don jumpsuits painted with their inflated salaries for blockbusters their female co-stars were paid significantly less for.
But what makes the Williams situation so powerful is that she is Michelle Williams, a two-decade veteran of the industry with four Oscar nominations under her belt. This is a very famous person. This is a very good actress. So good, in fact, that she was nominated for Best Actress at the Globes for her All the Money in the World performance. She is the lead, by leaps and bounds, of the film. It wouldn't work if she wasn't such a dynamo in it.
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Mark Wahlberg is fine in his role, but unremarkable enough that he could be replaced by any of Hollywood's competent white dudes and you wouldn't notice. I've seen the film in its entirety and still, every time the trailer is on TV, think, ''Oh yeah, Marky Mark's in this.''
So let's restart that sentence: What makes the Williams situation so powerful is that she is Michelle Williams, and that guy earned 1,500 times more than her for less competent work, in a film he has less responsibility in. And people'--industry people, agent people, assholes on the internet'--think that's fine.
Folks, Michelle Williams didn't just deserve equal pay to Mark Wahlberg for her work in All the Money in the World. She deserved more.
We did the internet equivalent of bashing our head into a wall and then dunking it in a salt bath by perusing the comments on USA Today's tweet announcing the salary disparity, as well as a few others.
Without validating the trolls by directly quoting, they argue that perhaps Williams is a bad negotiator so this is her fault. (More on that later.) They argue that Wahlberg is worth more to a film, because he has box office appeal and she does not. (More on that later.) They argue that maybe Wahlberg's character shared more scenes with Plummer, and therefore had more heavy lifting to do during the reshoots. (We'll address that one right now: Two or three more scenes to shoot hardly justifies $1.4 million in extra pay. But, you know, I've never been a math person.)
On the topic that Williams may have failed to negotiate a higher quote, or that she got the money she literally asked for when she volunteered to do the reshoots for free: That's not how pay equity works, folks. It's fair and equal compensation for fair and equal work.
But that's not even the thing that will rip your head right off your neck and spin it like a Harlem Globetrotter.
Williams and Wahlberg are both repped by the same agency, WME. This isn't a case of deals done in secret with non-communicative agencies. Agencies are supposed to protect their clients, and they failed Williams.
Actors and their agents should leverage whatever they can and choose, and that is the one reason to not completely drag Wahlberg through burning coals warmed inside of Satan's asshole. Williams may have thought it honorable to forego the complication of salary demands in order to devise a quick turnaround to rescue a movie from the sins of a sexual predator. Wahlberg clearly thought it an opportunity to leverage those sins for a buck. WME should have seen that the fruits of that, disgusting as it may be, return to Williams as well.
(For what it's worth, Williams hasn't commented on what she did or did not know about the salary gap, but her best friend and confidante Busy Philipps, who was with Williams at the Golden Globes, has been tweeting steadily in outrage over the news of the disparity.)
But as to the point of Wahlberg's box office appeal warranting a higher salary in a project with obvious interest in making money, recouping investment, and maximizing profit: Yes, he is a box office draw. He has a proven track record opening films, has multiple blockbuster franchises under his belt, and has an impressive $70 million average gross across his films.
There is worth in that. But all worth, especially in the movie business, is not equal. Things like an actor's likability, buzz, pedigree, talent (DUH!), and awards track record matter. It's to that latter end that Williams's worth in this case exceeds Wahlberg's, objectively.
It was never a secret that All the Money in the World was gunning for the Oscars. Its unfathomably quick turnaround'--a summer shoot into a December release, just in time for awards voting'--telegraphed that, as did the heroic effort to reshoot Spacey's scenes to still meet those awards deadlines.
Because it bears repeating: Michelle Williams is a four-time Oscar nominee. She has five Golden Globe nominations and one win. She has six Indie Spirit nominations on top of that, also with one win. When Michelle Williams is cast in a film, it rocket launches to the top of the list of serious awards contenders, merely because of her presence. That is crucial at a time when voters are flooded with films to consider, and choose to screen the ones that they think are truly viable and worthy contenders. She toplines All the Money in the World's awards cachet.
And for those awards All the Money in the World so transparently wants, Sony explicitly campaigned Williams in the lead category and Wahlberg in supporting for their respective performances. Shouldn't it be outlandish for an employee doing more work to be paid less than the part-timer? In Hollywood, it never has been.
It's not just Williams. As culture critic Mark Harris said in a tweet Tuesday night, ''There are examples of pay disparity between actors and actresses in some of the biggest movies of recent years that would absolutely floor people.''
E! News host Catt Sadler is still having to defend herself for leaving the network after it was revealed that her male co-host Jason Kennedy was earning double her salary for the same work. After several actresses publicly supported Sadler at the Globes, the network released a statement saying there is ''misinformation'' about Sadler's salary. ''Our employees' salaries are based on their roles and their expertise, regardless of gender,'' the statement said, arguing that Kennedy's work in primetime and on the red carpet differed from Sadler's role.
But Sadler fought back Wednesday, saying that she and Kennedy are ''apples to apples'' comparisons: ''We came to the network at the same time and did similar jobs.''
This whole pay gap debate is like a Russian nesting doll carved out of rotten fruit, with each new layer more putrid than the one before. That the disparities in compensation between men and women doing equal work (or in the case of Williams, a woman doing more work) are as monstrous as they are is the first whiff: Double!? 1,500 percent!? But the upchuck comes when the reflex is to justify it: typically mansplained rationalizing of the nonsensical into an excused norm.
Exclusive: Wahlberg got $1.5M for 'All the Money' reshoot, Williams paid less than $1,000
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 01:39
CLOSEUSA TODAY has learned that Michelle Williams earned less than 1% of what Mark Wahlberg made for reshooting scenes for 'All the Money in the World.' USA TODAY
Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams and Ridley Scott at the December premiere of 'All the Money in the World.' (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for reshooting his scenes in All the Money in the World, three people familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it tell USA TODAY, while Michelle Williams was paid an $80 per diem totaling less than $1,000.
That works out to Williams being paid less than one-tenth of 1% of her male co-star.
Ridley Scott's Getty kidnapping drama was hastily reshot the week of Thanksgiving after a cascade of sexual misconduct allegations were made public against Kevin Spacey, who had starred in the drama as billionaire J. Paul Getty.
Scott transfixed the film world by quickly assembling his actors in Europe, reshooting Spacey's scenes with Christopher Plummer '-- and still making his Christmas release window.
The wave of publicity that followed made All the Money in the World, distributed by Sony and financed by Imperative Entertainment, roll into Sunday's Golden Globes as a relative triumph.
CLOSEActor and 'All The Money In The World' star Mark Wahlberg discusses the recasting of Kevin Spacey's role and awards buzz during the movie's premiere in California. Newslook
But new information reveals ugly math behind the Hollywood victory. The reshoot cost $10 million (a fee put up by producing arm Imperative). In December, Scott told USA TODAY that the undertaking was aided by the fact that "everyone did it for nothing.''
The exchange went as follows:
RIDLEY SCOTT: ''The whole reshoot was '-- in normal terms was expensive but not as expensive as you think. Because all of them, everyone did it for nothing.''
USA TODAY: ''Really?''
SCOTT: ''No, I wouldn't get paid, I refused to get paid.''
USA TODAY: ''You didn't pay the actors more to do it?''
SCOTT: ''No, they all came in free. Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no. I wouldn't do that to '-- ''
USA TODAY: ''The crew, of course, did get paid?''
SCOTT: ''Of course.''
USA TODAY has since learned Wahlberg's team actually negotiated a hefty fee, with the actor paid $1.5 million for his reshoots. Williams wasn't told.
Fletcher Chace (Mark Wahlberg) helps Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) deal with the high-profile kidnapping of her son in 'All the Money in the World.' (Photo: Claudio Iannone)
Wahlberg and Williams are both represented by the William Morris Endeavor agency. Actors pay a team of agents, managers and lawyers an average of 10% of their salaries to advocate for them.
Representatives for Wahlberg, Williams, WME, Sony, Imperative Entertainment and Scott did not respond to USA TODAY's requests for comment.
In August, Forbes named Wahlberg the highest-paid actor of the year, calculating his pretax and pre-fee earnings at $68 million. The Washington Post first reported Wahlberg's reshoot fee, noting that the actor ''along with manager Stephen Levinson and agency WME, have a reputation in Hollywood for driving a tough bargain.''
Williams previously told USA TODAY that when Scott's team called to request her time for the reshoot, "I said I'd be wherever they needed me, whenever they needed me. And they could have my salary, they could have my holiday, whatever they wanted. Because I appreciated so much that they were making this massive effort."
All the Money in the World has lagged at the box office, this past weekend coming in 10th place. The drama has grossed $20.2 million since its release two weeks ago.
The pay disparity arrives as the entertainment industry continues to be rocked by the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a flood of sexual misconduct allegations against dozens of other powerful Hollywood figures and a rising #MeToo movement.
Two days ago at the Golden Globes, male and female stars wore black in solidarity with the newly established Time's Up initiative, which pushes for protection for victims of sexual harassment and gender inequality.
Williams, Globe-nominated for her role in All the Money in the World, was one of them.
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Wahlberg paid $1.5M for 'All the Money' reshoot, Williams got $1,000
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 23:40
CLOSEUSA TODAY has learned that Michelle Williams earned less than 1% of what Mark Wahlberg made for reshooting scenes for 'All the Money in the World.' USA TODAY
Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams and Ridley Scott at the December premiere of 'All the Money in the World.' (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for reshooting his scenes in All the Money in the World, three people familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it tell USA TODAY, while Michelle Williams was paid an $80 per diem totaling less than $1,000.
That works out to Williams being paid less than one-tenth of 1% of her male co-star.
Ridley Scott's Getty kidnapping drama was hastily reshot the week of Thanksgiving after a cascade of sexual misconduct allegations were made public against Kevin Spacey, who had starred in the drama as billionaire J. Paul Getty.
Scott transfixed the film world by quickly assembling his actors in Europe, reshooting Spacey's scenes with Christopher Plummer '-- and still making his Christmas release window.
The wave of publicity that followed made All the Money in the World, distributed by Sony and financed by Imperative Entertainment, roll into Sunday's Golden Globes as a relative triumph.
CLOSEActor and 'All The Money In The World' star Mark Wahlberg discusses the recasting of Kevin Spacey's role and awards buzz during the movie's premiere in California. Newslook
But new information reveals ugly math behind the Hollywood victory. The reshoot cost $10 million (a fee put up by producing arm Imperative). In December, Scott told USA TODAY that the undertaking was aided by the fact that "everyone did it for nothing.''
The exchange went as follows:
RIDLEY SCOTT: ''The whole reshoot was '-- in normal terms was expensive but not as expensive as you think. Because all of them, everyone did it for nothing.''
USA TODAY: ''Really?''
SCOTT: ''No, I wouldn't get paid, I refused to get paid.''
USA TODAY: ''You didn't pay the actors more to do it?''
SCOTT: ''No, they all came in free. Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no. I wouldn't do that to '-- ''
USA TODAY: ''The crew, of course, did get paid?''
SCOTT: ''Of course.''
USA TODAY has since learned Wahlberg's team actually negotiated a hefty fee, with the actor paid $1.5 million for his reshoots. Williams wasn't told.
Fletcher Chace (Mark Wahlberg) helps Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) deal with the high-profile kidnapping of her son in 'All the Money in the World.' (Photo: Claudio Iannone)
Wahlberg and Williams are both represented by the William Morris Endeavor agency. Actors pay a team of agents, managers and lawyers an average of 10% of their salaries to advocate for them.
Representatives for Wahlberg, Williams, WME, Sony, Imperative Entertainment and Scott did not respond to USA TODAY's requests for comment.
In August, Forbes named Wahlberg the highest-paid actor of the year, calculating his pretax and pre-fee earnings at $68 million. The Washington Post first reported Wahlberg's reshoot fee, noting that the actor ''along with manager Stephen Levinson and agency WME, have a reputation in Hollywood for driving a tough bargain.''
Williams previously told USA TODAY that when Scott's team called to request her time for the reshoot, "I said I'd be wherever they needed me, whenever they needed me. And they could have my salary, they could have my holiday, whatever they wanted. Because I appreciated so much that they were making this massive effort."
All the Money in the World has lagged at the box office, this past weekend coming in 10th place. The drama has grossed $20.2 million since its release two weeks ago.
The pay disparity arrives as the entertainment industry continues to be rocked by the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a flood of sexual misconduct allegations against dozens of other powerful Hollywood figures and a rising #MeToo movement.
Two days ago at the Golden Globes, male and female stars wore black in solidarity with the newly established Time's Up initiative, which pushes for protection for victims of sexual harassment and gender inequality.
Williams, Globe-nominated for her role in All the Money in the World, was one of them.
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Trump deserves credit for Korea talks, says President Moon - BBC News
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 23:29
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Moon said Trump deserved credit for the pressure that had led North Korea to take part in talks South Korea's President Moon Jae-in says his US counterpart, Donald Trump, "deserves big credit" for talks between South and North Korea.
The talks, held on Tuesday, were the first in two years and led to the announcement that North Korea would send a delegation to the Olympics in Pyeongchang later this year.
Mr Moon said he wanted to show Mr Trump his gratitude.
The US president tweeted a week ago that he had brought the talks about.
He said he had done so by being "firm, strong and willing to commit our total 'might' against the North".
Mr Moon told reporters on Wednesday: "I think President Trump deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks.
"It could be a resulting work of the US-led sanctions and pressure," he said.
Later on Wednesday, a lone North Korean representative arrived at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Switzerland to formalise the agreement to send athletes to the 2018 Games.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption A North Korean delegation led by Ri Son-gwon (R) met a South Korean delegation led by Cho Myoung-gyon on Tuesday BBC correspondents in Seoul say Mr Moon is treading a difficult diplomatic line between wanting dialogue with the North but not wanting to annoy the US, an ally, or undermine economic sanctions.
Russia's foreign ministry welcomed the agreements reached to negotiate over military issues.
"We hope that their implementation will serve to de-escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula and foster stability in this region," the ministry said.
A lull in tensions for the OlympicsJonathan Marcus, BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent
Mr Moon's statement in itself is an indication of the difficult line he has to walk. It is not impossible that Mr Trump's tougher line has indeed encouraged Pyongyang to test the diplomatic waters. But can these inter-Korean talks provide a starting point for tackling more fundamental problems like the North's nuclear programme?
Two things are clear.
North Korea has no intention of giving up its nuclear arsenal and it will need more tests to prove its capability.
And the US insists that Pyongyang will not be allowed to develop a capability to strike at the continental United States.
So the warming of ties between the two Koreas may provide a lull in tensions for the duration of the Olympics, but what then?
Mr Trump has previously said he would be willing to sit down with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the future, under the right conditions.
Moon Jae-in underlined his commitment to a Korean peninsula without nuclear weapons a day after the talks. North Korea, however, refused to discuss nuclear matters, though it did agree to improving military contacts.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Gymnasts from South Korea (Lee Eun-ju, R) and North Korea (Hong Un-jong) snapped a selfie together at the last summer Olympics North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war with each other but at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, gymnasts from the two countries were hailed for capturing the spirit of the Games when they posed together for a selfie.
What happened at Tuesday's talks?Officials from South Korea reported that:
North Korea will send athletes, supporters, a taekwondo demonstration team and journalists to the Winter Olympics in South KoreaSouth Korea proposed that athletes from both Koreas march together at the opening ceremony as they did at the 2006 Winter OlympicsThe South pushed for the reunion of family members separated by the Korean War - a highly emotional issue for both countries - to take place during the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls in the middle of the GamesThe South also proposed resuming negotiations over military issues and the North's nuclear programmeThe South said it would consider temporarily lifting relevant sanctions, in co-ordination with the UN, to facilitate the North's participation in the Olympics
Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner withdraw their divorce | Page Six
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 20:36
Say it ain't so, Huma.
Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her jailed sext-a-holic hubby, Anthony Weiner, have withdrawn their pending divorce case, The Post has learned.
Abedin was scheduled to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon for a compliance conference in their contested divorce. Instead, one of her attorneys submitted paperwork signed by both parties agreeing to end the case, a court source told The Post.
The judge announced from the bench that the case was ''discontinued.''
Abedin's lawyer, Charles Miller, told The Post, ''In order to ensure the proceedings have a minimal impact on their child, the parties have decided to attempt to reach a settlement swiftly and privately.''
But a family law expert said Abedin and Weiner would still have to file for divorce in court if they want their settlement to be legally binding.
Leading divorce attorney Michael Stutman, who is not involved in the case, said the former couple must agree on how to divvy up their assets and share custody of their 6-year-old son before bringing a second case.
Stutman speculated that they may also have yanked the case for tax or other economic reasons.
Abedin finally filed for the split last May just hours after Weiner pleaded guilty to sexting with a minor. She had stood by the much-mocked former congressman since 2011, when, a year into their marriage, he tearfully admitted Tweeting out an underwear selfie.
The disgraced pol is serving nearly two years of hard time in a Massachusetts federal lockup.
His lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.
Seattle attempts to impose morality with ridiculously high taxes on sugary drinks | Rare
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 19:45
Seattle has decided to impose a 1.75 cent per ounce tax on all sugary beverages within the city with the hopes of raising a $15 million revenue stream that it will use for programs to help people ''have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables,'' as Seattle station KIRO 7 explains . The price of Gatorade Frost Variety Pack at Costco, usually $15.99, with the $10.34 tax, shot up to $26.33, leaving customers with sticker-shock.
There's more than a few problems with the new tax scheme, which a sign right next to the Gatorade in Costco helpfully demonstrates .
As with all excise taxes, this one is easily avoided: customers can visit Costco stores in nearby Tukwila or Shoreline and skip paying the City of Seattle's Sweetened Beverage Tax. Customers are less likely to make extra inconvenient trips if the price changes are barely noticeable''but with such a steep price change, many residents will likely take the extra trip.
Some are saying they will switch to diet soda instead, which city officials say is ''the point,'' according to KIRO7. ''Not necessarily to switch to diet soda, but getting consumers to go for healthier options.''
The position the tax advocates take is oddly contradictory, as Scott Drenkard of the Tax Foundation summarized on Twitter:
''First they interview people at the Costco who are rightfully shocked at how high prices on soda and sports drinks are now (they are almost doubled). Then they interview a public health advocate who says 'that's right! We want these prices to change people's behavior and slow sales!' Then they talk to the consumer , 'think you'll change your behavior, maybe even shop somewhere else?' And she's like, 'ya the Tukwila store is close enough.' Then they ask a city council member if this will hurt local [business], who says 'there is no data' suggesting that. Then the SAME public health advocate says that people won't respond to price increases, shopping elsewhere because it isn't 'worth their while.''
If advocates are truly concerned about public health and want people to change their behavior by consuming sugarless beverages then the tax will indeed slow sales and hurt local businesses. It has to because that's the only way it will actually induce people to lower their calories; assuming you believe that this model works.
But the government doesn't actually want everyone to switch away from sugary drinks or it won't be able to collect that $15 million it's hoping for. That's why using the tax code to punish or reward behavior is tragically short-sighted.
Government attempts to disincentive certain behavior often have subversive effects (beyond forcing people to take longer trips or purchase sugar-free brands.) The point of these policies is to drastically reduce usage; but while the pricing cuts demand, it also fuels smuggling and black markets.
A steep soda tax opens up the way for an illegal underground trade in soda. Before you laugh, realize that's exactly the problem that arose in Philadelphia when similar taxes were introduced. In New York, these types of sin taxes led to stratospheric taxes on cigarettes, which buoyed an underground black market in ''loosie'' cigarettes. Tragically, police enforcement of the tax also led to the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, who died in police custody after allegedly resisting arrest.
His action, selling loose cigarettes, was only a crime because of these types of policies. Governments, including the City of Seattle, should avoid creating similar situations.
N.Y. Times Cancels James Franco TimesTalk Over "Recent Allegations" | Hollywood Reporter
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:43
5:11 PM PST 1/9/2018 by Katie Kilkenny
The New York Times has canceled James Franco's TimesTalk, a public conversation moderated by a Times reporter to discuss Franco's latest film, The Disaster Artist, due to "recent allegations." The talk was originally scheduled for Wednesday.
The TimesTalk gathering at New York City's Kaufman Music Center was intended to showcase Franco and his brother Dave's work in their film The Disaster Artist as well as "their familial bond, behind''the''scenes antics, and how there is more than one way to become a legend," according to the official event page.
"The event was intended to be a discussion of the making of the film, The Disaster Artist. Given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we're no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein," a Times representative said Tuesday in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
The decision comes two days after Franco won a Golden Globe for portraying filmmaker Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, which he also directed.
During the Golden Globes telecast, several women accused Franco of sexual misconduct on Twitter. In one tweet, actress Violet Paley claimed that the actor once forced her to perform oral sex on him, and that he had asked one of her friends to "come to your hotel" when she was 17.
Paley later tweeted that Franco had, several weeks prior, apologized over the phone for past conduct to herself and "a few other girls."
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student of Franco's, also recalled on Twitter what she remembered as an exploitative experience with nude scenes in his films.
Franco was one of the many men in attendance at the Golden Globes ceremony who wore a Time's Up pin, supporting the anti-sexual harassment project spearheaded by Hollywood women including Kathleen Kennedy and Reese Witherspoon.
Jan. 9, 6:55 p.m. Updated with an official statement from TheNew York Times.
Report: 485 Scientific Papers Published In 2017 Undermine Supposed 'Consensus' on Climate Change
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:38
Author Kenneth Richard found that during the course of the year 2017, at least 485 scientific papers were published that in some way questioned the supposed consensus regarding the perils of human CO2 emissions or the efficacy of climate models to predict the future.
According to Richard's analysis, the 485 new papers underscore the ''significant limitations and uncertainties inherent in our understanding of climate and climate changes,'' which in turn suggests that climate science is not nearly as settled as media reports and some policymakers would have people believe.
Richard broke the skeptical positions into four main categories, with each of the individual papers expounding at least one of these positions, and sometimes more.
The first position attributes greater weight to the role of natural mechanisms in changes to the climate system than are acknowledged by climate alarmists, while giving correspondingly less importance to the influence of increased CO2 concentrations on climatic changes. Over 100 of these papers, for instance, examine the substantial solar influence on climate and weather, such as temperature variations and precipitation patterns.
The second position questions the allegedly ''unprecedented'' nature of modern climate phenomena such as warming, sea levels, glacier and sea ice retreat, and hurricane and drought intensities. Thirteen of the papers suggested that these events fall within the range of natural variability, while 38 found an absence of significant anthropogenic causality in rising sea levels.
The third position casts doubt upon the efficacy and reliability of computer climate models for projecting future climate states, suggesting that such predictions are ''little more than speculation'' given the enormous uncertainty and margins of error in a non-linear climate system with nearly infinite variables. Twenty-eight of the articles in question examined climate model unreliability, including factual errors and the influence of biases, while an additional 12 found no net global warming during the 20th/21st century.
The fourth position questioned the effectiveness of current policies aimed at curbing emissions and pushing renewable energy, finding them both ineffective and even harmful to the environment. This position also offered a more sanguine evaluation of the projected effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 and a warmer climate, questioning doomsday scenarios and proposing net benefits to the biosphere such as a greener planet and enhanced crop yields.
In this category, 12 of the papers documented the failures of policies targeting renewable energy and climate, 8 contended that wind power is harming the environment and biosphere, 13 argued that elevated CO2 levels make for a greener planet with higher crop yields, and 5 proposed that warming is beneficial to both humans and wildlife.
All of these factors, Richard declares, substantially undermine the claims of climate alarmists that scientific opinion on climate change is ''settled enough'' and that ''the time for debate has ended.''
The articles, in fact, are not written by uninformed ''climate deniers,'' but by serious scientists who believe that the true nature of scientific inquiry is not to bow to some proposed ''dogma'''--especially where significant ideological, political and economic interests are at play'--but to see where the facts lead on their own.
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"A Strange Coincidence": US Spy Plane Circled Near Russian Base During Massive Drone Attack | Zero Hedge
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:36
On Tuesday, we reported that the Russian military in Syria thwarted a massive drone attack at the Khmeimim air base and Russian Naval point in the city of Tartus on January 6, intercepting 13 heavily armed UAVs launched by terrorists.
#SYRIA: Security system of the Russian #Khmeimim air base and #Russian Naval CSS point in the city of #Tartus successfully warded off a terrorist attack with massive application of #UAVs through the night of 5th '' 6th January, 2018 https://t.co/nHiUrEWonLpic.twitter.com/3EgrFhYeHh
'-- Ð'инобоÑоны России (@mod_russia) January 8, 2018Shortly after, the Russian Ministry of Defense released new information, noting "strange coincidences" surrounding the terrorist attack: these included a US spy plane spotted in the area, namely a US Navy's Boeing P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft on patrol between the Khmeimim airbase and Tartus naval base in Syria during the time of the attack.
Boeing P-8 Poseidon
While the Russian Ministry of Defense consciously didn't point any fingers when talking about the January 6 attack, it demonstratively pointed out that the technology used in the attack was telling. Advanced training in engineering in ''one of the developed countries'' would be necessary to program the principal controllers and bomb-release systems of an aircraft-type combat drone, the Russian statement stressed and added that "not everyone is also able to get exact [attack] coordinates from the space surveillance data."
"This forces us to take a fresh look at the strange coincidence that, during the attack of UAV terrorists on Russian military facilities in Syria, the Navy reconnaissance aircraft Poseidon was on patrol over the Mediterranean Sea for more than 4 hours at an altitude of 7 thousand meters, between Tartus and Hmeimim."
The Russian Ministry of Defense also declared that this is the ''first time that terrorists massively used unmanned combat aerial vehicles of an aircraft type that were launched from a distance of more than 50 kilometers, and operated using GPS satellite navigation coordinates.''
#ÐÐÐ ÐЯ ÐсÐоÐ>>ьзование боевиками удаÑных бесÐиÐ>>отных Ð>>етатеÐ>>ьных аÐÐаÑатов самоÐ>>етноÐ"о тиÐа свидетеÐ>>ьствует о том, что боевикам ÐеÑеданы техноÐ>>оÐ"ии, ÐозвоÐ>>яющие ÐÑоводить теÑÑоÑистические акты с ÐÑименением Ðодобных БПЛА в Ð>>юбой стÑане
'-- Ð'инобоÑоны России (@mod_russia) January 8, 2018The statement said the drones ''carried explosive devices with foreign detonating fuses,'' adding that the ''usage of strike aircraft-type drones by terrorists is the evidence that militants have received technologies to carry out terrorist attacks.''
#SYRIA: The fact of using such strike aircraft-type drones by terrorists is the evidence that militants have received technologies to carry out terrorist attacks using such UAVs in any country.
'-- Ð'инобоÑоны России (@mod_russia) January 8, 2018Which is why the presence of the Navy Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft, a high-tech spy plane with electronic warfare components, in the region during the drone attack, does appear rather suspicious.
The Pentagon countered that while the US was ''concerned'' over the incident, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankin-Galloway, however, claimed that ''those devices and technologies can easily be obtained in the open market.'' He later also told Sputnik that the US already saw what it called ''this type of commercial UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] technology'' being used in Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) missions.
Russia has repeatedly warned that US military supplies aimed at supporting ''moderate'' Syrian militants eventually end up in the hands of terrorists.
Meanwhile, as we noted earlier, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial withdraw of troops from Syria back in December, militants have been eager to gain an edge with swarming high-tech drones that have remarkable long-range capabilities. However, in light of these latest development, the one latent question we -and others are asking in this incident - seem even more pressing: who is supplying the militants with these high-tech, long-range drones, and in - light of the above - who is supervising their proper deployment?
Chomsky Exposes Russiagate as Propaganda: 'It is a Joke' & 'The World is Laughing at Us'
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:33
World-renowned academic and leftist intellectual giant, MIT professor Noam Chomsky, has historically been hostile to establishment power and privilege '' literally writing the book about how consent is manufactured using media to support an elite-driven policy agenda.
Thus, Chomsky's words should be taken extremely seriously when he recently referred to news stories being pushed in the mass corporate media, about Trump-Russia ''collusion,'' as little more than ''a joke.'' In fact, he says that this neo-McCarthyist/anti-Russia propaganda degrades one of the positive aspects of the Trump administration '' a drive to reduce hostility with rival nuclear power Russia.
Over the years, Chomsky has refined what he calls, the 'propaganda model' of the corporate mass media. He posits that not only does the media systematically suppress and distort, but when they do present facts, the context obscures the actual meaning. In essence, the mass media uses brainwashing to keep people subservient to large corporate interests.
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''The media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them. The representatives of these interests have important agendas and principles that they want to advance, and they are well positioned to shape and constrain media policy.'' ''Chomsky
During a panel discussion with Chomsky on Democracy Now, one of the panelists referenced Chomsky's commentary on the Trump/Russia collusion being ''a joke,'' and asked him,
''Could you give us your view on what's happening and why there's so much emphasis on this particular issue?''Chomsky, the author of more than 100 books, including ''Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media,'' in which he breaks down how U.S. corporate media has been weaponized as a means of controlling public opinion by propagandizing the American people, didn't mince his words, noting:
''It's a pretty remarkable fact that '-- first of all, it is a joke. Half the world is cracking up in laughter. The United States doesn't just interfere in elections. It overthrows governments it doesn't like, institutes military dictatorships.''
''Simply in the case of Russia alone'--it's the least of it'--the U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways,'' said Chomsky. ''So, this, as I say, it's considered'--it's turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world.''
''So why are the Democrats focusing on this?'' he said. ''In fact, why are they focusing so much attention on the one element of Trump's programs which is fairly reasonable, the one ray of light in this gloom: trying to reduce tensions with Russia? That's'--the tensions on the Russian border are extremely serious. They could escalate to a major terminal war. Efforts to try to reduce them should be welcomed.''
''Just a couple of days ago,'' said Chomsky, ''the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, came out and said he just can't believe that so much attention is being paid to apparent efforts by the incoming administration to establish connections with Russia.'' He said, 'Sure, that's just what they ought to be doing.'''
Continuing, Chomsky said, ''So, you know, yeah, maybe the Russians tried to interfere in the election. That's not a major issue. Maybe the people in the Trump campaign were talking to the Russians. Well, okay, not a major point, certainly less than is being done constantly.''
''And it is a kind of a paradox,'' he said, ''that the one issue that seems to inflame the Democratic opposition is the one thing that has some justification and reasonable aspects to it.''
One need to look no further than the Washington Post to understand how U.S. media frequently serve as an errand boy for U.S. corporate, military and imperial interests. Unsurprisingly, Jeff Bezos, owner of WaPo, is deeply connected to U.S. intelligence/security services, as the holder of a $600 million dollar CIA contract.
READ MORE: New CIA Docs Reveal Black Budget "Project Star Gate" To Study "Supernatural" Abilities
As the Nation reported at the time:
''[Jeff Bezos] recently secured a $600 million contract from the CIA. That's at least twice what Bezos paid for the Post this year. Bezos recently disclosed that the company's Web-services business is building a 'private cloud' for the CIA to use for its data needs.''
Although these connections aren't enough to prove nefarious collaboration outright, these anomalous relationships seriously call into question the validity of a newspaper that claims to be a paper of national repute.
Moreover, history reveals actual collusion between the CIA and numerous news outlets, including the Washington Post, under a covert program, called Operation Mockingbird, to influence public perceptions by infiltrating newsrooms across America.
In 1977, a former Post journalist, Carl Bernstein, exposed the CIA's clandestine efforts to infiltrate and subvert the news media, often with the knowledge and assistance of top management at these journalistic outlets. In total, Bernstein reported, over 400 journalists were reportedly involved:
''Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services'--from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without portfolio for their country'...In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America's leading news organizations.''
Make no mistake that the U.S. mainstream corporate media has been weaponized as a means of controlling public opinion, by propagandizing the American people into believing a false reality, or propaganda model, which serves the plutocratic oligarchy. According to Chomsky, Russiagate is the fake news you have been warned about!
READ MORE: Anonymous Declares "Total War" on Trump -- Promises to "Dismantle His Campaign"
Cloud companies consider Intel rivals after security flaws found
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:30
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Some of Intel Corp's (INTC.O ) data center customers, whose thousands of computers run cloud networks, are exploring using microchips from the market leader's rivals to build new infrastructure after the discovery of security flaws affecting most chips.
Whether Intel sees a slew of defectors or is forced to offer discounts, the company could take a hit to one of its fastest growing business units. Intel chips back 98 percent of data center operations, according to industry consultancy IDC.
Security researchers last week disclosed flaws, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, that could allow hackers to steal passwords or encryption keys on most types of computers, phones and cloud-based servers.
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O ) said on Tuesday the patches necessary to secure the threats could have a significant performance impact on servers.
Intel will help customers find the best approach in terms of security, performance and compatibility, it said in a statement on Tuesday. ''For many customers, the performance element is foremost, and we are sharply focused on doing all we can to ensure that we meet their expectations.''
Alternatives include Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O ), which shares with Intel a chip architecture called x86, or chips based on technology from ARM Holdings or graphics processing chips, which were developed for different tasks than Intel and AMD's central processing units, or CPUs.
For Gleb Budman's company, San Mateo-based online storage firm Backblaze, building with ARM chips would not be difficult.
''If ARM provides enough computing power at lower cost or lower power than x86, it would be a strong incentive for us to switch,'' said Budman. ''If the fix for x86 results in a dramatically decreased level of performance, that might increasingly push in favor of switching to ARM.''
Infinitely Virtual, a Los Angeles-based cloud computing vendor, is counting on Intel to replace equipment or offer a rebate to make up for the loss in computing power, Chief Executive Adam Stern said in an interview.
FILE PHOTO: A Microsoft logo is seen on an office building in New York City in this July 28, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo ''If Intel doesn't step up and do something to make this right then we're going to have to punish them in the marketplace by not purchasing their products,'' said Stern, whose company relies exclusively on Intel processors.
Cloud providers said swapping out previously installed Intel chips for rivals' would be too complex, but moving forward they could expand their networks using alternatives. Moving from Intel to AMD is easiest since AMD and Intel chips share a common core technology called the x86 instruction set, they said.
ARM-based chips lag the speed of Intel's x86 based chips for tasks such as searches, and software would have to be rewritten.
Nvidia Corp's (NVDA.O ) so-called graphical processing units, or GPUs, are not a direct replacement for Intel's CPUs, but they are taking over the CPU's role for new types of work like image recognition and speech recognition.
Major technology companies had been experimenting with Intel alternatives even before the security flaws were revealed.
Last March, Microsoft committed to using ARM processors for its Azure cloud service, and in December, Microsoft Azure deployed Advanced Micro Devices processors in its data centers.
Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O ) Google said in 2016 that it was designing a server based on International Business Machines Corp's (IBM.N ) Power9 processor. And Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O ) Amazon Web Services chose AMD graphics processing units for a graphics design service announced in September.
Both Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O ) and Cavium Inc (CAVM.O ) are developing ARM chips aimed at data centers. Cavium said it aimed to rival the performance of Intel chips for applications like databases and the content-delivery networks that help speed things like how fast online videos load.
Cavium is working with Microsoft and ''several other cloud'' vendors, said Gopal Hegde, vice president of the data center processor group. Cavium and ARM rival Qualcomm work together to reduce the amount of software that has to be rewritten for ARM chips.
Cloudflare, a San Francisco cloud network company, has been evaluating ARM chips. The new security patches have not slowed its performance, but it will use the security issues as an opportunity to re-evaluate its use of Intel products, said Chief Technology Officer John Graham Cumming.
Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez and Stephen Nellis; Editing by Peter Henderson and Richard Chang
AMD stock drop shows how Spectre will loom over tech - MarketWatch
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:29
Investors who don't like uncertainty '-- and that would be most of them '-- are getting a taste of what the next few weeks may be like since the surprise reports last week of security vulnerabilities, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, in most of the world's microprocessors.
On Tuesday, shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD, +1.82% fell nearly 3% after a Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -0.43% software patch design to secure PCs caused AMD-based systems to freeze up. The news came after AMD said last week that there was a ''near zero chance'' its chips were affected by the design flaw, which could expose private data stored in a chip's memory to hackers. So far, there have been no hacking incidents reported since the flaws were exposed by three groups of researchers, including a group at Alphabet's GOOG, -0.84% Google.
Still, investors need to be prepared for a roller-coaster ride in any stocks related to the issue going forward, especially Intel Corp. INTC, -1.38% the dominant maker of microprocessors. The Meltdown vulnerability was described by one group of researchers as impacting only Intel-based systems, and that software patches should mitigate the issues but they will also slow systems down. Spectre, on the other hand, which also impacts AMD- and ARM Holdings-designed chips, has no known total fix. ''There is currently no way to know whether a particular code construction is, or is not, safe across today's processors '' much less future designs,'' the researchers wrote in their paper on Spectre.
''It's still early days,'' said Bernstein Research analyst Stacy Rasgon on Tuesday. ''People are still digging into the problem.'' While many analysts on Wall Street so far are backing Intel's statement that the design issue won't have a material effect on its financials, Rasgon isn't so sure. He wrote in a note last week that Intel could potentially face some costs, such as concessions to customers. ''We wonder if there might be potential for longer-term concessions necessary, especially to larger cloud customers given performance is likely to take at least some hit,'' he wrote.
Already, Intel is under fire for a big stock sale by its chief executive, Brian Kzranich, who sold millions of dollars worth of Intel stock in late November, several months after having learned about the security vulnerabilities. Intel says the stock sale was unrelated to the news of Meltdown and Spectre. Still, the timing looks inappropriate and the company is now facing threats of investigations or lawsuits from at least four law firms seeking to represent shareholders.
The entire tech industry is now working on how to deal with a design flaw written into the heart of computers made in the past 20 years in an effort to make processors work faster. But the biggest arena of impact could be the server market, where fixes could slow down computers, hurting companies like Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -0.64% Microsoft and others offering cloud services with low latency and fast processing while hosting the data centers of other companies.
There may still be a Pandora's box of surprises to come, and investors should be prepared.
AMD works with Amazon to create virtualized graphics in the cloud | VentureBeat
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:27
Amazon Web Services has chosen to use Advanced Micro Devices' graphics technology to run graphics software in the cloud. The net result is that it could become a lot cheaper to process graphics-intensive apps in the cloud, rather than on a local machine.
AMD said in a blog post that it's no secret most enterprise applications '-- from standard Windows productivity apps to engineering software '-- run better when they are accelerated by graphics processing units (GPUs). Traditionally, those apps have run on heavy-duty workstations on local machines.
But with the cloud, that processing can be done in the data center. And it can be done faster now because AMD has designed a chip, the AMD Radeon Pro MxGPU (multiuser GPU) for data center computers. AWS can now run graphics applications in the cloud for as many as 16 users at a time, reducing the cost of cloud processing and enabling new benefits for users.
For instance, users who tap the graphics processing power in the cloud will no longer need intensive hardware, such as workstations, to run engineering software. That software can be processed in the cloud and the results sent over the internet to the user's machine, which no longer needs as much processing power. That cuts the user's hardware costs dramatically.
Michael DeNeffe, director of cloud graphics and AMD's Radeon Technologies Group, said in a blog post that the number of applications needing graphics acceleration is growing rapidly. Graphics in the cloud enable apps to be executed in the cloud and then delivered remotely. Data can be stored centrally and securely. And creating new designs can be done on any device, anywhere on the network.
''I call this secure mobility,'' DeNeffe said. ''Enabling secure mobility sounds great, but doing it efficiently and cost-effectively can be a challenge. This is where Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AMD come in.''
AWS will use AMD's chips for the new graphics design instance type on Amazon AppStream 2.0, which is a fully managed secure application streaming service that allows a user to stream desktop applications from AWS to any device running a web browser.
''With Graphics Design instances, users can run graphics-accelerated applications at a fraction of the cost of using graphics workstations and can lower the cost of streaming a graphics app on AppStream 2.0 by up to 50 percent,'' DeNeffe said.
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Lightning Network enables Unicast Transactions in Bitcoin. Lightning is Bitcoin's TCP/IP stack.
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:52
It has recently come to my attention that there is a great deal of confusion revolving around the Lightning Network within the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash communities, and to an extent, the greater cryptocurrency ecosystem. I'd like to share with you my thoughts on Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Lightning from a strictly networking background.
To better understand how blockchain and the lightning network work, we should take a step back from the rage-infused battlegrounds of Twitter and Reddit (no good comes from this ðŸ›) and review the very network protocols and systems that power our Internet. I believe that there is a great wealth of knowledge to be gained in understanding how computer networks and the Internet work that can be attributed in Bitcoin's own scaling constraints. The three protocols I will be primarily focusing on in this article are Ethernet, IP, and TCP. By understanding how these protocols work, I feel that we will all be better equipped to answer the great 'scaling' question for Bitcoin and all blockchains alike. With that said, let's get started.
In computer networking, the two most common forms of data transmission today are broadcast and unicast. There are many other forms such as anycast and multicast, but we won't touch up on them in this article. Let's first start by defining and understanding these data transmission forms.
Broadcast'Š'--'Ša data transmission type where information is sent from one point on a network to all other points; one-to-all.Diagram: Broadcast Data TransmissionUnicast'Š'--'Ša data transmission type where information is sent from one point on a network to another point; one-to-one.Diagram: Unicast Data TransmissionBased on our understanding of these types of data transmission forms, we very quickly discover that blockchain transactions resemble Broadcast-like forms of communication. When a transaction is made on the Bitcoin network, the transaction is communicated or broadcasted to all connected nodes on the network. In other words, for a transaction to exist or happen in Bitcoin, all nodes must receive and record this transaction. Transactions on blockchains work very similarly to how legacy, ethernet hubs handled data transmissions.
A long time ago, we relied on ethernet hubs to transfer data between computers. Evidently, we discovered that they simply did not scale due to their limited nature. Old ethernet hubs strictly supported broadcast transmissions, data that would come in through one interface or port would need to be broadcasted and replicated out through all other interfaces or ports on the network. To help you visualize this, if you wanted to send me a 1MB image file over a network with 100 participants, that 1MB image file would, in turn, need to be replicated 99 times and broadcasted out to all other users on the network.
In Bitcoin, we see very similar behavior, data (a transaction or block) that comes from one node is broadcasted and replicated to all other nodes on the network. Blockchains similarly to old, legacy ethernet hubs are simply poor mediums to perform data transmission and communicate over. It is simply unrealistic to me as a network engineer to even consider scaling a global payment network such as Bitcoin via Broadcast-based on-chain transactions. Even to this very day, us network engineers take great care and caution in spanning our Ethernet and LAN networks, let alone on a global level.
To put it into perspective, if we were to redesign the Internet by strictly relying on broadcast data transmissions as exhibited in blockchains and ethernet hubs'Š'--'Šwe would have effectively put every single person, host, and device in the entire world on the same LAN segment or broadcast domain. The Internet would have been a giant, flat LAN network where all communication would need to be replicated and broadcasted to every single device. In you opening up to read this article, every other device on the Internet would have been forced to download this article. In other words, the internet would come to a screeching halt.
In computer networks, the most frequent form of communication relies on unicast data transmissions, or point-to-point. Most of the communication on the internet is routed from one computer to another, we no longer need to rely on blind broadcast transmissions of data with the hopes that our recipient will receive it or see it. We are able to accurately send, route and deliver our messages to our receiving party(ies). We learned that the transfer of a 1MB image file in a broadcast network would require the file to be replicated and broadcasted to every participant on that network. Instead, in a network that supports unicast data transmissions, we are able to appropriately route that image file from source to destination in a clearcut manner.
To me, the Lightning Network is the IP layer of Bitcoin. (I understand that these data transmission forms exist in both Ethernet and IP.) But, I do feel that these analogies help us to better understand these complex and largely abstract ideas: blockchain, lightning, channels, etc.
Let's take a moment and ignore all explanations and overly simplistic definitions of Lightning that are perpetuated from both sides of the debate for a moment. Instead, lets objectively take a close look at Lightning and determine what we know. What do we know about lightning? It allows us to lock our Bitcoin and form channels with others. What else do we know? We can bidirectionally send and receive transactions between the two points that constitute the channel. What else do we know? We can further route transactions to their correct destination.
Based on these key understanding points, we are able to see that lightning enables unicast transactions in a system [Bitcoin] that previously only supported broadcast transactions. To me, Lightning nodes in Bitcoin are the equivalent of IP hosts'Š'--'Šwhere we can finally conduct or route one-to-one or point-to-point transactions to their appropriate recipients. In traditional IP, we send and receive data packets; in Lightning, we send and receive Bitcoin. IP is what allowed us to scale our small and largely primitive networks of the past into the global giant that it is today, the Internet. In a similar manner, Lightning is what will allow us to scale our global Bitcoin network.
Where Lightning Nodes can be seen as IP hosts, I view Lightning Channels as establishedTCPconnections. On the Internet today, when we try to connect to a website for example, we open a TCP connection to a web server through which we can then download the website's HTML source code from. Alternatively, when we download a torrent file, we are opening TCP connections to other computers on the Internet which we then use to facilitate the transfer of the torrent data.
And in Lightning, we establish channels with our respective parties and are able to directly [point-to-point] send and receive data (transactions) similarly to TCP. Where Blockchain is similar to Ethernet, Lightning Nodes are our IPs and Lightning Channels our TCP connections.
To conclude, I see many similarities to our pre-existing network technologies and protocols that power our computer network(s) and I feel that we are redesigning the Internet. From a technical point of view, I don't believe that scaling Bitcoin on-chain will ever work and fear broadcast storm-like events in the future. I welcome our new unicast transaction methods enabled by the Lightning Network. Even more so, I am excited for the 'web' moment in Bitcoin.
While everyone has their eyes fixed on blockchain technology, I look towards Lightning. Lightning is the TCP/IP stack of Bitcoin. Lightning is where we will transact on. Lightning is where everything will be built on. Lightning is what will power and enable our applications and additional protocols and layers. With this said, what is to become of the main Bitcoin blockchain? It will and should remain a decentralized, tamper-proof, immutable base or foundation layer which will provide us with cryptographic evidence of what is a Bitcoin.
Some individuals and groups within our communities and ranks spread fear and warn us of false narratives of ''lightning hubs'', but fail to grasp that their scaling approach of on-chain transactions only pushes us in the direction of an actual (ethernet) hub design. If Bitcoin loses decentralization on its base layer, then we will lose Bitcoin. The past 9 years of work will have only resulted in a large, centralized broadcast hub with only a few remaining with the ability to operate such a monstrosity.
I wrote this article with hopes that it will help clear up the ongoing confusion about Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Lightning. It is designed to help better explain Blockchain and Lightning through analogies to concepts that we may be more familiar with. I also wrote this very quickly and it may contain typos. If you notice any typos, please bring it to my attention.
Southern California floods: 13 killed as mud wipes out homes - CNN
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:49
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the death toll could rise. Officials said many of the deaths are believed to be in the coastal Montecito area, where mudflows and floodwater have inundated areas downstream from where the Thomas Fire burned thousands of acres last month.
At least two dozen people were unaccounted for and authorities rescued at least 50 people in the Montecito area. The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department is working toward determining whether those "missing" were accounted for in other locations or among those who are deceased.
"It looked like a World War I battlefield," Brown said of the destruction. "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere, with huge boulders, rocks, down trees, power lines, wrecked cars -- lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes."
' Thirteen storm-related deaths were reported in Santa Barbara County, Sheriff Brown said.
' The 101 Freeway in parts of Montecito and Santa Barbara, will remain closed for at least 48 hours after muddy, debris-filled water flooded parts of the seaside roadway, according to Capt. Cindy Pontes with the California Highway Patrol.
' By early Tuesday afternoon, more than 5.5 inches of rain had fallen in parts of Ventura County over two days, the National Weather Service said. In Carpinteria, nearly 1 inch fell in just 15 minutes, the agency said.' The weather forced the closure of several theme parks, including Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia and SeaWorld in San Diego.
'Call after call' from stranded residents
Before the storm hit, Santa Barbara issued mandatory evacuations for more than 6,000 people, including living in those parts of Carpinteria, Montecito and Goleta, located below areas scorched by wildfires, including the Thomas Fire, county spokeswoman Gina DePinto said.Voluntary evacuation warnings were in effect for another 20,000 people, including others in those same communities, she said.
Brown said deputies and search and rescue team members went door-to-door Monday conducting evacuations in the mandatory evacuation areas. Those notifications were all made by nightfall, Brown said.
"While some residents cooperated with the evacuations, many did not. Many chose to stay in place, "Brown said.
The sheriff said the storm hit hard around 3 a.m. Tuesday. Between 3 and 6 a.m., dispatchers with the sheriff's office handled more than 600 telephone calls for assistance.
"They received call after call from people who were distressed, stranded in their homes or vehicles and were in need of immediate rescue," Brown said.
He added: "Once daylight came, we had a very difficult time assessing the area and responding to many of those areas to assist those people."
Brown said the mud was "knee-deep" in many places on the roadways and even deeper in the canyons.
A tractor trailer in Southern California is stuck in mud and debris.
Teenager trapped for hours in Montecito
The rain fell in areas charred by recent wildfires, triggering warnings of flash flooding and mudslides because vegetation that otherwise would hold hills together and make the terrain flood-resistant has burned away.In Montecito, six homes were "wiped away from their foundations" by mudflow and debris, Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason said.Eliason said firefighters rescued a 14-year-old girl, who had been trapped for hours in a collapsed Montecito home. The girl, coated head to foot in mud, was led by firefighters from the pile of wood and debris that was once a house, a photo from the county fire department shows.
Firefighters lead a girl, 14, from the rubble where she'd been trapped for hours Tuesday in Montecito.
In another part of Montecito, Eliason said he saw "utter devastation."
"There were three houses that were completely knocked off their foundations. Debris and wood everywhere, looking like matchsticks," he said.
Eliason recalled looking at the red band on a radar, indicating heavy rainfall.
"When that hit those hillsides, it just came rushing down," Eliason said. "Time and time again, I found myself waist deep in floodwater.
The mud and debris left roadways and neighborhoods in Montecito unrecognizable.
'Mud came in an instant, like a dam breaking'
Ben Hyatt said a river of mud had crashed through a neighbor's house in Montecito, a community of about 8,000 east of Santa Barbara,
"Apparently, one of their cars ended (up) in their backyard. We have neighbors at (the) top of the street that evacuated to their roof," Hyatt said.
Hyatt said his Montecito house was "surrounded by mud," and a washing machine had drifted into his front yard.
Debris litters the area near Hyatt's home Tuesday in Montecito in Santa Barbara County.
Hyatt said he was awake when power went out during heavy rain around 2:30 a.m. Eventually, he heard a loud swish and banging on the exterior of his house.
"Mud came in an instant, like a dam breaking. (It) surrounded the house, 2 to 3 feet," he said.
"Seems calm now. We feel safe. But definitely stuck here for a bit."
There were several glimmers of hope, as emergency officials rescued stranded residents.
Eliason, the Santa Barbara County fire spokesman, posted photos of firefighters leading people through mud and floodwater to safety.
Also in Montecito, a ruptured gas line led to a fire that consumed a building, Eliason said.
Surveillance camera video appears to show an explosion connected to that fire, said Eric Trautwein, who posted the footage on Twitter.
Cars mired in the muck
Photos of vehicles stuck in mud in Los Angeles County and nearby areas dotted Twitter feeds. One post showed a California Department of Transportation crew trying to help a trapped motorist.
In another, a Los Angeles police squad car was mired in the muck. "Officers were responding to help with evacuations. Within seconds their vehicle was consumed by the mud," the post reads.
'Praying' for Santa Barbara
Oprah Winfrey, who has home in Montecito, said she was "praying for our community again in Santa Barbara."
"Woke up to this blazing gas fire," she posted on social media.
Winfrey also showed photo of mud in her backyard.
"Helicopters rescuing my neighbors. Looking for missing persons. 13 lives lost," she wrote.
More than 1 inch of rain per hour
Heavy rains make Southern California vulnerable to flooding and debris flows, especially after fires that strip steep hillsides of vegetation.
Mudflows, mudslides and landslides often are used interchangeably when disaster strikes, but the terms have distinctions.
A mudflow is "a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas," according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"Other earth movements, such as landslide, slope failure or a saturated soil mass moving by liquidity down a slope, are not mudflows," it says.
FEMA sees a mudflow as similar to a milkshake, while the more solid mudslide is comparable to a cake.
The US Geological Survey dismisses mudslide as an "imprecise but popular term ... frequently used by laymen and the news media to describe a wide scope of events, ranging from debris-laden floods to landslides."
A landslide occurs when soil or rock moves downhill, usually due to gravity, but erosion, heavy rains and earthquakes can contribute to landslides.
Sources: FEMA, US Geological Survey
The rainfall rate of more than 1.5 inches per hour in parts of Southern California overwhelmed the landscape.
About a half inch per hour is enough to start mudslides, said Robbie Monroe of the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
The downpour is overpowering a terrain especially vulnerable in the wake of recent fires.
The Thomas Fire -- the largest wildfire in California's recorded history -- has burned more than 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties since it began in early December. It was 92% contained, and officials don't expect full containment until later this month.Montecito and Carpinteria are vulnerable to mudslides because the steep terrain in some places goes from thousands of feet above to sea level to sea level in "a matter of just a few miles," said Tom Fayram, a deputy public works director with Santa Barbara County
"That's definitely at play here. It's just a mess," he said.
Fayram said crews working to clear mud and debris from roadways saw "boulders the size of trucks that came rolling down the hillsides."
"This is a disaster, much worse than the mudslides of 1995," Fayram said. We're trying to get help from federal and state officials."
The region has suffered from years of drought, and officials say they need the rain to regrow plants and trees that help keep the hillsides together and floodproof.
Rainfall and mudflow damaged guest cottages at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California.
Mudslides are not uncommon to the area and can be deadly.
In January 2005, a landslide struck La Conchita in Ventura County, killing 10 people and destroying or damaging 36 houses.CNN's Judson Jones, Darran Simon and Paul Vercammen contributed to this report.
First France, Now Brazil Unveils Plans to Empower the Government to Censor the Internet in the Name of Stopping ''Fake News''
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:46
Yesterday afternoon, the official Twitter account of Brazil's Federal Police (its FBI equivalent) posted an extraordinary announcement. The bureaucratically nonchalant tone it used belied its significance. The tweet, at its core, purports to vest in the federal police and the federal government that oversees it the power to regulate, control and outright censor political content on the internet that is assessed to be ''false,'' and to ''punish'' those who disseminate it. The new power would cover both social media posts and entire websites devoted to politics.
''In the next few days, the Federal Police will begin activities in Bras­lia [the nation's capital] by a specially formed group to combat false news during the [upcoming 2018 presidential] election process,'' the official police tweet stated. It added: ''the measures are intended to identify and punish the authors of 'fake news' for or against candidates.'' Top police officials told media outlets that their working group would include representatives of the judiciary's election branch and leading prosecutors, though one of the key judicial figures involved is the highly controversial right-wing Supreme Court judge, Gilmar Mendes, who has long blurred judicial authority with his political activism.
Among the most confounding aspects of the Twitter announcement is that it is very difficult to identify any existing law that actually authorizes the federal police to exercise the powers they just announced they intend to wield, particularly over the internet. At least as of now, they are claiming for themselves one of the most extremist powers imaginable '' the right of the government to control and suppress political content on the internet during an election '' with no legal framework to define its parameters or furnish safeguards against abuse.
Proponents of this new internet censorship program have suggested they will seek Congressional enactment of a new law to authorize the censorship program and define how it functions. But it is far from clear that Brazil's dysfunctional Congress '' in which more than a majority of members face corruption charges '' will be able to enact a new statutory scheme before the election.
Tellingly, these police officials vow that they will proceed to implement the censorship program even if no new law is enacted. They insist that no new laws are necessary by pointing to a pre-internet censorship law enacted in 1983 '' during the time Brazil was ruled by a brutal military dictatorship that severely limited free expression and routinely imprisoned dissidents.
A top police official just yesterday warned that, absent a new law, they will invoke the authorities of one of the dictatorship era's most repressive laws: the so-called ''Law of National Security,'' which contains deliberately vague passages making it a felony to ''spread rumors that caused panic.'' Yet he complained that the old dictatorship-era law is inadequate in part because it is too lenient, providing ''only'' for ''months'' in prison for those who disseminate ''Fake News,'' which he called a ''very low punishment.''
That 1983 legal framework was used by Brazil's military dictatorship to arrest dissidents, critics, and democracy activists. That they are now eyeing a resurrection of this dictatorship-era censorship law to regulate and censor contemporary political expression on the internet '' all in the name of stopping ''Fake News'' '' powerfully symbolizes how inherently tyrannical and dangerous are all government attempts to control political expression.
The move to obtain new censorship authority over the internet by Brazilian police officials would be disturbing enough standing alone given Brazil's status as the world's fifth most populous country and second-largest in the hemisphere. But that Brazil's announcement closely follows very similar efforts unveiled last week by French President Emmanuel Macron strongly suggests a trend in which government are now exploiting concerns over ''Fake News'' to justify state control over the internet.
In his New Year's speech to journalists at the ‰lys(C)e palace (pictured above), the French President vowed that his new law would contain some robust transparency obligations for websites '' ones for which valid arguments may be assembled. But the crux of the law is censorship: during elections, ''an emergency legal action could allow authorities to remove that content or even block the website.'' As in Brazil, the new French power would cover social media platforms and traditional media outlets alike, allowing the government through an as-yet-unknown process to simply remove entire political websites from the internet.
Beyond having one's political content forcibly suppressed by the state, disseminators of ''Fake News'' could face fines of many millions of dollars. Given Macron's legislature majority, ''there is little doubt about its ability to pass,'' the Atlantic reports.
Both Brazil and France cited the same purported justification for obtaining censorship powers over the internet: namely, the dangers posed by alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. But no matter how significant one views Russian involvement in the U.S. election, it is extremely difficult to see how '' beyond rank fear-mongering '' that could justify these types of draconian censorship powers by Bras­lia and Paris.
There has never been any indication of any remote Russian interest in Brazilian's domestic elections, while the claims from Macron and France during the election that were uncritically believed by western media outlets '' that he was the victim of Russian hacking '' turned out to lack any credible evidence, as France's own cyber security agency concluded after an investigation (that same pattern repeated itself in Germany, where vocal warnings about the inevitability of Russian interference in German elections were followed by post-election admissions that there was no evidence of any such thing).
All censorship efforts rest on the same tactic: generating fear over exaggerated threats posed by villains, sometime domestic ones but more often foreign villains. The Brazilian and French tactic for inducing the public to acquiesce to this censorship faithfully follows that script.
Though presented as modern necessities to combat new, contemporaneous problems, both countries' proposals have all the defining attributes '' and all the classic pitfalls and severe dangers '' of standard state censorship efforts. To begin with, the fact that these censorship powers are confined to election time makes it more menacing, not less: having a population choose its leaders is exactly when free expression is most vital, and when the dangers of abuse of censorship powers wielded by state officials are most acute and obvious.
Worse, these new censorship proposals are centrally based on a newly concocted term that, from the start, never had any clear or consistent definition. In the wake of Trump's unexpected 2016 victory, U.S. media outlets produced a tidal wave of reports warning of the damage and pervasiveness of ''Fake News.'' Seemingly overnight, every media outlet and commentator was casually using the term as though its meaning were clear and indisputable.
Yet, as many have long been warning, few people, if any, ever bothered to define what the term actually means. As a result, it's incredibly vague, shifting, and devoid of consistent meaning. Do any news articles that contain false, significant assertions qualify? Is there some intent requirement, and if so, what is it and how is determined (does recklessness qualify)? Can large mainstream outlets such as the Washington Post, Le Monde, and Globo be guilty of publishing ''Fake News'' and thus subject to this censorship, or is it '' as one expects '' reserved only for small, independent blogs and outlets that lack a powerful corporate presence?
Ill-defined terms that become popularized in political discourse are, by definition, terms of propaganda rather than reliable, meaningful indicators of problems. And invariably, they wreak all kinds of predictable havoc and inevitably give rise to abuses of power. More than anything else, such terms '' which, by design, mean whatever powerful groups wielding them want them to mean '' so often produce arbitrary censorship in the name of combatting them. Just consider two similarly ill-defined but popular propagandistic terms '' ''terrorism'' and ''hate speech'' '' which have been appropriated by governments all over the world to justify the most extreme, repressive powers.
The last decade has seen multiple countries on every continent '' including the world's most repressive regimes '' obliterate basic civil liberties in the name of stopping ''terrorism'' '' by which they mean little other than ''those who oppose our regime.'' And then there's ''hate speech,'' which can sometimes be used to silence Nazis or overt racists, but also can be and often is used to silence a wide range of left-wing views, from war opposition to advocacy of Palestinian rights. State censorship is always dangerous, but the danger is exponentially magnified when the censorship targets (terrorism, hate speech, Fake News) lack clear definition.
Despite its recent invention, the dangers and abuse of the term ''Fake News'' are already manifest all over the world. As the Committee to Protect Journalists documented last year, ''China, consistently one of the worst jailers of journalists worldwide, has led the way in enacting vaguely worded restrictions encouraging journalists to adhere to the official narrative or risk being branded false news and charged with a crime.''
While the term was originally used in the U.S. to refer to factually false articles that supported Trump, its lack of definition enabled Trump himself to quickly appropriate the term to discredit journalism (some valid, some actually false) that reflected poorly on him. The right-wing, fascist Brazilian Congressman who is currently in a strong second place in all polls for next year's Brazilian presidential race, Jair Bolsonaro, has now enthusiastically adopted this tactic, routinely telling his followers to ignore clearly accurate reporting about him on the ground that it's ''Fake News.'' That was his predictable, and effective, response to a series of expos(C)s this week from Folha, Brazil's largest newspaper, detailing how he and his politician-sons have mysteriously compiled a large, lucrative real estate portfolio despite living for the last decade on a very modest public salary.
If none of those points convinces you to oppose, or at least be seriously concerned about, efforts to control the internet in the name of ''Fake News,'' simply apply the lessons of Donald Trump to this debate. For years during the War on Terror, civil libertarians tried to generate opposition to vast, unchecked executive power '' due-process-free detentions, secret wars, targeting one's own citizens for assassination with no charges '' by warning that although one may trust these powers in the hands of leaders that one likes (Bush or Obama), at some point a President you distrust will enter the Oval Office, and by then it will be too late to prevent him from exercising those powers.
So for those who are comfortable with the current French leader overseeing a censorship program in conjunction with courts to censor ''Fake News'' from the internet, do you trust the Trump administration to make those determinations? Do you trust Marine Le Pen? Do you the trust the current Brazilian President who seized power under highly suspicious circumstances, who has been caught repeatedly committing serious crimes, and whose approval ratings is less than 5%? Do you trust the truly fascist Brazilian candidate who has a real chance to become President this year of the world's fifth largest country? Do you trust the judges they appoint to make these determinations in conjunction with them?
Ultimately, the core question here is a simple one. What is a more serious threat: the ability of people to publish false claims (which have existed since humans developed the capacity to speak or write and are subject to correction), or vesting governments around the world to censor entire websites and social media postings on the ground that they have judged them to be ''false'' or ''Fake''? Since the advent of the internet, the one danger regarded as most menacing was having states and corporations assume control over the political content that one can express.
No matter how emotionally appealing or manipulative these justifications are '' we must stop Fake News '' conferring that type of control is exactly what these new proposals are intended to do. They have already emerged in two of the largest and most influential countries in Europe and South America, as well as the world's most populous country; their growth is only in its incipient stage.
Tom Fitton with Judicial Watch's magnificent work on Clinton/Abedin
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:43
I think this is the most important thing Tom said - "The pressure is working!"
We have to keep that same faith and keep pushing in the same direction.
Americans and Australians are good people.
We know right from wrong.
In the end we will win together as long as we keep pushing together.
Tom and his team use the system and where the system fails or is corrupted they call it!
I'm inspired!
Never allow yourself to accept what the Clintons or Gillard did.
Never say it's OK - because it's very, very far from OK.
Alt-right activist Chuck Johnson sues Twitter for banning him - CNET
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:42
Chuck Johnson is more convinced than ever that Twitter is picking and choosing which voices it wants to appear on the platform.
Johnson, a right-wing activist who's the force behind controversial websites WeSearchr and GotNews.com, is suing the social network, claiming it violated his right to free speech by banning him in 2015.
"There's no debate any more that Twitter is censoring right-leaning accounts and suppressing the views of those they don't like," Johnson said Tuesday after filing his suit against the San Francisco-based company a day earlier in Fresno County, California. "They claim that its users have freedom of speech, but it's fraudulent inducement."
Right-leaning activist Chuck Johnson is suing Twitter for permanently suspending him in 2015
Chuck Johnson/Peter Duke Twitter declined to comment on the pending litigation.
Johnson's suit is the second legal complaint this week alleging a major tech company is culturally tilted against conservative viewpoints. Ex-Google engineer James Damore filed a class-action suit Monday claiming the search giant discriminates against white men. The suit filed in Silicon Valley comes five months after Damore was fired for distributing a contentious 3,300-word memo questioning Google's diversity policies.
The backlash against Silicon Valley is fueled by allegations Facebook, Twitter and other platforms are censoring conservative views. In 2016, far-right Canadian commentator Lauren Southern tweeted that she had been banned from Facebook for saying Facebook censors conservatives.
In November, Twitter removed the blue verification badges from two notable members of the "alt-right," a loose collection of fringe conservatives that includes white nationalists and white supremacists. A month later, Twitter removed at least 20 high-profile accounts, prompting supporters to protest the action and propel #TwitterPurge to a global trending hashtag.
Silicon Valley's perceived bias against conservatives has prompted the creation of alternative platforms such as Gab.ai and Voat, which promise unrestrained free speech, to fill the void.
Johnson was suspended by Twitter after tweeting that he wanted to raise money for "taking out" DeRay McKesson, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist. Many people viewed the tweet as a call for violence against McKesson.
Johnson's lawsuit says he wasn't seeking violence but rather for an investigation that could damage McKesson's credibility.
The lawsuit calls Twitter's rules "vague and subjective" and applied inconsistently.
In his lawsuit, Johnson cites internal Twitter emails leaked to BuzzFeed in December. According to emails in the article, Johnson said he was personally banned by then-CEO Dick Costolo.
"To be very clear, I don't want to find out we unsuspended this Chuck Johnson troll later on," Costello is quoted as having written to staff. "That account is permanently suspended and nobody for no reason may reactivate it."
First published Jan. 9, 6:02 p.m. PT.
Update, 6:49 p.m.: Updated to include background and additional examples.
iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.
The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.
Highly Classified Satellite Plummeted Into Indian Ocean After SpaceX Launch, Official Confirms
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:37
After the launch of the secretive Zuma satellite into outer space aboard the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, reports circulated that the new eye in the sky, which is worth billions, "is presumed to be a total loss after it failed to reach orbit."
Then, as we reported this morning, in the absence of any official statement from either the government or SpaceX itself - understandable since the cargo was so "secret" nobody was willing to make any statements on the record - the mystery around the launch and the payload continued, as in an emailed statement, company President and COO Gwynne Shotwell, said that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday "did everything correctly."
For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.
Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible.
Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule. Falcon Heavy has been rolled out to launchpad LC-39A for a static fire later this week, to be followed shortly thereafter by its maiden flight. We are also preparing for an F9 launch for SES and the Luxembourg Government from SLC-40 in three weeks.
Which is odd as Bloomberg reported that the second-stage booster section of the Falcon 9 failed, although again there was no official statement. It didn't help that Tim Paynter, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman which was commissioned by the Defense Department to choose the launch contractor, said ''we cannot comment on classified missions.''
Further, as we discussed last night, the mystery grew due to the secretive nature of the mission, and SpaceX did not show the entire Zuma mission during its livestream. Typically for its commercial flights, the company will show the launch all the way through to the payload's deployment into orbit. However, the Zuma webcast did not broadcast the separation of the nose cone, which surrounds the satellite during launch, nor did it show the satellite being deployed. SpaceX has censored its livestreams like this before with other classified government payloads that the company has launched. But usually SpaceX or the government agency its working with will confirm a successful mission afterward. So doubts started circulating late Sunday night when neither SpaceX nor Northrop Grumman '-- the manufacturer of the Zuma satellite '-- confirmed if the launch was successful.
Of course, Northrop Grumman wouldn't comment on the launch. "This is a classified mission. We cannot comment on classified missions,'' Lon Rains, communications director for Northrop, said in a statement to The Verge. But a payload adapter failure would explain a lot: it would mean the spacecraft and the rocket's upper stage made it to orbit still attached, where they were picked up by Strategic Command's tracking. Then the two somehow de-orbited, on accident or maybe even on purpose '-- it's possible SpaceX used the rocket to send the pair careening toward Earth, since Zuma was not designed to live in orbit with a rocket strapped to its back.
Meanwhile, Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, the Pentagon spokesman for space policy, referred questions to SpaceX.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Zuma satellite into orbit
In short: i) nobody wants to talk and ii) nobody wants to take the blame. The confusion prompted The Verge to actually post "Did SpaceX's secret Zuma mission actually fail?"
We now have the answer to at least one of the questions, because as ABC reports, a US official confirmed that the highly classified satellite launched by SpaceX this weekend ended up plummeting into the Indian Ocean.
Here is what we now know:
Following its launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral Sunday night, the satellite failed to remain in orbit, the official said.
Northrop Grumman, the defense contractor that manufactured the payload -- reportedly a billion-dollar spy satellite -- told ABC News its mission is classified and declined to comment on the loss of the satellite.
But SpaceX suggested that it was not at fault, telling ABC News its rocket, named Falcon 9, "did everything correctly."
And yet, the confusion remains: as noted above, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell denied the company was at fault: "The data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational, or other changes are needed." Furthermore, the Zuma indent won't impact the schedule of SpaceX's upcoming launches, including the maiden flight of Falcon Heavy, the company said.
So what really happened? As the Verge notes, until someone speaks on the record, it's hard to know for sure. Meanwhile, SpaceX is pretty pleased with the launch. The company has been tweeting pictures from the mission, indicating that all went well. Plus, SpaceX rolled out its new Falcon Heavy rocket to its primary launchpad for an upcoming test, which probably wouldn't have happened if there was a major issue with the company's rocket hardware. ''Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule,'' Shotwell added in her statement. ''Falcon Heavy has been rolled out to launchpad LC-39A for a static fire later this week, to be followed shortly thereafter by its maiden flight.''
But since Zuma is a classified mission, it seems doubtful we'll get a straight answer. It's possible that there's a dead government satellite in orbit right now, but it seems likely it succumbed to Earth's atmosphere over the weekend.
CES 2018 gadgets: from talking toilets to snuggle robots - The Washington Post
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:36
A toilet you talk to and a headband that zaps you to help you lose weight are just a two of the craziest tech gadgets that The Post's Geoffrey A. Fowler and Hayley Tsukayama found at CES2018. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)
LAS VEGAS '-- Are you ready to talk to your toilet? Or cuddle with a robot?
Those are just a few of the ideas we've seen at CES 2018, the annual consumer technology confab here at the Las Vegas Convention Center and other venues. Sure, there are tech titans here battling to control our computers, TVs and smart homes. But our favorite part is the thousands of other companies that gather to launch something new.
While these ideas sometimes catch on, like fitness trackers and wireless ear buds, many go nowhere. But the eager attempts are always interesting and often say something about where we're headed in our relationships with technology. Here are the most out-there ideas that caught our attention.
Kohler Numi, an Internet-connected toilet
The Kohler Numi toilet (Image courtesy of Kohler)
You can now ask Alexa to flush. Kohler's latest high-end toilet connects to the Internet and responds to voice commands. Beyond flushing, you can ask Amazon's Alexa (as well as Google Assistant and Apple's Siri) to lift the seat or activate your favorite bidet spray configuration. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos also owns The Washington Post.) There's no microphone on the toilet itself, but there are speakers to play your favorite tunes. Plus, it keeps track of water usage.
$5,625 and up, available in the fourth quarter of the year
Somnox, a robot you can cuddle with
Geoffrey A. Fowler is seen with the Somnox, a robot that serves as a sleep companion. (Photo by Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)
This bot just wants to cuddle. Somnox is a bed companion that simulates human breathing. When you hug the robot, the rising and falling sensation subconsciously calms you down and helps you get to sleep faster, say its makers. Somnox can also make the soothing sounds of heartbeats, lullabies and guided meditation, which you activate from an app. Best part: It doesn't ever snore.
$600, shipping in September
Modius, a headband to help you lose weight
(Image courtesy of Modius)
Pack on a few pounds during this cold snap? Modius has built a headset that stimulates your vestibular nerve, which runs behind your ear and into your brain. You use Modius by attaching a pad to your skin, which has a wire that runs up to the headband. The electric current, Modius says, stimulates the part of the brain that controls your appetite. It's meant to be an extra boost to supplement your weight-loss plan. Brain-zapping technology is still somewhat unproven, but several companies claim it can help everything from concentration to pain relief.
$500, expected in February
Foldimate and Laundroid, robots that fold your laundry
(Image courtesy of Foldimate)
These competing robots tackle one of the week's most arduous chores. Foldimate's promises to fold a load of laundry in 4 minutes, but asks you to feed each piece in, individually. The much pricier Laundroid folds from a drawer of clothes, but takes much longer. Sadly, neither can tackle socks or sheets yet. Those still must be done by hand.
$16,000 for Laundroid, $980 for Foldimate
Kingston Nucleum, a 7-in-1 hub for MacBooks
(Image courtesy of Nucleum)
Okay, this one is just wildly practical. Remember when the MacBook Pro was useful for actual professionals? That was before Apple took away useful inputs and replaced them with USB Type-C ports requiring adapters and dongles. Plug a Nucleum hub into a MacBook and those useful ports return. You get back two traditional large USB ports, HDMI for an external monitor, an SD card slot, a microSD card slot '-- and still two USB Type-C ports. It even has pass-through power, so you can charge your phone or laptop.
$80, shipping now from Kingtson.com
PowerSpot, a charging hub with no cords or mats
(Image courtesy of Powercast)
More gadgets? That means more charging cables. But Powercast's PowerSpot hub promises to charge devices such as watches, headphones and keyboards within an 80-foot radius without any charging accessories. It does that by using technology that promises to be like WiFi, but for electricity. With recent approval from the Federal Communications Commission, it's closer than ever to hitting the market.
$100, expected in the third quarter of this year
Dell XPS 13, a woven-glass laptop
(Image courtesy of Dell)
Dell's 2018 refresh of its popular XPS 13 line uses an extra-hardy white glass fiber weave finish that resists the most devilish stains and yellowing over time. We attacked one with a black Sharpie permanent marker, and it eventually came out (with a bit of elbow grease). At a time when lots of other companies are making cloth-covered gadgets, Dell gets a high-five for recognizing that road warriors really want a laptop that stands up to abuse.
$1,000 and up, shipping now on Dell.com
Xeros, a washing machine that could really slash your water bill
(Image courtesy of Xeros)
Running a laundry load uses a lot of water '-- while also subjecting your clothes to some serious roughhousing. Xeros fills washing machines with nylon balls about the size of green peas that help massage away dirt and absorb loose dye using half as much water. It also jostles your clothes less, leading to energy savings and clothes that last longer. The tech is already used in some commercial washers and is trying to work its way into home models.
Price hasn't been set yet; could arrive in the consumer home market within two years.
INVI, a bracelet to fight assault
(Image courtesy of INVI)
INVI's stylish bracelet is actually a deterrent against sexual assault. Like a skunk, INVI's bracelet releases a foul odor to repel attackers, in this case when you break its clasp. It's not clear how much of a deterrent a bad smell would be, but we commend the idea to develop tech to help discourage attackers.
About $70, shipping now
ElliQ, a social robot for seniors
(Image courtesy of ElliQ)
Isolation is a significant problem for some older adults. ElliQ is a tabletop robot with a swiveling head that connects seniors to friends for messages and video chats and makes it a bit easier for them to take advantage of online information and services. It suggests physical activities, such as taking medicine or going for a walk, and also makes personalized recommendations for news, music or games.
Headed to beta trials before a launch this year
3DRudder, a game controller for your feet
(Image courtesy of 3DRudder)
Virtual reality is all about immersion, but in real life most people don't move anywhere by using the thumbstick that most VR systems employ. 3DRudder is a foot pad that rocks and turns to simulate footsteps while seated. We first saw 3DRudder at CES in 2015; its software has come far since then, and it has added straps to keep you from losing your footing.
$139, shipping now
Aibo, a robot dog
(Photo by Geoffrey A. Fowler/The Washington Post)
Sony's iconic Aibo dog, discontinued in 2006, has been reborn and is cuter and smarter than ever. Originally announced last fall, the new pup stole the show at Sony's CES news conference, where he was shown to a U.S. audience for the first time. Aibo has a camera in its nose, a microphone to pick up voice commands and 22 adorably articulated parts. The bad news: Sony is only selling it in Japan, for now.
$1,800, ships Jan. 11
All the Money in the World pay gap reports spark new Hollywood inequality row
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:34
Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg in All the Money in the World. Photograph: Allstar/Scott Free Productions
Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5m (£1.1m) for the reshoot of Ridley Scott's film All the Money in the World while his co-star Michelle Williams was paid $80 a day '' a total of less than $1,000 '' according to reports.
Scott's thriller, about the 1973 kidnapping of Paul Getty, was only two months from release when the director called the last-minute reshoot of 22 scenes featuring Kevin Spacey, after the actor was accused of multiple counts of sexual assault and harassment.
Scott told the Guardian in an interview published on Saturday that he believed the bad publicity around Spacey would ''infect the movie'' and make it difficult to sell.
In the same interview, Scott said all the actors involved in the reshoot had agreed to do so unpaid. But USA Today reported on Tuesday that ''three people familiar with the situation but not authorised to speak publicly about it'' had confirmed Wahlberg's and Williams' reshoot fees.
Williams, one of the founding members of Time's Up, the Hollywood-led response to sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace, was reportedly not told of Wahlberg's fee. Neither Williams nor Wahlberg have commented on the reports.
The reshoot fee differential was flagged by some Hollywood figures on Twitter shortly after this week's Golden Globes awards, which saw many Hollywood women wearing black on the red carpet to protest sexual harassment and assault.
Actor Jessica Chastain tweeted that she had heard rumours that Williams had received ''$80 a day compared to [Wahlberg's] MILLIONS'' for the reshoot. Hollywood gender equality advocate Melissa Silverstein called the reported pay gap ''egregious'' and ''unacceptable''.
In an open letter published on 1 January, Time's Up argued that the ''systemic gender inequality and imbalance of power'' in the workplace ''fosters an environment that is ripe for abuse and harassment against women''.
The collective's projects include the establishment of a legal defence fund to assist women in less privileged professions to combat sexual harassment and assault in their workplaces.
The High Crimes of FBI Agents Page and Strzok
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:30
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
It is official that America in 2016 AD in the year of our Lord had the Alt Right, and into this America also had the Alt Nazi, a group deep state zealots whose political minder aim was to protect the corporate interests of their candidates in Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The summation of this is in two FBI Agents in Peter Strzok and the fem fatale he was having intercourse with in Lisa Page an attorney for the FBI. I honestly am surprised I am stunned by these two in what they were engaged in, because Lisa Page is an attorney hired by the FBI, meaning she should be extremely bright, and yet in these text exchanges with her sex partner, she was oblivious to the Hillary Clinton fact that one does not send incriminating texts on government communications. In Page's case, she had just engaged in stalking a New York Times reporter, which reads like creepy intimidation of this reporter as she was looking for his wife and children. When Strzok warns her not to be engaged in this on an FBI phone, she responds "Too late".
That is like shooting up your neighborhood with an FBI pistol and not realizing that was a bad idea.
THIS IS IMPORTANT, as the foundation of these texts reveals one troubling reality. There was not any real investigation into Donald Trump. We know that MI6 was leaking information, we know that fake dossiers were created and given to the FBI, and we know from Strzok and Page that they were leaking information to the fake news press and then pretending to discover it, and presenting it to FBI investigators as evidence.
I placed that as a Lame Cherry quote and you must remember that. Strzok and Page were taking fake intelligence, feeding it to various CIA operated media outlets writing hit pieces on Donald Trump for the deep state, and then they were feeding these bogus news stories as EVIDENCE back to Director Andrew McCabe and others, pretending to discover it.
It was literal planted news stories which was driving this investigation and hysteria, which James Comey was viewing as legitimate sourced information. This was Press Political Assassination, and the bogus news was accepted as additionally sourced by James Comey, when it was his own lying political minders.
This was the snake eating it's own tail. MI6 Christopher Steele manufactured a fake dossier. It was fed to John McCain and John Podesta, who fed it to James Comey, who fed it to his FBI investigators who several of whom were feeding it to the press for publication, whereby Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were then feeding it back to the investigators who reported to Comey as legitimate sourced information.
This was a smear job, a criminal leaking of information, for the absolute purpose of overthrowing the 2016 elections and Strzok and Page concluded they were secure in these crimes, because Hillary Clinton with Loretta Lynch would close it all down and we would never know any of this took place again.
It requires stating again, because this was a rotten, putrid culture in the FBI and Justice, and when they were doing this to Donald Trump and the American election process, they had been engaged in just as criminal acts they had gotten away with before.
The first quote in this makes several damning points about Page.
Page was concerned a leaked story was too specific, meaning it would point to them. But in this revelation she states the media article only had a tiny bit of information from them.
This means there was someone else leaking wholesale to the press, confirming the fake intelligence that Page was leaking.
Page and Strzok also confirm that they are destroying someone deliberately in government. That is another criminal act in weaponizing an investigation and targeting someone for their removal.
Page mentions a conversation she had just had with FBI chief of staff James Rybicki and openly expressed concern the information about the FBI's timeline was too specific for comfort in the article.
''Sorry, Rybicki called. Time line article in the post (sic) is super specific and not good. Doesn't make sense because I didn't have specific information to give.''
A few days earlier Strzok texted Page about another new article, suggesting it was anti-FBI. ''Yep, the whole tone is anti-Bu. Just a tiny bit from us,'' he wrote.
Page texted she had seen the article. ''Makes me feel WAY less bad about throwing him under the bus to the forthcoming CF article,'' she texted. Congressional investigators are still trying to determine what the ''CF article'' reference means and who the agents thought they were trying to throw ''under the bus.''
Republicans want to interview Page to determine if she assisted with any ''forthcoming'' articles or helped another FBI employee ''give'' information to the news media, particularly because she helped advise then-deputy director McCabe.
Likewise, congressional investigators want to question Strzok about what he meant about the ''tiny bit from us'' reference.
I will repeat do not miss the TOO SPECIFIC, as it concludes that Lisa Page leaked the information, but she was not this detailed, which means there was an ADDITIONAL LEAKER in this group who was providing wholesale classified details in greater deep state activity than even Page and Stzok were involved in.
This is absolute proof that there was a multi level operation against Donald Trump and that there was wholesale tampering with a federal criminal investigation.
This quote confirms how Strzok and Page were tampering with a federal investigation by leaking to the press. It details how they weaponized a fake Pissgate dossier, by planting the stories and then turning these media articles over to their superiors who would be James Comey and Andrew McCabe for starters.
In one exchange, FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page engaged in a series of texts shortly before Election Day 2016 suggesting they knew in advance about an article in The Wall Street Journal and would need to feign stumbling onto the story so it could be shared with colleagues.
''Article is out, but hidden behind paywall so can't read it,'' Page texted Strzok on Oct. 24, 2016.''Wsj? Boy that was fast,'' Strzok texted back, using the initials of the famed financial newspaper. ''Should I 'find' it and tell the team?''
The text messages, which were reviewed by The Hill, show the two FBI agents discussed how they might make it appear they innocently discovered the article, such as through Google News alerts.
''I can get it like I do every other article that hits any Google News alerts, seriously,'' Strzok wrote, adding he didn't want his team hearing about the article ''from someone else.
This last quote is the stalker quote, where two of the most powerful FBI agents were researching a New York Times reporter. Put yourself in this reporter's position, in this is not an official FBI investigation and the reporter had done absolutely nothing wrong. Matt Apuzzo though was being stalked by Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, because of the information he was dispensing. How would you like to have two rogue FBI agents pulling up the data on your spouse and your children?
What possibly could be the purpose of this, but to intimidate this American.
The two agents also spent extensive time shortly before the 2016 election trying to track down information '-- including an address and a spouse's job '-- about The New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo, who has reported on numerous developments in the Russia case.
''We got a list of kids with their parents' names. How many Matt Apuzzo's (sic) could there be in DC,'' Page texted. ''Showed J a picture, he said he thinks he has seen a guy who kinda looks like that, but always really schlubby. I said that sounds like every reporter I have ever seen.''
A minute later, Page added another text: ''Found what I think might be their address, too.''
Strzok writes back, ''He's TOTALLY schlubby. Don't you remember?''
Page responded later by saying she found information on the reporter's wife too. ''Found address looking for her. Lawyer.''
Strzok cautions Page against using the work phone to track down information on the reporter. ''I wouldn't search on your work phone, ,,, no idea what that might trigger,'' he texted.
''Oops. Too late,'' she responded back.
No one in Rush Limbaugh media of the right cares about what happened to the Bundy's and still is, and yet the Bundy lynching is the same exact Robert Mueller and James Comey out of control FBI, along with now Jeff Sessions justice which he provides cover for Rob Rosenstein, another Clinton Obama voter.
What Lisa Page and Peter Strzok engaged in are High Crimes against the Government of the United States. They literally tampered with a federal investigation, leaked classified information, and then laundered it for Hillary Clinton's election to make it appear to James Comey and Andrew McCabe who were already off the deep end for Obama Clinton as actual evidence.
Think about that hard in would you like a newspaper account of gossip about you, to be viewed by the FBI as evidence for your prosecution from a neighbor who hated you? That is what was taking place in this window into Page and Strzok which honestly boggles the mind, but after Robert Mueller gutted the FBI for his clones and it was run by the drone James Comey, this criminal activity inside the FBI has repeated itself again and again, just as Gregory Bretzing in the Oregon stand off that witnessed the murder of LaVoy Finicum, skated to retirement and a high paying job in the private sector especially created for him.
It requires stating in Lisa Page and Peter Strzok committed crimes, multiple felonies, in abuse of power and information which was supposed to be secure to protect the innocent. That is the reality in this, and it also is the reality in this corrupt police state of deep state Jeff Sessions that I expect nothing to be done about this, anymore than the murder of LaVoy Finicum, the murder of a mother and child at Ruby Ridge and the murder of children in the Branch Davidians. Instead all of those culprits were rewarded for protecting the deep state and eliminating Americans.
This the system of the Alt Nazi which controls the government of the United States.
Nuff Said
agtG
Donald's Ducks Not In A Row
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:24
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
There is one thing of value coming out of Fusion GPS in testimony leaked by Senator Diane Feinstein, and that is Fusion had the distinct impression that the FBI had a mole inside the Trump organization.
This part is vital in this as it explains why the FBI was not interested in the Trump dossier which they knew was bogus, it was because they had direct intelligence from someone who was either part of the campaign or part of the Trump organization.
The head of the research firm behind a dossier of allegations against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump told congressional investigators that someone inside Trump's network had also provided the FBI with information during the 2016 campaign, according to a newly released transcript, a claim quickly disputed by people close to the investigation into Russian interference in the election.
Glenn R. Simpson, a founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, spoke to investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee for 10 hours in August. As the partisan fight over Russian interference in the 2016 election has intensified, Simpson has urged that his testimony be released, and a copy of the transcript was made public Tuesday.
Donald Trump's deep throat is a finite group. It would be either part of Bush fam who hired into the campaign, one of Ivanka and Jared's slumming Obama Clinton or a combination in the Jews who surround Donald Trump and work for Tel Aviv.
We know certain certainties in this too, as whoever this mole was reporting to the deep state, that they did not appear in the infamous Don jr. meeting that Jared and Ivanka leaked to save Jared's ass by being a cooperating witness with Robert Mueller, as this meeting was not known about until later. What Fusion had created were bogus files, but the FBI had a source inside Trump's inner sanctum who was feeding them direct information on Donald Trump and the FBI was drooling over it.
Simpson said he didn't know whether the person was connected to the Trump campaign or a Trump company, adding that his understanding was the source was someone who had volunteered information to the FBI or, in his words, ''someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report something.''
One person familiar with the probe said Simpson's comments misrepresent what had actually happened '-- that it was an Australian official who reached out to the United States in late July with concerns about a conversation months earlier in London with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with investigators.
During Simpson's interview in August, a Republican staffer pressed him further on this claim, and Simpson's answers were vague. Steele ''would say very generic things like I saw (the FBI), they asked me a lot of questions, sounds like they have another source or they have another source. He wouldn't put words in their mouth,'' the transcript says.
You do remember someone set up a server in Trump Tower which was being pinged by Russian servers which was viewed as "a connection". This points to a conclusion that whoever was feeding information to the FBI was probably creating hot links to drive the FBI investigation forward.
It has been pointed out here that just like the JFK years, was one intelligence group who played the American security and intelligence groups for their own nuclear means and that was Tel Aviv. In all of this, time and again Tel Aviv appears in meetings or their assets are creating problems.
If I was betting on this, the mole was trying to get Hillary Clinton elected for an Ashkenaz outcome in war with Russia and the nuclear dominance of Tel Aviv, as what was the Clinton scripted agenda, which has now become the Trump agenda.
Once again another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
SimonandGarfunkel - Mrs. Robinson (lyrics) - Duration: 3:51. J 1,369,096 views. 3:51. 35 videos Play all ר×'×× ×§××' ח×'×(C) ...agtG
Beauty of politicians plays an important role for German voters, study finds
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:21
Sahra Wagenknecht (Left Party) and Cem –zdemir (Green Party). Photo: DPA.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the prettiest politician of them all? (Hint: not Chancellor Merkel)
Prior to Christian Lindner's withdrawal from the ''Jamaica coalition'' Bundestag (German parliament) talks, the Free Democrats (FDP) leader enjoyed success in September's federal election.
Reviving the FDP after it embarrassingly crashed out of parliament in 2013, his party earned 10.7 percent in the last election after heavily relying on a campaign full of slick black-and-white photos of their young leader.
Now researchers have found that Lindner's success can be partly attributed to his looks.
Sociologist Ulrich Rosar and his research team in D¼sseldorf have recently presented their findings - that the relationship between a politician's appearance and the votes they collect is "very substantial."
Christian Lindner (FDP). Photo: DPA
Rosar's team examined a total of 1,786 politicians for the study - each of them judged by a jury of two dozen men and women on an attractiveness scale ranging from zero (unattractive) to six (very attractive).
The results found that while a candidate's familiarity and prominence was a top priority, second to that was beauty as an important decision criterion.
Looking at the lead candidates of parties, Christian Lindner took the top spot in the men's ranking with 3.43 points. Meanwhile Sahra Wagenknecht, leader of the Left Party, lead the women's category with 4.08 points. Alternative for Germany's (AfD) Alice Weidel scored 3.25 points, followed by Katrin G¶ring-Eckhard (2.58) of the Green Party. Further down the list was Cem –zdemir (2.13) also of the Green Party.
Social Democrats (SPD) leader Martin Schulz garnered 1.67 points whereas Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) trailed behind him with only 1.04 points. Alexander Gauland, the septuagenarian co-leader of the AfD, came in last place with 0.54 points.
Alice Weidel (AfD). Photo: DPA
''Election decisions are made more often at short notice, with a simultaneous increase in the willingness to change one's mind," Rosar, head of the Faculty of Philosophy at Heinrich Heine University who's been researching the relationship between physical attractiveness and electoral success for over a decade, told die Welt.
And in the absence of comprehensive and reliable information on complex political issues, election decisions can be influenced by "characteristics of the candidates unrelated to their roles."
In addition, Rosar says, people tend to mix aesthetic evaluations with ethical and intellectual ones. Beautiful people are generally ascribed more positive characteristics than less attractive people.
Co-author Sabrina Sch¶ttle moreover defends the number of participants in the study (24), stating: "There is a consensus on attractiveness, which ensures that even relatively small groups achieve representative results."
Nigeria:Govt to Create 1 Million Jobs Through Eggs Production, Processing, Sale
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:20
The Federal Government said on Tuesday egg production, processing and marketing could create no fewer than one million jobs through its National Egg Production (NEGPRO) Scheme.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, made this known in Abuja at a meeting with the Technical Committee on National Egg Production.
Ogbeh expressed optimism that the country would be self-sufficient in egg production through the scheme, by which poultry value chain would be developed across the 36 states of the country including FCT.
The minister said the scheme would be inaugurated in Ondo State and subsequently in other states of the country.
"The ministry will work with the committee and with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), we will achieve the goal of the scheme.
"Unless we deal with the problem of food, Africa cannot survive," he said.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Toyin Taiwo, said in a document that the scheme was aimed at strengthening egg production, processing and consumption in the country.
Taiwo, who is also the Director, Animal Husbandry in the ministry, said the scheme would help diversify the economy and increase the contribution of agriculture to the country's Gross Domestic Product.
"The scheme is for the period of five years and at full operation nationwide, it is expected to provide about 50 million table eggs daily for local consumption, export, processing into egg powder for use in confectioneries and pharmaceuticals," he said.
Chief Tunde Badmus, the Chairman of Tuns Farms Limited and National Anchor of the scheme, said that farmers would be given loans by the CBN to kick start egg production across the country after the flag off of the programme in states.
He listed the facilitators of the scheme to include Bank of Agriculture, the Poultry Association of Nigeria, CBN and the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that in 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tuns farms to develop the scheme to improve nutrition and egg production across the country.
RUBBISH! - Willamette Week
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:52
It's past midnight. Over the whump of the wipers and the screech of the fan belt, we lurch through the side streets of Southeast Portland in a battered white van, double-checking our toolkit: flashlight, binoculars, duct tape, scissors, watch caps, rawhide gloves, vinyl gloves, latex gloves, trash bags, 30-gallon can, tarpaulins, Sharpie, notebook--notebook?
Well, yes. Technically, this is a journalistic exercise--at least, that's what we keep telling ourselves. We're upholding our sacred trust as representatives of the Fourth Estate. Comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable.Pushing the reportorial envelope--by liberating the trash of Portland's top brass.
We didn't dream up this idea on our own. We got our inspiration from the Portland police.
Back in March, the police swiped the trash of fellow officer Gina Hoesly. They didn't ask permission. They didn't ask for a search warrant. They just grabbed it. Their sordid haul, which included a bloody tampon, became the basis for drug charges against her (see "Gross Violation," below).
The news left a lot of Portlanders--including us--scratching our heads. Aren't there rules about this sort of thing? Aren't citizens protected from unreasonable search and seizure by the Fourth Amendment?
The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office doesn't think so. Prosecutor Mark McDonnell says that once you set your garbage out on the curb, it becomes public property.
"She placed her garbage can out in the open, open to public view, in the public right of way," McDonnell told Judge Jean Kerr Maurer earlier this month. "There were no signs on the garbage, 'Do not open. Do not trespass.' There was every indication...she had relinquished her privacy, possessory interest."
Police Chief Mark Kroeker echoed this reasoning. "Most judges have the opinion that [once] trash is put out...it's trash, and abandoned in terms of privacy,"he told WW.
In fact, it turns out that police officers throughout Oregon have been rummaging through people's trash for more than three decades. Portland drug cops conduct"garbage pulls" once or twice per month, says narcotics Sgt. Eric Schober.
On Dec. 10, Maurer rubbished this practice. Scrutinizing garbage, she declared, is an invasion of privacy: The police must obtain a search warrant before they swipe someone's trash.
"Personal and business correspondence, photographs, personal financial information, political mail, items related to health concerns and sexual practices are all routinely found in garbage receptacles," Maurer wrote. The fact that a person has put these items out for pick-up, she said, "does not suggest an invitation to others to examine them."
But local law enforcement officials pooh-poohed the judge's decision.
"This particular very unique and very by-herself judge took a position no in concert with the other judges who had given us instruction by their decisions across the years," said Kroeker.
The District Attorney's Office agreed and vowed to challenge the ruling.
The question of whether your trash is private might seem academic. It's not.Your garbage can is like a trap door that opens on to your most intimate secrets; what you toss away is, in many ways, just as revealing as what you keep.
And your garbage can is just one of the many places where your privacy is being pilfered. In the wake of 9/11, the U.S. government has granted itself far-reaching new powers to spy on you, from email to bank statements to video cameras (see"Big Brother's in Your Trash Can," below).
After much debate, we resolved to turn the tables on three of our esteemed public officials. We embarked on an unauthorized sightseeing tour of their garbage, to make a point about how invasive a "garbage pull" really is--and to highlight the government's ongoing erosion of people's privacy.
We chose District Attorney Mike Schrunk because his office is the most vocal defender of the proposition that your garbage is up for grabs. We chose Police Chief Mark Kroeker because he runs the bureau. And we chose Mayor Vera Katz because, as police commissioner, she gives the chief his marching orders.
Each, in his or her own way, has endorsed the notion that you abandon your privacy when you set your trash out on the curb. So we figured they wouldn't mind too much if we took a peek at theirs.
Perched in his office on the 15th floor of the Justice Center, Chief Kroeker seemed perfectly comfortable with the idea of trash as public property.
"Things inside your house are to be guarded," he told WW. "Those that are in the trash are open for trash men and pickers and--and police. And so it's not a matter of privacy anymore."
Then we spread some highlights from our haul on the table in front of him.
"This is very cheap," he blurted out, frowning as we pointed out a receipt with his credit-card number, a summary of his wife's investments, an email prepping the mayor about his job application to be police chief of Los Angeles, a well-chewed cigar stub, and a handwritten note scribbled in pencil on a napkin, so personal it made us cringe. We also drew his attention to a newsletter from the conservative political advocacy group Focus on the Family, addressed to "Mr. & Mrs. Mark Kroeker."
"Are you a member of Focus on the Family?" we asked.
"You know," he said, with a Clint Eastwood gaze, "it's none of your business."
As we explained our thinking, the chief, who is usually polite to a fault, cut us off in mid sentence. "OK," he said, suddenly standing up, "we're done."
Hours later, the chief issued a press release complaining that WW had gone through "my personal garbage at my home." KATU promptly took to the airwaves declaring, "Kroeker wants Willamette Week to stay out of his garbage."
If the chief got overheated, the mayor went nuclear. When we confessed that we had swiped her recycling, she summoned us to her chambers.
"She wants you to bring the trash--and bring the name of your attorney," said her press secretary, Sarah Bott.
Actually, we couldn't snatch Katz's garbage, because she keeps it right next to her house, well away from the sidewalk. To avoid trespassing, we had to settle for a bin of recycling left out front.
The day after our summons, Wednesday, Dec. 18, we trudged down to City Hall, stack of newsprint in hand. A gaggle of TV and radio reporters were waiting to greet us, tipped off by high-octane KXL motor-mouth Lars Larson.
We filed into the mayor's private conference room. The atmosphere, chilly to begin with, turned arctic when the mayor marched in. She speared us each with a wounded glare, then hoisted the bin of newspaper and stalked out of the room--all without uttering a word.
A few moments later, her office issued a prepared statement. "I consider Willamette Week's actions in this matter to be potentially illegal and absolutely unscrupulous and reprehensible," it read. "I will consider all my legal options in response to their actions."
In contrast, DA Mike Schrunk was almost playful when we owned up to nosing through his kitchen scraps. "Do I have to pay for this week's garbage collection?" he joked.
We told Schrunk that we intended to report that his garbage contained mementos of his military service. "Don't burn me on that," he implored. "The Marine Corps will shoot me!"
It's worth emphasizing that our junkaeological dig unearthed no whiff of scandal. Based on their throwaways, the chief, the DA and the mayor are squeaky-clean, poop-scooping folks whose private lives are beyond reproach. They emerge from this escapade smelling like--well, coffee grounds.
But if three moral, upstanding, public-spirited citizens were each chewing their nails about the secrets we might have stumbled on, how the hell should the rest of us be feeling?
Decked out in watch caps and rubber gloves, we are kneeling in a freezing garage and cradling our first major discovery--a five-pound bag of dog poo.
We set it down next to the rest of our haul from District Attorney Mike Schrunk's trash--the remains of Thanksgiving turkey, the mounting stack of his granddaughter's diapers, the bag of dryer lint, the tub of Skippy peanut butter, and the shredded bag of peanut M&Ms.
There is something about poking through someone else's garbage that makes you feel dirty, and it's not just the stench and the flies. Scrap by scrap, we are reverse-engineering a grimy portrait of another human being, reconstituting an identity from his discards, probing into stuff that is absolutely, positively none of our damn business.
It's one thing to revel in the hallowed tradition of muckraking. It's another to get down on your hands and knees and nose through wads of someone else's Kleenex. Is this why our parents sent us to college? So we could paw through orange peels and ice-cream tubs and half-eaten loaves of bread?
And yet, there is also something seductive, almost intoxicating, about being a Dumpster detective. For example, we spot a clothing tag marked "44/Regular."Then we find half of a torn receipt from Meier & Frank for $262.99. Then we find the other half, which reads: "MENS SU 3BTN." String it together, and we deduce that Schrunk plunked down $262.99 for a size-44 three-button suit at Meier & Frank on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 9:35 am.
We are getting to know Portland's top prosecutor from the inside out. Here's an empty bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label. There's a pile of castoff duds from his days as a Marine. Is he going "soft" on terrorism!?
Chinese takeout boxes and junk-food wrappers testify to a busy lifestyle with little time to cook. A Post-it note even lays bare someone's arithmetic skills(the addition is solid, but the long division needs work).
Our haul from Mayor Vera Katz is limited to a stack of newsprint from her recycling bin--her garbage can was well out of reach--but we assemble several clues to her intellectual leanings. We find overwhelming evidence that the Mayor readsThe Oregonian, The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, U.S.Mayor and the Portland Tribune.
We also stumble across a copy of TV Click in which certain programs have been circled in municipal red. If we're not mistaken, the mayor has a special fondness for dog shows, figure skating and The West Wing.
Our inspection of Chief Kroeker's refuse reveals that he is a scrupulous recycler. He is also a health nut. We find a staggering profusion of health-food containers: fat-free milk cartons, fat-free cereal boxes, cans of milk chocolate weight-loss shakes, cans of Swanson chicken broth ("99% fat free!"), water bottles, a cardboard box of protein bars, tubs of low-fat cottage cheese, a paper packet of oatmeal, and an article on "How to Live a Long Healthy Life."
At the same time, we find evidence of rust in the chief's iron self-discipline: wrappers from See's chocolate bars, an unopened bag of Doritos, a dozen perfectly edible fun-size Nestle Crunch bars, three empty Coke cans.
We unearth a crate that once contained 12 bottles of Cook's California sparkling wine, but find no trace of the bottles themselves. Is the chief building a pyramid of them on the mantelpiece? We stack the crate beside a pair of white children's socks, a broken pen, the stub of an Excalibur 1066 cigar, burnt toast, a freezer bag of date bars, orange peel, coffee grounds, a cork, an empty film canister(no weed--we checked), eggshells, Q tips, tissue paper and copious quantities of goo.
We uncrumple a holiday flier from the Hinson Memorial Baptist Church, which contains a handwritten note: "Mark. Just want you to know one Latin from Manhattan Loves You."
Invasion of privacy? This is a frontal assault, a D-Day, a Norman Conquest of privacy. We know the chief's credit-card number; we know where he buys his groceries; we know how much toilet tissue he goes through. We know whose Christmas cards he has pitched, whose wedding he skipped, whose photo he threw away. We know what newsletters he gets and how much he's socked away in the stock market.We even know he's thinking about a new car--and which models he's considering.
By the time we tag the last item (a lonesome Christmas tree angel), our noses are running and our gloves are black with gunk. We scrub our hands when we get home. But we still feel dirty. --CL
POLICE CHIEF MARK KROEKER
*Empty containers and wrappers: Kodiak Washington pears, Washington "extra fancy"fancy lady peaches, Oasis Floral Foam bricks ("Worth Insisting Upon") (2), KashiGo Lean! cereal, Sunshine fat-free milk, Kirkland Signature weight-loss shake, fat-free Swanson Chicken Broth, mandarin oranges, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Arrowhead water bottle, Cook's California sparkling-wine box, fried apples, cheese rolls,Bounty paper towels 15-roll pack, Kirkland facial tissue, 12-pack Dove soap,Quaker oatmeal, See's candy bars, lady's razors, Dentyne Ice chewing gum, Vivant zesty vegetable crackers.
* Hershey's Cookies n Cr¨me mini-bars, uneaten (3).
* Several Oregonian issues, still folded.
* Email correspondence between chief and Mayor Katz's staff in which he preps them on what to tell Los Angeles officials regarding his application to be chief there.
* Rough draft, internal police memo.
* Various cash-register receipts.
* Half-full bag of fun-size Nestle Crunch bars.
* Photocopy of WW Nov. 13 "Murmurs" item on chief, hand-dated in blue pen, reporting scuttlebutt that Katz has "taken over the day-to-day running of the Police Bureau."
* Half-smoked stub of an Excalibur 1066 cigar.
* Paper cups from Starbucks and Torrefazione.
* Pears, lettuce, grapes, bread, eggshells, goo, potato salad, wire hangers, a 75 watt light bulb, orange peels, coffee grounds, wine cork, dish rag, film canister, used Q-Tips.
* Half-eaten protein bar, still in wrapper.
* Newsletter from Focus on the Family, a conservative political group. Insert, addressed to "Mr. & Mrs. Mark Kroeker." Insert asks for "one last year-end contribution."
* Photos of chief and a bare-chested man moving a large appliance.
* Creased wedding photo of a prominent Portlander.
* Three envelopes from California, hand-addressed, sent on consecutive days.
* Notice from mortgage company for payment.
* Internet printout of "How to Live a Long Healthy Life."
* Postcard from friend vacationing in Arizona.
* Post-it with notes about a new car.
* Extremely personal note on dinner napkin, handwritten in pencil.
* Account summary from Fidelity Investments for the chief's wife.
*Trader Joe's "Happy Holidays" paper bag.
* Several issues of The Oregonian.
* Several issues of The Washington Post National Weekly Edition.
* A copy of U.S. Mayor (a monthly magazine devoted to mayors).
* A copy of TV Click. Someone has marked several programs in red, including Wargame: Iraq, Simulated National Security Council meetings, MSNBC; Everwood: Ephram tries to revive his mother's Thanksgiving traditions, KWBP; CSI Miami: A dead man is found hanging from a tree, KOIN; Life with Bonnie on KATU; The West Wing on KGW; The National Dog Show on KGW; Figure skating: ISUCup of Russia, ESPN; Biography: "Audrey Hepburn, the Fairest Lady," A&E: Figure skating: ICE WARS: USA vs. The World, KOIN.
* Several issues of the Portland Tribune.
* Daily Journal of Commerce from Dec. 3, 2002.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY MIKE SCHRUNK
* Empty containers and wrappers: Cozy Fleece Baby Blanket, Bee Cleaners, Nibblets Corn and Butter, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Fred Meyer unflavored gelatin,Burger King beverage cup and straw, possible Chinese takeout (lots), Dreyer's Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream, Skippy peanut butter (creamy), Land's End, FredMeyer green beans, Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder with 100-watt bulb inside, Meier & Frank, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Foster Farms boneless and skinless Oregon chicken thighs.
* Used pekoe tea bags, many.
* Used Christmas napkins, used Kleenex, used Q-Tips.
* Remains of Thanksgiving turkey carcass, drumstick intact.
* Remnants of roast beef.
* Plastic bags containing dog poo, very clean, with some blades of grass (2).
* Christmas wrapping paper.
* Orange peels, empty Millstone coffee bag, containing two very ripe but uneaten bananas, two half-eaten loaves of wheat bread.
* Remnants of peanut M&Ms bag.
* Energizer AA batteries (2), wrapped in plastic bag.
* Baseball cap with crustacean emblem: "DON'T BOTHER ME. I'm CRABBY."
* Baseball cap for Outward Bound.
* Baseball cap with embroidered green fish.
* Military khaki shirts with "SCHRUNK" embroidered on pocket and collar (4).
* Jacket, olive drab, with fading stencils of "USMC" and "Schrunk."
* Yellow Post-it note with sample of someone's arithmetic: The addition is successful (54 + 32 = 86), but the long division of 32 divided by 6 comes up a little bit wide, at 5.4.
Officer Gina Hoesly has long had less privacy than the average cop, thanks to the Portland Police Bureau's rumor mill.
Hoesly, 34, has dated rock musicians, other cops and Portland TrailBlazers. She's had breast implants and once posed for a photo on a website selling motorcycle gear--badpig.com--showing plenty of skin. In 1996, she won a $20,000settlement from the bureau in a sexual-harassment claim based on behavior by her co-workers. But none of that comes close to the scrutiny she received inMarch, when fellow officers rifled through her garbage. The evidence they found led to her indictment on charges of possessing ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Hoesly, a 13-year police officer who occasionally was an undercover decoy in police prostitution stings, became the subject of an investigation early this year, when she told police she'd been assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, Joshua DavidRodriguez. Rodriguez has a history of drug arrests and convictions, and when officers booked him on assault charges, they found meth in his pocket.
Subsequently police began investigating Hoesly, hearing rumors from police informants that she had used drugs. On March 13 at 2:07 am, narcotics officersJay Bates and Michael Krantz took her garbage. The order to do so came from Assistant Chief Andrew Kirkland, who dated Hoesly in the early '90s.
Searching through her trash back at Central Precinct, they found traces of cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as drug paraphernalia. They also found a bloody tampon. They sent a piece of the tampon to the state crime lab, where forensics experts tested it for drugs, DNA and, for reasons that remain unclear, semen. The results of those tests have not been released.
The police didn't seek a search warrant to take Hoesly's trash because, as the Multnomah County District Attorney's office conceded, officers didn't at the time have sufficient evidence to convince a judge to issue a warrant. But once they had drug residue from Hoesly's trash, officers were able to persuade Judge Dorothy Baker to issue a search warrant for Hoesly's house. Inside, they found more paraphernalia and a diary that described apparent drug use. An indictment was issued in June.
Hoesly, who is currently on medical leave and at the time of her arrest was in the process of medically retiring, pleaded not guilty and hired criminal-defense lawyer Stephen Houze. Like a Labrador smelling leftover turkey, Houze promptly zeroed in on the grabbing of her garbage. He argued that under Oregon's Constitution, privacy rights extend to someone's trash--at least until it's picked up by trash haulers. The used tampon "goes to the heart of just what an outrageous violation of privacy rights this police search was," Houze said. "If the police will do this to a police officer, who won't they do it to?"
Not only that, he said, but if garbage is up for grabs, "There will be identity thieves lining up out there on every garbage day, knowing they can [take trash]with impunity."
The Hoesly case is not unprecedented. In 1998, police poked in the trash ofDavid Peters, a star prosecutor for Multnomah County, and found cocaine residue, which was used to obtain a search warrant. Unlike Hoesly, he was not indicted; instead, he was fined and allowed to enter court diversion to maintain a clean record.
In a hearing on Dec. 10, Judge Jean Kerr Maurer agreed with Houze, issuing a ruling that said the cops' taking of trash was illegal. Senior Deputy DistrictAttorney Mark McDonnell immediately said his office would challenge the ruling.--NB
Big Brother's in Your Trash Can
The government is essentially going through your trash every day, says EvanHendricks, publisher of Privacy Times, a Washington, D.C., newsletter."They just don't have to get their hands dirty.
In the past 16 months, thanks to measures contained in the Patriot Act, theHomeland Security Act and the creation of the Total Information Awareness office, our government has turned into a bad Oliver Stone movie--you know, where a cabal of conservative spooks takes over and suddenly Big Brother is in charge.
No longer do the Feds need to meet the evidentiary standard of "probable cause"to initiate an investigation or start amassing information on you. Nor do they need to show any evidence of a link to terrorism. All they need to do, in short, is say they find you suspicious. They don't need to tell a judge why.
"This administration really represents a combination of Reaganism and McCarthyism--though they're not chasing Communists, they're chasing people that they call 'terrorists,'"says Hendricks, who grew up in Portland. "They're expanding their power and intimidating people to sort of go along or be afraid of being accused of being soft on terrorism."
The October 2001 enactment of the USA Patriot Act opened the door to domestic and Internet surveillance, as well as warrantless, covert "sneak and peek" searches.Then, on Nov. 19, 2002, Congress approved the Homeland Security Act, which Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) called the "most severe weakening of the Freedom of InformationAct in its 36-year history."
The HSA also created the Total Information Awareness office, whose logo, taken from the back of the dollar bill, is of a pyramid with an eye on top, looking down at the globe. Headed by Iran-Contra co-conspirator Admiral John Poindexter, the agency will "mine" commercial databases, including magazine subscriptions and book purchases, to spy on American citizens. It plans to use this information to profile likely terrorist supporters; it also wants to deploy video camera and facial-recognition surveillance systems.
"The Pentagon basically wants to knock down the walls to all private-sector records and plug into them," says Hendricks. "And trash is like a microcosm of what you get: the bills people pay, what they buy at the store, the packages they throw out. The government is proposing more systematic surveillance of databases that have the same information."
How do they define who is a likely terrorist supporter? Sorry, but that's a secret. Attorney General John Ashcroft has given federal agencies free rein to reject information requests, with the assurance that his Department of Justice would defend the agencies no matter what.
Civil-liberties advocates point to the inherent danger in granting the government such sweeping power. Declassified documents have shown myriad abuses by law-enforcement agencies involved in domestic spying in the '60s, '70s and '80s, including inPortland. In 1998, a Washington, D.C., police official used video surveillance of people coming and going from a gay bar to try to blackmail married men. And studies of camera systems in Britain found that they were used to target minorities for increased police attention, while women caught on camera were often targeted for voyeuristic reasons, with male camera operators panning over them for purposes of ogling.
Small wonder that even conservatives such as Rep. Dick Armey, Sen. Charles Grassley and New York Times columnist William Safire are going ballistic. Attorney General Ashcroft is "out of control," and the federal government has"no credibility" on protecting individuals' privacy, said Armey, who has even volunteered to do consulting work for the ACLU on privacy issues upon his retirement.
"You Are a Suspect" was the title of Safire's Nov. 14 column on the Total Information Awareness program, which he called a "supersnoop's dream" and a "sweeping theft of privacy rights." --NB
Every man, woman and child in the metro area generates an average of 3,001 pounds of waste per year; 55 percent of that waste winds up in the landfill--the rest is recycled.
The Portland Bureau of Sustainable Development normally requires that recycling bins and trash cans be left within three feet of the sidewalk. You can, however, leave it next to your house if you are willing to pay $3 a month.
In 1970, Washington Post columnist Jack Anderson raided the trash of notorious FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, reasoning that Hoover's agents were doing this to everyone else.
Similar to Schrunk's, Hoover's garbage revealed empty bottles of whiskey as well as dog poo.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution gives you no privacy rights over your garbage, but individual state constitutions can offer more stringent privacy rights. Warrantless trash searches by police are not legal in Vermont and New Jersey.
Visit these links for more information on privacy:
www.aclu.org .
www.cdt.org .
www.epic.org .
www.privacytimes.com .
www.privacyjournal.net .
www.darpa.mil/iao/TIASystems.htm (Total Information Awareness)
www.whitehouse.gov/deptofhomeland/ (Homeland Security)
Congress will grill Alphabet, Facebook and Twitter again -- this time for terrorist content on their sites - Recode
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:46
Alphabet, Facebook and Twitter have been summoned to appear before U.S. lawmakers once again, this time to answer for the extremist, terrorist content that appears on their sites.
The fresh round of scrutiny comes from the powerful Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees tech and telecom giants. The panel has scheduled a new Jan. 17 hearing to ''examine the steps social media platforms are taking to combat the spread of extremist propaganda over the Internet,'' its leader, Republican Sen. John Thune, announced Tuesday.
To many in Congress, tech giants in Silicon Valley have failed to fully thwart extremist groups like the Islamic State, which at times have spread terrorist propaganda and sought to recruit new followers using major international social media channels.
But this Senate hearing also threatens to expose Alphabet, Facebook and Twitter in particular to fresh questions about their handling of other hateful, conspiratorial or abusive content on their platforms '-- from racism and fake news to the rise of the alt-right.
So, too, is it bound to bring about more criticism of the tech industry's handling of the 2016 election, when Russian-aligned trolls spread disinformation on social media in a bid to stoke political discord '-- content that reached hundreds of millions of web users.
Representing Facebook at the upcoming hearing will be Monika Bickert, the company's Global Policy Management; Twitter is sending Carlos Monje, its director of public policy and philanthropy; and from Alphabet, the parent company of Google, it'll be Juniper Downs, the global head of public policy and government relations with YouTube.
Conservative Google employees are blacklisted, lawsuit alleges - Business Insider
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:45
Mark Lennihan/AP Images
Employees at Google who express "conservative viewpoints in politically-charged debates" may find themselves blacklisted by managers at the company, alleges an explosive new lawsuit.And by blacklisted, that means their names may appear on actual lists, the suit contends.Google employees who identify as conservative say they have complained to HR and senior management about the blacklists.These allegations are part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of fired Google engineer James Damore that seeks to represent white males and conservatives who feel like they've been the target of discrimination.A well-known Republican San Francisco lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Google seeking to represent white, male or conservative employees who believe the company has discriminated against them.
The lawyer is Harmeet Dhillon, a partner with the Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco and the former chairwoman of the Republican Party in San Francisco.
She has been on the hunt for such victims since she took on fired Google engineer James Damore as a client in August. And on Monday she presented the first fruits of her research in a 161-page complaint that's chock full of allegations and screenshots.
The most jaw-dropping allegation is that "Google publicly endorsed blacklists" of conservatives. The lawsuit claims that several hiring managers publicly vowed not to hire people categorized as "hostile voices" aka conservatives.
For instance, one manager wrote on one internal forum, "I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever."
Another manager wrote in another, "I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today."
The lawsuit cites another post from another hiring manager that said, "If you express a dunderheaded opinion about religion, about politics, or about 'social justice', it turns out I am allowed to think you're a halfwit... I'm perfectly within my rights to mentally categorize you in my [d*ckhead] box... Yes, I maintain (mentally, and not (yet) publicly)."
Interestingly, the lawsuit doesn't show the statements that provoked such strong reactions from these managers. It only characterizes them as "tactfully expressed conservative viewpoints in politically-charged debates."
Whether expressing anti-diversity sentiments at a workplace is a protected "conservative viewpoint" or, rather, a form of bigotry that actually creates a hostile environment is at the heart of the case '-- and it reflects a broader debate gripping the country under the divisive presidency of Donald Trump.
The lawsuit shows that in at least one case, a manager (a white woman), was contemplating keeping some kind of actual, public list of employee names.
The manager wrote on an internal post, "I am thinking of something like a google doc that accepts comments, and which calls out those googlers that are unsupportive of diversity," she wrote.
She wondered, in the post, whether special "trials" should be held for employees nominated for the list, to determine whether they belonged on it or not.
The lawsuit shows her post as evidence:
Damore lawsuit
The lawsuit names other instances, too. It says that conservative employees reported such lists or other attempts to block them and their comments on Google's internal social media sites to HR who told them that employees have the right to block others or make statements about the type of employees they liked to work with.
The lawsuit says that conservative employees on two occassions in the fall of 2017, also brought the matter of such lists up with Paul Manwell, Google CEO Sundar Pichai's chief of staff, and to senior lawyer Kent Walker.
This lawsuit was filed on behalf of Damore, the engineer who created a firestorm last summer with his memo about women in tech and his comments about how Google treats conservatives. It seeks class-action status to represent other white or male or conservatives employees who believe they faced discrimination at Google.
A Google spokesperson says the company is ready to fight this lawsuit, telling us. "We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore's lawsuit in court."
Global warming may be occurring more slowly than previously thought, study suggests | The Independent
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:34
Computer modelling used a decade ago to predict how quickly global average temperatures would rise may have forecast too much warming, a study has found.
The Earth warmed more slowly than the models forecast, meaning the planet has a slightly better chance of meeting the goals set out in the Paris climate agreement, including limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
Scientists said previous models may have been ''on the hot side''.
The study, published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, does not play down the threat which climate change has to the environment, and maintains that major reductions in emissions must be attained.
But the findings indicate the danger may not be as acute as was previously thought.
Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford and one of the study's authors told The Times: ''We haven't seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven't seen that in the observations.''
The original forecasts were based on twelve separate computer models made by universities and government institutes around the world, and were put together ten years ago, ''so it's not that surprising that it's starting to divert a little bit from observations'', Professor Allen added.
According to The Times, another of the paper's authors, Michael Grubb, a professor of international energy and climate change at University College London, admitted his earlier forecasting models had overplayed how temperatures would rise.
At the Paris climate summit in 2015, Professor Grubb said: ''All the evidence from the past 15 years leads me to conclude that actually delivering 1.5C is simply incompatible with democracy.''
But speaking to The Times he said: ''When the facts change, I change my mind, as [John Maynard] Keynes said.
''It's still likely to be very difficult to achieve these kind of changes quickly enough but we are in a better place than I thought.''
Professor Grubb said the reassessment of the situation was good news for low-lying countries and island states in the Pacific, which would be swamped by sea-level rises if average temperatures rose by more than 1.5C.
The previous scenario allowed for the planet to emit a total of 70 billion tonnes of Carbon after 2015, in order to keep temperature rises to just 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
But the reassessment allows for a ''carbon budget'' of another 240bn tonnes of emissions before catastrophic damage is done.
''That's about 20 years of emissions before temperatures are likely to cross 1.5C,'' Professor Allen said.
''It's the difference between being not doable and being just doable.''
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Twitter Rips Hillary-Bashing Susan Sarandon For Women-Unite Speech At Golden Globes | HuffPost
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:42
Twitter jeered actress Susan Sarandon during Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony that cheered female empowerment amid Hollywood's sexual misconduct scandal. Her praise for ''all these women standing up for each other'' revived hard feelings, because Sarandon supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race for president, then voted for third-party candidate Jill Stein instead of Clinton in the general election against Donald Trump.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Sarandon continued to criticize Clinton, calling her a ''very very dangerous'' opportunist, and saying ''we would be at war'' if she were president.
Sarandon on Sunday joined Geena Davis onstage in a reunion of the classic road flick ''Thelma and Louise.'' Before they presented the award for best actor in a dramatic film, the pair did a comedic bit about how far women have come, with Davis telling Sarandon that their film ''fixed everything.''
''Um, yeah, I don't think we fixed quite everything, actually, it's been 25 years,'' Sarandon said. ''But, tonight, we have all of these women standing up for each other, and the men, too.''
People also went after Sarandon for what some deemed to be dismissive comments about the sexual misconduct accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and director James Toback.
Even Sarandon's outfit, on a night when many women wore black to protest sexual harassment in Hollywood and elsewhere, caught flak.
Again, social media didn't hesitate to point fingers.
Handout via Getty Images
How Tait Towers builds U2, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift's live shows | WIRED UK
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:41
I n December 2016, designer Ric Lipson was in New York on a conference call with Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. Lipson is a senior associate at London-based design firm Stufish, the company that, along with U2's set designer Willie Williams, has created all of the band's tours since 1992's Zoo TV. In October 2016, U2 had played software giant Salesforce's annual conference on the site of the old Geneva Drive-In Theatre in Daly City, California. In homage to the Geneva, the stage had a movie screen and little else.
Now, the band wanted something similar for The Joshua Tree anniversary tour in 2017. The four musicians were leafing through proposed designs from Stufish and Williams when Bono grabbed a Sharpie and drew a rough outline of a Joshua tree breaking out through the top of the screen. That's what should be on the stage, he told Lipson.
It's always a difficult moment for designers such as Lipson and Williams when rock stars doodle their concepts for stage shows. To get a stadium tour from notion to opening night costs tens of millions. Thousands of people are needed to design, build, assemble, market and sell the show. The technology involved often doesn't exist yet.
In this case, at first, the set design looked simple - a 61-metre-wide, 14-metre-high 8K LED video screen painted gold with a silhouette of a Joshua tree picked out in silver. During the second half of the show, the screen would show epic high-definition American landscapes shot by photographer and director Anton Corbijn. There would also be a tree-shaped catwalk and satellite stage extending into the audience, plus steel trusses that dangled lights and speakers high above the stage.
The "ecstatic pause" moment in U2's 30th-anniversary The Joshua Tree tour, captured at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on May 2017
Chris Crisman
To deliver that concept, however, required at least three world-first equipment prototypes: a video-controlled follow-spotlight that tracked performers using a CCTV system; a state-of-the-art carbon-fibre video screen (the largest and highest resolution ever used for a concert tour, with pixels just 8.5mm apart); and prototype speakers from audio specialists Clair Brothers that are so powerful, only 16 speakers are needed to flood even the largest stadium with sound. Furthermore, the various technical and safety standards involved meant that the stage would take three days to put up and take down, so there would need to be two sets of steel supports moving around the world at the same time, with, for instance, one under construction in Berlin as the band walked on stage in London.
"At that point, we didn't know what the kit would be, beyond the hope that technology just on the cusp of being possible would be invented in time for the start of the tour in May," Lipson says. "But rock stars don't want to hear problems and our job is not to say, 'That's impossible' - our job is to say, 'Yes, of course.'"
To get Bono's tree from sketch to stadium, Stufish and the band decamped to Lititz, a rural town in Pennsylvania. Lititz is home to Tait Towers, the architectural engineering and software company that has built the sets for every one of the ten highest-grossing tours in history using a blend of rock'n'roll engineering, technology - and a little help from the Amish community.
Chris Crisman
I n 1968, a young Australian backpacker called Michael Tait took a job behind the bar at The Speakeasy Club, a late-night music industry haunt just off Oxford Street in London run by a friend of the infamous Kray twins. If anyone wanted a career in music, getting into - or best of all, getting to play at - The Speakeasy was the fastest route to stardom until it closed in 1978. The Beatles, David Bowie, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Jimi Hendrix all graced its dingy stage.
When the manager of a bunch of prog-rock newbies called Yes spent the evening touting for a van driver to get his boys to a gig in Leeds, Tait volunteered. He was stunned at the shoddiness of the band's equipment and lighting - guitarist Peter Banks kept stamping on his effects pedals, breaking them almost every time. "I realised that I could make all this stuff work," he explains. Tait became Yes's tour manager, sound engineer and lighting designer for the next 15 years.
Out on the road he leveraged his childhood love of electrical circuit kits, batteries and bulbs to devise edged boards that kept wah-wah pedals and fuzzboxes safe from stomping, create the first revolving stage in rock and design one of the first self-contained lighting towers. Other acts loved his ideas. Soon, he was working with Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond.
"Before I knew it, I was in the set business," Tait explains. He founded Tait Towers in 1978, naming the company after his industry-famous lighting tower, and located its headquarters out in Lititz, to be near his close collaborators, the Clair Brothers.
The Clair brothers - Roy and Gene - built their first speakers in 1966 when Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons played Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, near Lititz. Roy and Gene's PA so impressed the band that Valli took them on the road with him. In 1970, the brothers designed and built the first stage monitor, and two years later the first hanging sound system for indoor arenas. By 1978, the brothers were the first port of call for any band heading out on the road. They saw no reason to leave Lititz, so Tait set up nearby.
In the 80s, Tait built the stage that Michael Jackson moonwalked on, as well as sets for Bruce Springsteen and U2. The company built the stage for the Rolling Stones' record-breaking Voodoo Lounge tour in 1994 and the video screen for Janet Jackson's Velvet Rope tour in 1998. "Even then, it was more like a hobby," explains James Fairorth, Tait's president and CEO - a well-built, genial man with a loose ponytail who everyone knows as "Winky". "Michael Tait was Willy Wonka and we were working in a dream factory - building stage sets because nobody else was."
Then 1999 arrived, the file-sharing site Napster launched - and Tait's world changed overnight.
Alan Krueger, the Princeton economist and co-author of the 2005 paper Rockonomics: The Economics of Popular Music, describes the post-Napster music industry using what he calls the "Bowie theory". Back in the 80s and 90s, Krueger explains, most artists made most of their money from music sales, using tours as promotional vehicles for their latest album. U2 sold 14 million copies of The Joshua Tree in its year of release, earning the band around $37 million (£28m) in the US. The original 111-date Joshua Tree tour grossed roughly the same, at $40 million.
Post-Napster, the link between recorded and live revenues has been severed, a trend spotted by David Bowie in 2002 when he told The New York Times, "Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity. Artists better be prepared for doing a lot of touring, because that's really the only unique situation that's going to be left."
"Rock stars don't want to hear problems. Our job is not to say, 'That's impossible' - our job is to say, 'Yes, of course."Ric Lipson, designerCrispin Hunt agrees. He experienced a brief flash of fame in the 90s as the singer in Britpop band Longpigs, best known for their indie anthem "She Said". He became a successful songwriter after the band broke up, writing hits for the likes of Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Florence + the Machine, Jake Bugg and Rod Stewart. It's a living, he explains, but the post-Napster world of streaming services and online video hasn't rewarded the songwriter.
"If I'd written songs that reached the same chart position in the 80s or 90s, I wouldn't be talking to you now," he grins wryly. "I'd be by the pool in LA. But as long as Spotify pays, on average, between $0.006 and $0.008 per stream, and while YouTube's royalties are cloaked in secrecy, that's impossible to imagine. I recently had a song on BBC Radio 1's C-list - that's six plays a week. In the same week, a Jake Bugg track I wrote had 12 million views on YouTube. I earned £75 for six plays on Radio 1 and £65 from 12 million YouTube plays. The only way to make money is to be able to sell out 2,000-seat or larger venues. Any tour, any gig, for any size of band has basic running costs - transport, crew, PA. Unless you sell over 2,000 tickets you're losing money."
In 1999, recorded music in the US - the world's biggest music market - earned an inflation-adjusted $20.6 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. In 2015, auditors PwC estimated global music-industry revenues from recorded music, whether sold or streamed, totalled around $15 billion. Across that same period, the live touring industry saw the kind of expansion rarely seen outside Silicon Valley, with US concert ticket sales tripling in value between 1999 and 2009. In 2016, live music took more than $25 billion per year in ticket sales and another $5 billion in sponsorship - around double the global revenues for recorded music and larger than the GDP of Iceland.
For artists, the difference is stark. U2's album sales have been in decline since The Joshua Tree, from Achtung Baby's eight million in 1991 to, in 2009, No Line on the Horizon's 3.4 million copies sold. Ticket sales, meanwhile, have been rising: 1992-1993's Zoo TV tour, supporting Achtung Baby and Zooropa, saw box-office revenue top $151 million; 2009-2011's 360° tour took a record-breaking $736 million. The Joshua Tree's 2017 tour has fewer than half the dates of the 360° tour, but it took $62 million in its first month.
"Live music is competing for the same entertainment dollar as movies, box sets, restaurants, nightclubs and theme parks," Winky explains. "Shows have had to become spectacles to compete but the relationship between fan and star is incredibly intimate. Our challenge is, how do we wow tens of thousands of people? If you're sitting at the back of the hall, how do we deliver the artist to you in a way that feels intimate and personal? Otherwise, you're not coming back."
Work gets underway on a stage setup that will tour the world in 2018
Chris Crisman
W ith a population of around 10,000, Lititz is a small market town perched in the middle of rolling wheat fields and dairy pastureland. Most of the town was built before the 20th century and comprises a mix of wooden colonial houses, Regency-era classical stone buildings, gothic Victorian red-brick shops and converted warehouses.
The surrounding area, Lancaster County, has the highest concentration of Amish - the Anabaptist sect that rejects modern technology and conveniences - in the US. Driving to Lititz from Philadelphia, you see a road dotted with small, boxy, four-wheel horse-drawn buggies. The black buggies belong to the Amish and the grey buggies belong to the more tech-savvy Mennonites.
Both communities are crucial parts of the tech-focused ecosystem spreading out from Tait's headquarters, an industrial estate at the edge of town called Rock Lititz. It's a sprawling campus of buildings built by Tait and Clair Brothers in 2014 to host companies looking to join them. It's what University of Toronto professor Richard Florida calls a place-based ecosystem. Besides Tait and Clair, businesses on site include lighting and design company Atomic; video experts Control Freak; barrier company Mojo; Stageco, which creates large steel structures such as the Claw used in U2's 360° tour; engineering firm Pyrotek; Yamaha instruments; and Tour Supply, an instrument-rental company.
It's cluster innovation in the purest sense. Artists and companies can experiment at a lower cost, test ideas and quickly change their minds. The cost of making mistakes reduces, allowing people to take greater risks. The close proximity also brings people together. "Success in this business - just like any other - is about relationships," explains Troy Clair, president and CEO of Clair Global. "You get to know people and you work with them and they trust you."
This company based on technological innovation is not only situated in the heart of Amish country, it's entirely symbiotic with the back-to-basics ethos and economy. The agricultural supply chain and network of small metalwork forges allows Tait's designers and architects to build anything. A Mennonite company that makes steel cattle grids, for instance, also cuts the metal supports for Tait's rock shows.
"All my neighbours are Amish," explains Adam Davis, Tait's chief creative officer, an enthusiastic tousled man in his late 40s. "When you're a farmer and you break something, you have to fix it, especially if you're still using traditional tools and not computer-driven combine harvesters. So, when it comes to creative problem-solving, the Amish are the masters - they just get on with it. All of these farms are enterprises, with this incredible culture of innovation and making that doesn't exist in most places. If a show designer needs something made, we'll prototype custom shapes and sizes in our steel shop within 15 minutes. Then we go to an Amish forge and they'll turn out 10,000 of them almost overnight."
Tait Towers engineers can prototype design ideas in 20 minutes
Chris Crisman
Rock Lititz feels like Nasa's Cape Canaveral, with outlying buildings surrounding an enormous warehouse that resembles outsized rocket assembly rooms. Walking in, you get a brief sense of what it must be like entering the TARDIS - the space feels even bigger on the inside. It's large enough to hold one stadium stage or two arena stages, with room to build and change things.
Tait's main building is a short drive from the assembly and rehearsal room. It covers 232,000 square metres and hosts a design space, project management, a metal shop, electrical-control shop, hoist and winch department, LED-video-screen team, scenic department, print shop and a complex loading dock. It's like an old Victorian family company: everyone, down to the packers and loaders, is on the payroll and the only outsourcing is to Amish craftsmen. "Everything we do is a prototype," Davis explains, as he drives across the sprawling space between rehearsal room and head office. "U2, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift'... they're the CEOs of their brand. They don't want the same stuff Justin Bieber or the Rolling Stones had last year. They want something brand new. So we're in a spectacular arms race. It's probably fun to look at from the outside but it's a fairly horrible place to be because every day we have to reinvent ourselves, create something new to get to the next level with the knowledge that we can't fail, especially with the bigger flying-through-the-air stuff. That can't go wrong as people may get hurt."
Taylor Swift, Usher, Mumford & Sons, U2 and Lady Gaga have built and rehearsed shows there since it opened, "and the beauty of it is that when they go into town after rehearsals, the Amish don't know who they are," Davis grins. "We wanted a perfect techie space because I was tired of showing up in front of our clients and testing something for the first time. The problem is, there were no spaces large enough to do it. So, we built it for ourselves, for techies. But what's happening is the artists are coming - with the band, the choreographers, lighting, pyro, sound, automation, staging, content'... and the creative process happens here."
Lititz offers a curious case study, fusing creativity, construction, craft, community and computing in a global billion-dollar, boutique, artisanal tech firm. So that if you were, say, Lady Gaga, you could walk through the door and follow your concept from design to build to rehearsal to load out across this one site. Which is exactly what she did for Joanne, her 2017 tour.
Tait fabricator Matusalen "Matt" Morales
Chris Crisman
L ady Gaga's shows are known for their spectacle. In 2012, she had Tait build a five-storey castle on stage for her Born This Way tour. The final design for her current show featured a 26-metre-wide stage based around three lifts and five performer wave lifts surrounded by LED panels. The wave lifts are moving platforms that are compared to Tetris blocks because they can be configured in so many ways. The wave lifts move almost constantly in formations such as staircases and zigzags. This made for a great show but lacked an element of dive-bar intimacy that Gaga requested. The answer was including a stripped-down, dive bar-style B-stage at the opposite end of the arena.
Jim Shumway, a project manager and integrator at Tait, who started out as a rigger for Cirque du Soleil, walked me through the process a month before the Joanne tour began. Stage designers were noodling with animation software on three-screen monitors, changing parts of the stage once the lighting and sound had been incorporated. One was manipulating a strange oval disc that seemed to be flying in the air.
"They're bridges," Shumway explained. "The B-stage has this heart-shaped acrylic piano that's got 44 lasers shooting beams through the arena whenever she hits a key. She needs to get there via a bridge. It turns out there needs to be five people dancing on that bridge, but it must be somewhere else during the rest of the show. There's the impossible, which we do all the time, and the unachievable. For a while, I thought this was unachievable."
The solution was three custom-built inflatable lighting pods that hang 18 metres above the audience, housing billboard-style video screens. Each can fly down and convert into a bridge. The bridges can then reach one of three satellite stages dotted around the main stage. When combined to form a catwalk, they stretch all the way to the B-stage. The bridges fly out over the audience while carrying Lady Gaga and her dancers, and sync with lights, lifts and music. It looks impossible, but Tait's proprietary software Navigator, says Shumway, "turns maths into art".
Lady Gaga's Joanne stage from her ongoing world tour fused elements of her 2017 Super Bowl appearance with Gaga's small-venue "dive-bar" tour of 2016
Chris Crisman
Navigator is a flexible piece of automation software designed to control any interface, system or device, from industrial-factory robots to light and sound desks to the winches and pulleys that move Gaga through the air. Automation software, such as that used to operate factory robots, is reliable through simplicity and repetition. Navigator, Shuman explains, has to be infinitely flexible and utterly reliable because if it fails, someone could die. At the same time, Navigator is often controlled by people with little or no technical training.
"Most of the time, the people who make the decisions about what Navigator should do aren't engineers or developers, they're people working for directors or artists," explains Jim Love, Tait's vice president of engineering. "They're interpreting a creative person's wishes on the fly. So it needs to be as intuitive and simple as possible to do some basic programming, but the system needs to stop you from doing anything stupid."
In 2013, Navigator synced two industrial robot arms designed to build cars on factory floors and had them dance at deadmau5's Las Vegas residency. In 2015, Navigator lifted the catwalk at the front of Taylor Swift's stage and flew it, her and her team of dancers over the heads of the crowd. In 2016, Navigator rippled waves and oscillating patterns through a vast kinetic-light installation above the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their Getaway tour.
In creating the wave patterns for the lights on the Getaway tour, designers exported a video file of an animated wave to Navigator, which the software used as cues to operate Tait's Nano Winches and change the colour and position of every light. All the operator had to do was press "go" at the start. Navigator will do the rest.
The roots of Navigator lie with 80s synthesizers and the technical demands of Broadway and Las Vegas shows. In 1983, synthesizer manufacturers agreed a simplified common language - MIDI - which allowed drum machines to kickstart basslines or a single keyboard to control an orchestra. Theatre picked up its principles, sending cues to trigger a task such as setting off a pyrotechnic.
Navigator uses similar principles. The building blocks of the system were put in place 15 years ago using hardware built with Intel's x86 desktop CPU and a real-time operating system. This is a similar set-up to the fly-by-wireless systems used in autonomous-vehicle design. Navigator can talk to any device such as a factory robot arm, no matter what its original coding. It can then get it to sync with a lighting rig and simplify the interface into something that any roadie could operate.
"The core principles of the architecture have stayed the same but it's a modular platform so we can build all sorts of things on top of it," Love explains. "There's machine learning in it, bits of autonomous-vehicle control and weather-measurement modules. All we've been doing for the past 15 years is writing new modules that keep giving it more power. It remembers everything we've ever asked it to do."
In a recently built theme park in China, for instance, Navigator controls a fountain that flings drops of water from post to post to give the illusion of bouncing. It has a module that understands where to point a fountain. Attaching them so the fountain is on target whatever the weather proved relatively simple. Setting up Navigator for Lady Gaga was equally straightforward, involving only a handful of modules. It was building two 36,000kg main wave lifts and three smaller lifts, then tying them in with the show's choreography, that took longer.
Crucial to Navigator's success, argues Love, is where its coder is based: Boulder, Colorado. "When you're writing code, the last thing you need is a project designer looking over your shoulder asking you to solve their problem," he explains. "That means you're always reacting to short-term issues rather than building a long-term solution."
Navigator's software allows operators to move stage sets safely during a concert
Chris Crisman
I f you were to watch the life of a large touring stage as a time-lapse film, you'd see almost every piece was in a constant state of motion, broken up by short periods of stability. "What you see at the gig is the one moment where the set stands stationary in one piece," explains Stufish CEO Ray Winkler at Twickenham Stadium as the audience files in on a sweaty July Sunday. "For most of its life it's in a box on a truck, in a plane, on a ship, being handled by stagehands in South America or Europe. This is the one break it has and this is what everyone sees."
And that breaks down further. The biggest question artist managers have for Stufish and Tait is, "What's the Instagram moment?" As tours were once tools to sell albums, Instagram is the tool that sells tours and, ultimately, the artist's brand. Research by Nielsen in 2016 found that of those in the audience who used social media during gigs, 83 per cent used Instagram. Everything boils down to a handful of frozen images to be sent, shared, copied and liked.
On the Joshua Tree tour, U2's performance was divided. For the first part of the gig, as the sun beat down on the thousands of middle-aged men packing the stadium, the band ran through early hits such as "Sunday Bloody Sunday" on the low catwalk b-stage. At sunset, the four musicians walked back to the main stage to begin playing songs from The Joshua Tree and stopped briefly centre stage to wave at the crowd. Behind them, the screen glowed blood red and they were shown in silhouette, under the pitch-black shape of the tree.
Left-right: Eric Schmehl, Matthew Lotito, Adam Davis and Morgan Farnsworth at the stage-design process
Chris Crisman
"We posed the band," Lipson says. "Tait built a platform and played with it for a day or so until we had the perfect position. Then we told them to wait there for 30 seconds." It worked. The audience yelled like teenage girls at a Justin Bieber gig and held their phones aloft to take photo after photo to be shared millions of times, pushing the tour out to billions of people on social media. It's the ecstatic pause, the live-album cover shot that no longer needs the album cover.
Slowly, this is influencing the way theatres and other buildings are designed. Tait is pitching the kinetic architecture from the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Getaway tour as an installation for airports and parlaying its understanding of live shows into building London's newest theatre, the Bridge Theatre - for former National Theatre artistic director Nick Hytner and executive director Nick Starr's London Theatre Company - in a first-of-its-kind modular concept.
"This technology that we deal with has to be scaleable and transferable," Winkler says. "Popular culture and pop imagery is the currency of our generation. It doesn't matter if you're dealing with a rock'n'roll stage or a railway station, people take pictures in the same format, whether it's of an airport terminal or a video screen. That's what they trade in. If something doesn't look good on Instagram, no one's going to give a shit."
If Winkler's right, and the trend for connection with the perfect picture continues to be central to offline art, architecture, food and friendship, we'll soon be living in Tait's world of Instagram moments in every kind of design. In that world, when Bono draws a tree, it could be shared around the world by millions.
Stephen Armstrong is a freelance writer. He wrote about the WIRED Security event in issue 12.17
Ivanka Trump Dragged by Chrissy Teigen, Alyssa Milano and More for Oprah Shout-Out
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:40
Ivanka Trump ''just saw'' Oprah Winfrey's ''empowering and inspiring'' Golden Globes speech and wants the world to know she's ready to say #TimesUp.
Celebrities on Twitter'--including some vocal leaders of the #MeToo movement'--are not having it. After all, President Donald Trump has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by as many as 19 women.
Among those quick to respond were Alyssa Milano, who directed the first daughter to ''make a lofty donation to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund that is available to support your father's accusers,'' and Chrissy Teigen, who said, simply, ''ew go away.''
Rosie O'Donnell, who has been the most consistent target of Trump's sexist rage, pinned her response to the top of her Twitter feed:
Male celebrities got in on the action as well, highlighting the hypocrisy of Ivanka's attempt to co-opt Winfrey's message as her own.
Even Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff offered up his view on the tweet during a live appearance on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. ''Who does she think her father is?'' he asked incredulously. ''What does she think this White House is about?''
Senate Democrats just released full testimony on the Trump dossier
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:38
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Tuesday released the full transcript from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
"The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice," Feinstein said in a statement. "The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public."
The move follows a decision by Republicans Chuck Grassley, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham to issue a criminal referral last week against Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the largely unverified "Trump dossier."
Joshua Levy, a lawyer for Fusion GPS, testified that someone died as a result of the dossier. Levy did not name the individual, according to the transcript.
The release of the transcript, Feinstein said, was supported by committee Democrats.
Franse vrouwen hekelen #MeToo | VTM NIEUWS
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:38
Een honderdtal vrouwen heeft in de Franse krant Le Monde via een open brief opgeroepen om geen heksenjacht te maken van het #MeToo-verhaal. Onder hen ook de Franse actrice Catherine Deneuve. De vrouwen willen het recht tot 'lastigvallen' verdedigen, ook al verzetten ze zich hevig tegen ernstige vormen van aanranding en verkrachting.
''Verkrachting is een misdrijf, maar aanhoudelijk of onhandig verleiden is dat niet. Ook galant zijn is geen uiting van machogedrag'', klinkt het in een commentaarstuk in Le Monde.
Puritanisme
De honderd vrouwen, waaronder com(C)diennes, schrijfsters, onderzoeksters en journalistes, verwerpen het puritanisme dat ontstond na de eerste beschuldigingen van aanranding en seksueel overschrijdend gedrag tegen de Amerikaanse regisseur Harvey Weinstein.
''De vrijheid van meningsuiting keert zich nu tegen zichzelf, want van vrouwen wordt verwacht dat ze zich achter dezelfde boodschap scharen. Zij die weigeren te zeggen wat moet, worden als verraadsters aanzien, als medeplichtigen zelfs.''
Mannen gestraft
''Mannen werden gestraft in de uitvoering van hun werk, verplicht soms om een stap opzij te zetten, en dat alleen maar omdat ze een knie hebben aangeraakt. Ze hebben geprobeerd een kus te stelen, spraken tijdens een professioneel diner over 'intieme zaken' of stuurden een berichtje met seksuele lading naar een vrouw die die gevoelens niet beantwoordde.''
Volgens het collectief zal de actie de vrouwen niet helpen om zelfstandiger te worden. Ze wordt wel gebruikt door vijanden van seksuele vrijheid, religieuze extremisten en iedereen die vindt dat vrouwen niet gelijk zijn aan mannen om een bepaalde visie de wereld in te sturen.
''Als vrouw herkennen we ons niet in dit soort feminisme dat onder mom van machtsmisbruik een haat tegenover mannen en seksualiteit predikt'', besluiten de vrouwen hun tekst.
People are completely missing the point of Oprah's amazing Golden Globes speech.
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:37
Oprah Winfrey accepts the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday in Beverly Hills, California.
Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
I loved Oprah's Golden Globes speech on Sunday. It was mesmerizing, pitch perfect, and gave voice to many lifetimes of frustration and vindication with eloquence and a full authority she has earned. But I found the strange Facebook response of ''Oprah 2020'' weirdly discordant and disorienting. Oprah's speech'--in my hearing'--wasn't about why she needs to run for office. It was about why the rest of us need to do so, immediately.
The dominant theme I heard was about giving voice to invisible people. It was the arc of the entire speech. It's also what the very best journalism is about, and it's worth remembering that's how Oprah began her career. The speech began with her goosebump-y tale of first seeing Sidney Poitier win an Academy Award in 1964 and how much of a revelation it was at the time to see a black man celebrated in America. Then it ran through to her chilling invocation of Recy Taylor, a young black woman who was raped in Alabama in 1944 by six white men who were never brought to justice. She deftly linked Taylor to Rosa Parks, who investigated the rape for the NAACP and then 11 years later refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery with Taylor ''somewhere in her heart.'' This was a speech about how seeing someone else model the fight against racism, sexism, and injustice activates us to fight alongside.
It was a testament to the greatest gifts she has as a journalist, actor, and media personality: the ability to shed light on the faceless and speak of justice and morality in ways that are urgent and original. That's why the speech honored not just the women in sleek black dresses who were on their feet cheering her. The true message was about someone else:
Women whose names we'll never know. They are domestic workers and farmworkers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they're in academia, engineering, medicine, and science.
They're part of the world of tech and politics and business. They're our athletes in the Olympics and they're our soldiers in the military.
What I heard in her speech wasn't a bid to save us all, but rather a powerful charge to the young girls watching at home to tell their own stories, to fight for their own values, and to battle injustices with the certainty that they will be seen and heard.
In a sense, this speech sounded in the key of Obama's famously elusive spur to'--as Gandhi urged'--''be the change you want to see in the world.''
In so many ways, this was a maddening proposition when it was being pushed by a moderate Democrat such as Obama. And it was more maddening still when the president told leaders on the left that he needed them to pressure him further into their corner; that he couldn't make that move on his own. This language of citizen empowerment and responsibility is also so painfully foreign at the moment with a sitting president for whom the greatest obligation of the citizenry is to adore and thank him (and spend money on his brand). We are being trained to believe that President Trump alone creates safer skies and restores coal-mining jobs; that passively accepting his leadership is the holy grail of change.
But what Winfrey and Obama talk about is the limits of top-down power. It is one of the great sins of this celebrity age that we continue to misread this message as a call to turn anyone who tries to deliver it into our savior. When someone tells you ''I alone can fix it,'' you should run screaming for the emergency exits. When someone tells you to get off your ass and fix it yourself, you should think first about running for office yourself.
Since the 2016 election, the cry one hears constantly from the left is ''who will lead us?'' But Democrats should have learned more than they have from November's stunning electoral successes in Virginia. The lesson should have been that extraordinary and unknown candidates, including inspired and inspiring first-timers, could win elections without fame or fanfare.
When someone tells you ''I alone can fix it,'' you should run screaming for the emergency exits.
I have no idea whether Winfrey plans to run for the Oval Office in 2020. According to reports, she is ''actively'' considering it. But I heard the force and dignity of her speech as a mirror held up to the country about our own responsibilities, accompanied by a very prominent shoutout to journalists for helping to tell those stories. This was a tribute to nameless women who have faced their own #MeToo moments without receiving attention or justice, and for today's young black girls on linoleum floors who couldn't previously imagine themselves winning a lifetime achievement award and woke up Monday thinking they just might.
It's easy to devalue those words as cheese-puff throwaway lines. But for women who went to law school because they saw Sandra Day O'Connor on the high court (I was one) or Anita Hill before the Senate Judiciary Committee, this moment isn't made of cheese. I will never in my life forget the lines of teenage Latina women snaked around the Senate to watch Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings. That was about more than just young people looking for a savior. We become what we see modeled and that is where #MeToo will intersect with 2018. On Sunday night, I heard Winfrey urging invisible people to speak up, become engaged, transform policy, and find their own power. It was a speech about moving from passivity and acceptance to furious, mobilized participation and a call for allies in that fight.
There is an interesting side debate about whether Winfrey should run for office raging on social media. But that should be ancillary to what she actually told us to do. It took a stable media genius to attempt to peel off the narcissism and solipsism of the celebrity culture in which we all seem to be permanently lodged. Maybe it's destined that nobody will ever again be elected president who doesn't have a billion-dollar media brand behind them. But the speech I heard last night was about using a billion-dollar media brand to remind young women of color that they, too, have the power to save us all.
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Trump's doctor just made an important announcement about a psychiatric examination
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:33
With the question of the President's mental fitness hanging like a sword of Damocles over his tenure, a White House spokesperson announced today that Trump's upcoming annual physical will not include a mental exam, despite his erratic behavior and ludicrously defensive tweets proclaiming himself a ''very stable genius'' who is 'like, really smart.''
While many wags may reason that the medical industry has yet to invent an x-ray or MRI machine powerful enough to detect signs of intelligent life in the vast wasteland of Trump's psyche, Trump spokesman Hogan Gidley responded to the question from reporters on Air Force One during the President's trip to Nashville for an agricultural convention without detailing what the exam would actually cover.
Whatever the physical consists of, the Oval Office has said that Navy physician Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson will issue a report on the results of the routine exam at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to the public.
As the oldest person elected president, questions persist about Trump's physical health and stamina, as well as his mental acumen and stability, with his use of repetitive phrases and raging temper tantrums interpreted by some as signs of early-stage dementia or incipient Alzheimers.
Recent reports that Trump has curtailed his work schedule and spends an increasing amount of ''Executive Time'' each day watching TV, tweeting, and making phone calls rather than reading policy briefings has exacerbated the speculation over the President's mental decline and has led to calls for a professional psychiatric evaluation to be conducted.
The White House announcement today squelches any hopes the public may have had that a psychiatrist could find grounds any time soon for invoking the 25th amendment which determines the rules for succession should a president become incapacitated and unable to perform their duties. At this point, it seems like involuntary commitment will be the only way Trump gets the mental health care he so obviously desperately needs.
Add your name to millions demanding Congress take action on the President's crimes. IMPEACH TRUMP & PENCE!
Vinnie LongobardoVinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet
industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business.
His passions are politics, music and art.
Oprah presidential case marred by promotion Dr. Oz, Jenny McCarthy, others.
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:32
Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and Oprah Winfrey in New York City in 2010.
Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Oprah Winfrey gave a well-received speech about racism and sexism at the Golden Globes on Sunday night. Given the recent political success of former Apprentice star Donald Trump, this led immediately to suggestions that she should run for president'--suggestions that she is apparently willing to encourage. From CNN:
Oprah Winfrey is ''actively thinking'' about running for president, two of her close friends told CNN Monday. The two friends, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely, talked in the wake of Winfrey's extraordinary speech at the Golden Globes Sunday night, which spurred chatter about a 2020 run.
Given this'--and, like, given America'--it's safe to assume that Oprah will be in charge of the country in January 2021, if not sooner. But how will she govern? Who will be appointed to key roles in her administration? Might she, like Trump promised to do, overcome her lack of government experience and policy knowledge by selecting ''the best people'' to advise her?
To take the question seriously, future president Winfrey's track record in this area is not actually reassuring. Look at the list of dubious characters whose careers she's used her television show and media empire to promote:
' Mehmet ''Dr. Oz'' Oz, an actual medical doctor who is nonetheless infamous for using his fame to promote ''miracle pills'' and ''fat busters'' and other scam nonsense. (It may tell you something that Trump chose Dr. Oz's show as the venue on which to discuss his own medical history. )
' Phil ''Dr. Phil'' McGraw, whose eponymous show's treatment of guests suffering from drug addiction has been described as ''callous and inexcusable exploitation'' by a professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Southern California. (Guests who are severely addicted and potentially in danger of dying have reportedly been left without medical supervision in Los Angeles for up to two days after being flown in for dramatic intervention-style appearances on Dr. Phil.)
' Jenny McCarthy, a key figure in the disastrous campaign to convince parents to stop vaccinating their children against infectious diseases, who Winfrey's company actually signed as a contributor in 2009. (McCarthy, like the current president, has said that vaccinations can cause autism.)
' Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, a book and philosophy that posits that the benefits of positive thinking are literally derived from ''scientific'' phenomena involving ''vibrations,'' ''fields of energy,'' and magnetism. (The Secret infamously inspired one Oprah viewer to declare her intention to cure her breast cancer with her mind, which, to Winfrey's credit, she responded to by noting on air that The Secret's techniques are not a substitute for treatment.)
' Suzanne Somers, who Winfrey praised for bravely ''refus[ing] to keep quiet'' when medical experts questioned the usefulness of her personally designed anti-aging regimen, which involves taking 60 pills a day and injecting estrogen directly into the vagina.
On the other hand, the Oprah-launched career of TV chef Rachael Ray has been largely unmarred by the fraudulent promotion of exploitative miracle cures. Secretary of State, Defense, Treasury, and Not Injecting Fake Medicine Into Your Genitals Rachael Ray?
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Feinstein Released testimony
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:29
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 11 S\bNAT\b \fUDICIARY COMMITT\b\b2 U.S. S\bNAT\b3 WASHINGTON, D.C.4567 INT\bRVI\bW OF: GL\bNN SIMPSON891011 TU\bSDAY, AUGUST 22, 201712 WASHINGTON, D.C.1314151617 The interview in this matter was held at the 18 Hart Senate Office Building, commencing at 9:34 a.m.19202122232425
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 21 APP\bARANC\bS:2 S\bNAT\b \fUDICIARY COMMITT\b\b:3 Patrick Davis, Deputy Chief Investigative Counsel, 4 Chairman Grassley5 \fason Foster, Chief Investigative Counsel, 6 Chairman Grassley7 Samantha Brennan, Investigative Counsel, 8 Chairman Grassley9 Daniel Parker, Investigative Assistant,10 Chairman Grassley11 \foshua Flynn-Brown, Investigative Counsel,12 Chairman Grassley13 Scott Graber, Legislative Assistant/Counsel,14 Senator Graham15 Heather Sawyer, Chief Oversight Counsel,16 Senator Feinstein17 \fennifer Duck, Staff Director, 18 Senator Feinstein19 Molly Claflin, Counsel, 20 Senator Feinstein21 Lara Quint, Chief Counsel, 22 Senator Whitehouse232425
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 31 APP\bARANC\bS: (Cont'd)2 FOR TH\b WITN\bSS:3 \foshua Levy, Cunningham Levy Muse4 Robert Muse, Cunningham Levy Muse5 Rachel Clattenburg, Cunningham Levy Muse678910111213141516171819202122232425
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 41 I N D \b X2 \bXAMINATION3 PAG\b4 By Mr. Davis 115 By Ms. Sawyer 526 By Mr. Davis 957 By Ms. Sawyer 1388 By Mr. Davis 1809 By Ms. Sawyer 22710 By Mr. Davis 26011 By Ms. Sawyer 29012 \bXHIBITS13 \bXHIBIT PAG\b14 \bxhibit 1 11 8/3/17 letter agreement 15 \bxhibit 2 3016 Privilege log 17 \bxhibit 3 138 BuzzFeed memos 18 \bxhibit 4 19619 Filing in UK litigation 20 \bxhibit 5 205 (Not described) 21 \bxhibit 6 26122 Meeting notes 232425
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 51 MR. DAVIS: Good morning. This is the 2 transcribed interview of Glenn Simpson. Chairman 3 Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein requested 4 this interview as part of the Senate \fudiciary 5 Committee's investigation of Fusion GPS's 6 activities related to the dossier compiled by 7 Christopher Steele, the Prevezon case, and the 8 Magnitsky Act. 9 Would the witness please state your name for 10 the record. 11 MR. SIMPSON: Glenn Simpson. 12 MR. DAVIS: On behalf of the Chairman I want 13 to thank Mr. Simpson for appearing here today. My 14 name is Patrick Davis. I'm the Deputy Chief 15 Investigative Counsel with the committee's majority 16 staff. 17 I'll ask everyone else from the committee who 18 is here to introduce themselves as well. 19 MR. FOST\bR: \fason Foster, I'm the Chief 20 Investigative Counsel for Chairman Grassley. 21 MS. BR\bNNAN: Samantha Brennan, Investigative 22 Counsel, Chairman Grassley.23 MR. GRAB\bR: Scott Graber, Senator Graham. 24 MR. PARK\bR: Daniel Parker, Investigative 25 Assistant for Senator Grassley.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 61 MR. BROWN: \foshua Flynn-Brown, Investigative 2 Counsel for Senator Grassley. 3 MS. DUCK: \fennifer Duck, Staff Director for 4 Senator Feinstein. 5 MS. QUINT: Lara Quint, Chief Counsel, 6 Senator Whitehouse. 7 MS. SAWY\bR: Heather Sawyer, Chief Oversight 8 Counsel, Senator Feinstein. 9 MS. CLAFLIN: Molly Claflin, Counsel, Senator 10 Feinstein. 11 MR. DAVIS: The Federal Rules of Civil 12 Procedure do not apply to any of the committee's 13 investigative activities, including transcribed 14 interviews. There are some guidelines we follow, 15 and I'll go over those now. 16 Our questioning will proceed in rounds. The 17 majority staff will ask questions first for one 18 hour, then the minority staff will have an 19 opportunity to ask questions for an equal amount of 20 time. We will go back and forth until there are no 21 more questions and the interview is over. 22 We typically take a short break at the end of 23 each hour, but should you need a break at any other 24 time, please just let us know. And we can discuss 25 taking a break for lunch whenever you're ready to
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 71 do so. 2 We have an official reporter taking down 3 everything we say to make a written record. So we 4 ask that you give verbal responses to all 5 questions. Do you understand? 6 MR. SIMPSON: Yes. 7 MR. DAVIS: So that the court reporter can 8 take down a clear record, we'll do our best to 9 limit the number of people directing questions at 10 you during any given hour to those whose turn it 11 is. It's also important that we don't talk over 12 one another or interrupt each other to the extent 13 we can help it. That goes for everybody present at 14 today's interview. 15 We encourage witnesses who appear before the 16 committee to freely consult with counsel if they 17 should choose. You are appearing here today with 18 counsel. Counsel, could you please state your name 19 for the record. 20 MR. L\bVY: \fosh levy. 21 MR. MUS\b: I'm Bob Muse and I represent Glenn 22 Simpson. 23 MS. CLATT\bNBURG: I'm Rachel Clattenburg.24 MR. DAVIS: We want you to answer our 25 questions in the most complete and truthful manner
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 81 possible. So we will take our time. If you have 2 any questions or if you don't understand any of our 3 questions, please let us know. If you honestly 4 don't know the answer to a question or don't 5 remember, it's best not to guess. \fust give us 6 your best recollection. 7 It's okay to tell us if you learned 8 information from somewhere else if you indicate how 9 you came to know the information. If there are 10 things that you don't know or can't remember, we 11 ask that you inform us to the best of your 12 knowledge who might be able to provide a more 13 complete answer to the question. 14 This interview is unclassified. So if any 15 question calls for information that you know to be 16 classified, please state that for the record as 17 well as the reason for the classification. Then 18 once you've clarified that to the extent possible, 19 please respond with as much unclassified 20 information as you can. If we need to have a 21 classified session later, that can be arranged. 22 It is this committee's practice to honor 23 valid common law privilege claims as an 24 accommodation to a witness or party when those 25 claims are made in good faith and accompanied by
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 91 sufficient explanation so that the committee can 2 evaluate the claim. When deciding whether to honor 3 a privilege the committee weighs its need for the 4 information against any legitimate basis for 5 withholding it. The committee typically does not 6 honor contractual confidentiality agreements. 7 The committee and Mr. Simpson have agreed 8 that this interview is occurring without prejudice 9 to any future discussions with the committee and we 10 reserve the right to request Mr. Simpson's 11 participation in future interviews or to compel his 12 testimony. The committee and Mr. Simpson have also 13 agreed that participation in this interview does 14 not constitute a waiver of his ability to assert 15 any privileges in response to future appearances 16 before this committee. 17 Mr. Simpson, you should understand that 18 although the interview is not under oath, by law 19 you are required to answer questions from Congress 20 truthfully. Do you understand that? 21 MR. SIMPSON: Yes. 22 MR. DAVIS: Specifically 18 U.S.C. Section 23 1001 makes it a crime to make any materially false, 24 fictitious, or fraudulent statement or 25 representation in the course of a congressional
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 101 investigation. That statute applies to your 2 statements in this interview. Do you understand 3 that? 4 MR. SIMPSON: Yes, I do. 5 MR. DAVIS: Witnesses who knowingly provide 6 false statements could be subject to criminal 7 prosecution and imprisonment for up to five years. 8 Do you understand this? 9 MR. SIMPSON: Yes, I do. 10 MR. DAVIS: Is there any reason you're unable 11 to provide truthful answers to today's questions?12 MR. SIMPSON: No. 13 MR. DAVIS: Finally, we ask that you not 14 speak about what we discuss in this interview with 15 anyone else outside of who's here in the room today 16 in order to preserve the integrity of our 17 investigation. We also ask that you not remove any 18 exhibits or other committee documents from the 19 interview. 20 Once again, the Chairman and Ranking Member 21 withdrew their subpoena of you due to your 22 willingness to provide information in this 23 voluntary interview and document production. 24 However, the extent to which the committee deems 25 further compulsory process necessary will likely
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 111 depend on your level of cooperation and candor. 2 Is there anything else that my colleagues 3 from the minority would like to add? 4 MS. SAWY\bR: Thank you. We appreciate it. 5 And we appreciate you being here as part of the 6 investigation into the Russian interference into 7 the 2016 election. 8 I did want to, with agreement of my 9 colleagues, just enter into the record the letter 10 agreement regarding the interview that was sent to 11 your counsel on August 3, 2017. I think my 12 colleague has gone over a number of the parameters 13 that we agreed to, but I think it would be helpful 14 to have this in the record. So we'll go ahead and 15 mark it as Interview \bxhibit No. 1 just for 16 identification purposes. 17 (Interview \bxhibit 1 was 18 marked for identification.)19 MS. SAWY\bR: With that, again, thank you for 20 being here. 21 MR. DAVIS: The time is now 9:40 and we will 22 get started with the first hour of questions. 23 \bXAMINATION24 BY MR. DAVIS:25 Q. Mr. Simpson, what is your professional
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 121 background? 2 A. I have a degree in journalism from George 3 Washington University and I've spent most of my 4 working adult life as a journalist, much of it as 5 an investigative reporter for the Wall Street 6 \fournal. Prior to that I worked as an 7 investigative reporter at Roll Call Newspaper 8 writing about political corruption, financial 9 crime, terrorism, tax evasion, stock fraud, 10 financial scandals, congressional investigations, 11 government prosecutions, money laundering, 12 organized crime. 13 Q. And when did you leave the Wall Street 14 \fournal? 15 A. In 2009. 16 Q. And did you found SNS Global after leaving 17 the Wall Street \fournal? 18 A. That's right. 19 Q. And how many employees and associates did 20 SNS Global have? 21 A. There were two partners and in the first 22 part of the time I think we had one employee. No, 23 I'm sorry. We had two employees. 24 Q. And who were they?25 A. We had a research assistant named Margot
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 131 Williams, M-A-R-G-O-T Williams, and another 2 administrative assistant whose name I don't recall 3 right now.4 Q. And who was the other partner?5 A. Susan Schmidt was my other partner, former 6 colleague from the Wall Street \fournal, and prior 7 to that was an investigative reporter at the 8 Washington Post. 9 Q. And what was the nature of SNS Global's 10 business? 11 A. Research, business intelligence.12 Q. And what types of clients did SNS Global 13 have? 14 A. It's a while ago, so it's not fresh in my 15 mind. Other consulting firms, lawyers. I don't 16 specifically remember a lot of them. 17 Q. And is SNS Global still in business? 18 A. No. 19 Q. When did it cease operations? 20 A. I believe at the end of 2010.21 Q. And why did it -- why did SNS Global cease 22 operations? 23 A. Basically my partner and I had different 24 ambitions for what we wanted to do. I wanted to 25 have a brick and mortar office with more resources
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 141 and staff. Basically I concluded that the work 2 that we were doing required more infrastructure and 3 resources. Basically in modern research you need 4 to have access to a lot of different databases and 5 there's a lot of aspects of the work that are 6 administrative in nature that require things that I 7 wasn't able to do. I prefer to spend my time doing 8 the research. So I wanted to have more of an 9 infrastructure where I could focus on that.10 Q. What is Bean, LLC? 11 A. That's the LLC that is my current 12 company. 13 Q. And what is your role in Bean, LLC? 14 A. I'm the majority owner. I guess, you 15 know, we don't have official titles, but I'm 16 generally referred to as the C\bO.17 Q. Bean, LLC registered Fusion GPS as a trade 18 name in the District of Columbia; is that correct? 19 A. Yes, it's a DBA. 20 Q. Why did you choose to use a trade name for 21 Bean, LLC rather than directly name the company 22 Fusion GPS? 23 A. Because at the time that I was deciding 24 what I wanted to do I was recruiting a new partner 25 and I just needed to set up a holding company while
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 151 I organized my new business. So I just picked a 2 name. You know, a bean is a seed, a new thing. So 3 I picked that name to begin the process of 4 organizing a new business and didn't want to select 5 an actual DBA, you know, a brand name until I 6 consulted with my new partner. We wanted to 7 mutually -- I actually had two partners in the 8 beginning, so there were three of us, and I wanted 9 to make it a group decision. 10 Q. Is Bean, LLC currently registered in D.C. 11 to conduct business under the trade name Fusion 12 GPS? 13 A. To my knowledge it is. It should be. 14 Q. Have any other LLC's or business entities 15 conducted business as Fusion GPS?16 A. I don't think so. 17 Q. Have any other LLC's or business entities 18 received payments for work conducted by Fusion GPS, 19 its employees, or its associates? 20 MR. L\bVY: Are you asking to include 21 subcontractors or are you --22 MR. DAVIS: Sure. 23 MR. L\bVY: Does Fusion GPS have 24 subcontractors? 25 MR. DAVIS: Right. I think that would be
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 161 part of it, but the other part is: are there other 2 LLC's associated with Bean direct- -- with Bean or 3 Fusion directly, not just subcontractors? 4 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:5 A. Yes. I mean, the one I think that has 6 come up in some of the correspondence or somewhere, 7 I can't remember where, is another one called 8 Kernel, K-\b-R-N-\b-L, and that was an LLC that was 9 set up for a book project that never -- we never 10 finished -- we never did the book. So it's 11 inactive with the current time. Then there's 12 another one that one of my partners manages that's 13 for different types of work, technology, policy, 14 and that type of thing. 15 Q. What's the name of that one? 16 A. I think it's Caudex, C-A-U-D-\b-X.17 Q. And are any other LLC's or types of 18 business entities otherwise associated with Fusion 19 GPS? 20 A. Those are the only ones I can think of. 21 Q. And have you been a registered agent, 22 owner, or beneficial owner of any other LLC's or 23 business entities?24 A. I own an LLC in Maryland that holds some 25 property that I own.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 171 Q. And what's the name of that LLC?2 A. As we sit here, I wasn't prepared for this 3 question, I don't remember the name of it. It was 4 registered fairly recently. Obviously we can get 5 that to you.6 Q. So is it correct that Fusion has at times 7 worked with different LLC's based on by project?8 A. For most of the history of the company 9 Bean, LLC was the primary entity through which we 10 did business. I'm not sure I totally understand 11 your question. There's this other LLC I mentioned 12 that's fairly recent and there may be other 13 entities, but nothing that I, myself set up, at 14 least not that I can think of. 15 Q. Anything that your partners would have set 16 up? 17 A. Not that I can think of. 18 Q. Does Fusion GPS, Bean, LLC, Kernel, LLC, 19 or any of these other related business entities 20 have any bank accounts outside of the United 21 States? 22 A. No. 23 Q. Domestically does Bean, LLC have an 24 account at ? 25 A. Yes.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 181 MR. L\bVY: I don't know that we need to get 2 into bank accounts. 3 MR. DAVIS: Are you offering a basis for that 4 objection? 5 MR. L\bVY: It's outside the scope of the 6 interview. 7 MR. DAVIS: Part of the questions we've asked 8 are actions Fusion has taken -- interactions Fusion 9 has had and we're trying to define the scope of 10 what Fusion is as a predicate to understanding 11 those answers. 12 MR. L\bVY: Yeah, and he's answering those 13 questions. 14 MR. FOST\bR: He answered yes to the question. 15 BY MR. DAVIS: 16 Q. Where is Fusion GPS's physical office, if 17 any? 18 A. DuPont Circle. 19 Q. Is it, if I recall correctly, 1700 20 Connecticut Avenue, Northwest? 21 A. That's the address, yes. 22 Q. Is it Suite 400? 23 A. It is. 24 Q. How many employees and associates does 25 Fusion GPS currently have?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 201 Q. In general, what is Fusion GPS's business?2 A. We primarily are a research, strategy, 3 consulting firm. 4 Q. And what types of clients has Fusion GPS 5 had? 6 A. It runs the gamut from corporations to law 7 firms, various investment funds, people involved in 8 litigation. 9 Q. And roughly how many active clients --10 MR. L\bVY: Did you finish? I don't know if 11 he finished. 12 MR. DAVIS: I'm sorry. 13 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:14 A. It's hard to categorize them all. Those 15 are some of the main types of clients we have. 16 Q. And roughly how many active clients did 17 Fusion GPS have in 2016? 18 A. That's difficult for me to answer. You 19 know, over ten I would say, but it's hard for me -- 20 beyond that I would be guessing. 21 Q. Does part of Fusion GPS's business involve 22 attempting to have media outlets publish articles 23 that further the interests of your clients?24 A. Yeah, you could -- I mean, generally 25 speaking, we are -- generally we tend to respond to
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 211 inquiries more than try to push things, but, you 2 know, we work with the press frequently. 3 Q. And has Fusion GPS ever provided 4 information to journalists in order to encourage 5 them to publish articles or air stories that 6 further your client's interests? 7 A. Yes. 8 Q. And has Fusion GPS provided information to 9 journalists or editors in order to discourage them 10 from publishing or airing stories that are contrary 11 to your client's interests?12 A. Well, what we -- we're a research company. 13 So generally what we do is provide people with 14 factual information. Our specialty is public 15 record information. So if we get an inquiry about 16 a story and some of the information that a 17 reporter's presuming is incorrect and we give them 18 correct information, that may cause them to not 19 write the story. 20 Q. Has Fusion GPS ever had arrangements with 21 clients in which the amount of Fusion's 22 compensation was dependent on getting articles 23 published or stories aired?24 A. Not that I can recall. 25 Q. Has Fusion GPS ever had arrangements with
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 221 clients in which the amount of Fusion's 2 compensation was dependent upon preventing articles 3 from being published or stories from being aired? 4 A. No, I don't think so, not to my 5 recollection. 6 Q. To the best of your knowledge, has anyone 7 associated with Fusion GPS ever told clients or 8 prospective clients that the company could find and 9 distribute information or take other actions in 10 order to encourage government agencies to initiate 11 an investigation?12 A. Could you restate that?13 Q. To the best of your knowledge, has anyone 14 associated with Fusion GPS ever told clients or 15 prospective clients that the company could find and 16 distribute information or take other actions in 17 order to encourage government agencies to initiate 18 an investigation? 19 MR. L\bVY: Within the scope of this 20 interview? 21 MR. DAVIS: In general. I'm not asking about 22 any particular case. 23 MR. L\bVY: Hold on. Let's -- let me just 24 talk to my client about that and get back to you on 25 that. I just want to understand the facts so we
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 231 can evaluate whether it's appropriate to discuss 2 that here if such a predicate for the answer 3 exists. 4 MR. FOST\bR: Do you want to take a break? 5 MR. L\bVY: Sure. 6 MR. FOST\bR: Let's go off the record. It's 7 9:55. 8 (A short break was had.)9 MR. DAVIS: We'll go back on the record. 10 It's 10:02. 11 BY MR. DAVIS: 12 Q. After conferring with your counsel, are 13 you able to answer the question?14 A. Yes. Could you just state it one more 15 time. 16 Q. Sure. To the best of your knowledge, has 17 anyone associated with Fusion GPS ever told clients 18 or prospective clients that the company could find 19 and distribute information or take other actions in 20 order to encourage government agencies to initiate 21 an investigation? 22 A. The word "associated" is really vague. 23 I'm not sure I know what you mean by that. I can 24 speak to my own practices and the practices of the 25 people who work at my company.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 241 Generally speaking, when we do a research 2 project for a new client and they ask us -- you 3 know, they explain, you know, what situation 4 they're involved in, if it's a lawsuit, for 5 example, or some other dispute, a lot of what we do 6 is related to disputes, they say -- you know, we 7 say we will conduct an open-ended inquiry that's 8 not goal directed and the results of the research 9 will guide whatever decision you want to make about 10 how to use it. 11 So the range of possibilities with, you know, 12 research are you could file a lawsuit, you could 13 put it in a court filing, you could take it to a 14 government agency, you could give it to Congress, 15 you could give it to the press, but you don't 16 really prejudge, you know, how you're going to use 17 information until you know what you've got. 18 So we generally don't let our clients dictate 19 sort of the -- you know, the end result of things 20 because we don't think that's an intelligent way of 21 trying to do research and, you know, a lot of what 22 we do is decision support. Your clients are 23 frequently trying to make a decision about how they 24 want to proceed, whether they want to -- you know, 25 if someone thinks they've been defrauded, you can
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 251 file a lawsuit, you can go to the police. You 2 would decide that based on what you find out about 3 the, you know, evidence of a fraud. So that's 4 generally the way we do it. 5 Q. To the best of your knowledge, has Fusion 6 GPS ever had an arrangement with a client in which 7 the company was specifically tasked with getting 8 government agencies to initiate an investigation? 9 A. I would -- to the best of my recollection, 10 we don't have any agreements like that we would put 11 into writing generally for the reasons I stated in 12 answer to the previous question. In the course of, 13 you know, dealing with a client we might talk about 14 whether, you know, something was worthy of a 15 government investigation and talk about how that 16 could be done. There's any number of scenarios 17 there that might come under discussion, but, as I 18 say, that's generally not how we frame a project. 19 Q. Has Fusion GPS ever had arrangements with 20 clients in which the amount of Fusion's 21 compensation was dependent on government agencies 22 initiating an investigation?23 A. We've been in business since 2010, so 24 seven years is a fairly long time, but as I say, 25 not to my recollection. I just can't be
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 261 categorical because we've done a lot of work over 2 the last seven years. 3 Q. So I'm going to move on now to some 4 questions about Prevezon Holdings and the Magnitsky 5 Act. I want to sort of generally make it clear 6 when I refer to you or to Fusion, I mean not just 7 you personally, but all employees and associates of 8 Fusion GPS and its component LLC's and legal 9 entities as well as any contractors or 10 subcontractors. If it's not clear to you who I'm 11 referring to in the question, please just ask and 12 I'll clarify. 13 Similarly, I'm going to refer to Prevezon and 14 Magnitsky, M-A-G-N-I-T-S-K-Y. When I refer to 15 those together, I mean all matters related to the 16 \fustice Department's lawsuit against Prevezon 17 Holdings Limited, as well as all matters related to 18 efforts with the media, government officials, and 19 campaigns to overturn the Magnitsky Act, prevent 20 the passage of the global Magnitsky Act, remove the 21 word Magnitsky from either law, the Russian ban on 22 U.S. adoptions of Russian children, research on Mr. 23 Magnitsky himself or Mr. Browder, Hermitage Capital 24 Management and its affiliated companies. So I'm 25 generally putting those under that umbrella. If
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 271 you need me to clarify for any specific question, 2 just ask. 3 MR. L\bVY: You obviously said a lot there. 4 MR. DAVIS: I did. 5 MR. L\bVY: And so on a question-by-question 6 basis out of fairness to the witness, I just want 7 to make sure that he has the ability to ask 8 clarification, of course, as questions arise. 9 MR. DAVIS: Right. That's what I would be 10 asking you to do. 11 MR. L\bVY: \bven now, quite frankly, I'm not 12 sure I can recall everything that you baked into 13 the term that you're going to use. 14 MR. DAVIS: Feel free to raise questions 15 about any particular question we ask. 16 MR. L\bVY: Okay. 17 BY MR. DAVIS:18 Q. Mr. Simpson, what was Fusion GPS's role in 19 the \fustice Departments's litigation against 20 Prevezon Holdings?21 A. We were retained by Baker Hostetler in the 22 spring of 2014 to do litigation support, and under 23 the heading of litigation support was things 24 related to discovery, locating witnesses, answer 25 questions from the press, gathering documents,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 281 pretty much, you know, a conventional understanding 2 of litigation support. 3 Q. And to whom did Fusion GPS report in the 4 course of this work? 5 A. Baker Hostetler. The partner in charge 6 was Mark Cymrot, C-Y-M-R-O-T, who's a partner in 7 the Washington office and former \fustice Department 8 prosecutor. 9 Q. Did Mr. Cymrot provide instructions to 10 Fusion GPS during the course of the work? 11 A. Mr. Cymrot regularly instructed us in how 12 we were to go about doing discovery and various 13 other tasks, yes. 14 Q. And for a portion of that case at least 15 Mr. Cymrot was the attorney of record for Prevezon 16 Holdings; is that correct? 17 A. For the entirety of the time that I worked 18 on the case he was -- I believe he was the attorney 19 of record. 20 Q. And did you understand the instructions 21 you received from him to be originating from his 22 client, from Prevezon Holdings? 23 A. The ultimate direction, of course, would 24 have been from the ultimate client, but the client 25 was outside the United States for most of its time.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 291 So, you know, a lot of instruction came from him 2 and he was the person who formulated the legal 3 strategy, undertook all of the legal efforts to 4 work the case. 5 Q. And when did Fusion GPS cease working on 6 the Prevezon Holdings case?7 A. I can't say exactly. It was mid to late 8 2016. 9 Q. Which of Fusion's associates and employees 10 have worked on the Prevezon or Magnitsky issues? 11 A. For the most part it was myself and one of 12 my analysts, . There may have -- from 13 time to time issues may have come up about trying 14 to find records or other issues where I conferred 15 with or enlisted someone else in the office, but I 16 don't specifically recall. 17 MR. FOST\bR: To follow up on the previous 18 answer, you said mid to late 2016 is when the 19 investigation ended, generally speaking. Do you 20 have any records that could refresh your 21 recollection about the exact date at a later time?22 MR. SIMPSON: I'm sure we do, yes. I am -- 23 we have a division of labor and I don't do a lot of 24 things like invoicing. So this is not going to be 25 my strong suit.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 301 MR. FOST\bR: But you could figure it out 2 later for us?3 MR. SIMPSON: We maintain books and records. 4 MR. FOST\bR: Could you maybe just describe 5 quickly what kind of record would constitute the 6 end of the engagement?7 MR. SIMPSON: That's a good question. You 8 know, in some cases there's no specific termination 9 letter. So I don't know whether there's a 10 termination agreement or termination letter in this 11 case. I mean, generally speaking, you know, when 12 we stop billing the case is over. 13 (\bxhibit 2 was marked for 14 identification.)15 BY MR. DAVIS: 16 Q. I'd like to introduce an exhibit. It's 17 one of two privilege logs that your attorneys 18 provided us. This will be \bxhibit 2. 19 Mr. Simpson, on the third page of this 20 document, the last two entries appear to be e-mails 21 sent on October 27, 2016 from Peter Fritsch to Mark 22 Cymrot CC'g you. To the best of your recollection, 23 was Fusion GPS still working for Mr. Cymrot on -- 24 still working for Baker Hostetler on the Prevezon 25 case as of the date of this e-mail?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 311 A. I don't know. 2 Q. The privilege asserted was attorney work 3 product. Do you know what the basis of that was?4 A. Well, it was a legal --5 MR. L\bVY: This is a judgment that his 6 lawyers made and any knowledge he would have about 7 whether it was attorney work product or not likely 8 would come from communications with counsel, which 9 obviously are privileged. 10 BY MR. DAVIS: 11 Q. Did Fusion ever work with subcontractors 12 on its Prevezon or Magnitsky efforts? 13 A. Yes. 14 Q. Who were they? 15 MR. L\bVY: \fust to clarify that, your 16 question was -- can you repeat the question, 17 please? 18 MR. DAVIS: Sure. Did Fusion ever work with 19 subcontractors on its Prevezon or Magnitsky 20 efforts? 21 MR. L\bVY: What do you mean by "Magnitsky 22 efforts"?23 MR. DAVIS: I mean all matters related to the 24 efforts with the media, government officials, and 25 campaigns -- or campaigns to overturn the Magnitsky
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 321 Act, prevent the passage of the global Magnitsky 2 Act, remove the word Magnitsky from the law -- from 3 either law, as well as the Russian ban on U.S. 4 adoptions of Russian children. 5 MR. L\bVY: And you were also asking about 6 subcontractors for Prevezon as well? 7 MR. DAVIS: I'm asking whether Fusion ever 8 worked with subcontractors on those issues. 9 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:10 A. Well, I object to the question the way the 11 question is framed. You've sort of built into the 12 question the sort of inference that we were doing 13 something other than working on a legal case, and 14 there's extensive public record, documentation in 15 Pacer of the work that we did and it was a legal 16 case. So I don't -- it's going to be difficult 17 because it's really hard for me to answer questions 18 where you lump in all these things that other 19 people were doing and impute them to me. 20 Q. Let's break them down by category.21 A. Let's do that. 22 Q. Did Fusion ever work with 23 subcontractors -- did Fusion ever hire 24 subcontractors as part of its legal work on the 25 Prevezon case?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 331 A. Yes. 2 Q. And whom did you hire? 3 A. I think the primary, possibly only one was 4 a guy named \bdward Baumgartner. There may have 5 been others. I just don't recall. 6 Q. And what type of work did Mr. Baumgartner 7 undertake for Fusion? 8 A. Discovery mostly, helping locate 9 witnesses. He speaks Russian. So he would work 10 with the lawyers on gathering Russian language 11 documents, gathering Russian language media 12 reports, talking to witnesses who speak Russian, 13 that sort of thing. He may have dealt with the 14 press. I just don't remember. 15 MR. FOST\bR: What is his professional 16 background?17 MR. SIMPSON: He has a degree in Russian. 18 MR. FOST\bR: So his primary role was as a 19 Russian speaker? Is he a private investigator? 20 What does he do? 21 MR. SIMPSON: He runs a consulting firm like 22 me and deals with issues more in Ukraine than 23 Russia, but in both. Yeah, he was doing Russian 24 language things. The case revolved around, 25 centered on events in Russia. So a lot of what we
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 341 needed to find out were things that were in Russia 2 or there were documents in the Russian language. I 3 don't speak Russian, I've never been to Russia. So 4 it would be ordinary course of business for me to 5 identify a specialist who could supply me with that 6 kind of specialized expertise. 7 BY MR. DAVIS: 8 Q. And how did you come to hire him for this 9 engagement?10 A. I met him on a previous engagement and I 11 was impressed by his knowledge of the region and 12 his general abilities. 13 MR. FOST\bR: What was the previous 14 engagement? 15 MR. L\bVY: We're not going to get into prior 16 engagements. It's outside the scope. 17 MR. FOST\bR: Generally speaking, what was it?18 MR. SIMPSON: It was something involving 19 Russia. 20 MR. FOST\bR: A little more specifically 21 speaking.22 MR. SIMPSON: It's my understanding that I 23 was not required to talk about my other cases at 24 this interview. 25 MR. DAVIS: Again, it's a voluntary interview
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 351 and you are not under compulsion to answer any 2 questions, but, again, the extent to which you 3 cooperate will help the committee members evaluate 4 whether further compulsory process is necessary. 5 MR. L\bVY: He's been answering questions and 6 we're here all day for you. 7 MR. SIMPSON: I'm here to cooperate. 8 BY MR. DAVIS: 9 Q. Did anyone from Fusion ever work with 10 other subcontractors hired by Baker Hostetler for 11 the Prevezon case?12 A. That would have been ordinary. I don't 13 specifically remember doing that, but it wouldn't 14 have been out of the ordinary. It's not 15 particularly noteworthy. I've worked with Baker 16 Hostetler since 2009 on a number of legal cases. 17 This is the only one that involved Russia. And in 18 the course of any legal case, you know, various 19 people are retained by a law firm to perform 20 various services. So you would meet other 21 subcontractors in the course of doing legal work. 22 That's common. 23 Q. What types of services would they tend to 24 be providing?25 A. Translators would be common, in this case
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 361 particularly. Forensic people, accountants, PR 2 people, all those services are facets of modern 3 litigation. 4 Q. And to the best of your knowledge, did 5 Fusion ever work with any other contractors hired 6 by Prevezon Holdings?7 A. I'm sorry. Could you repeat that? 8 Q. Sure. I asked if Fusion had hired any 9 subcontractors that you worked with on the Prevezon 10 matter, whether Baker hired anyone that you worked 11 with. Now I'm wondering did you work with anyone 12 hired directly through Prevezon on this as opposed 13 to Baker Hostetler?14 A. It's difficult to give a yes or no answer 15 to that. I would have to say I think so, but when 16 you're a subcontractor to a law firm, you know, 17 you're sort of in a lane and, you know, my lane was 18 research, discovery, William Browder's business 19 practices, his activities in Russia, his history of 20 avoiding taxes. 21 So people -- other people, you know, in a big 22 case come and go and it's not really my position to 23 ask, you know, who hired them and why. Generally 24 if I'm introduced to somebody they'll explain, you 25 know, why there were other lawyers who worked for
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 371 Prevezon who were part of the case. Other people 2 were brought in -- you know, were brought in either 3 by Prevezon or by the lawyers and I didn't always 4 try to pin that down. 5 Q. In general would the decision whether you 6 would share Fusion's information with them be 7 dependent then upon the attorneys introducing you 8 to them?9 A. It would be dependent on the direction of 10 the attorneys. I basically -- you know, in all 11 these cases for reasons of privilege and simply 12 just professionalism you work at the direction of 13 the lawyers and you do what they instruct you to 14 do. 15 Q. Did anyone from Fusion ever help arrange 16 for other entities to be hired by Prevezon or Baker 17 Hostetler for the Prevezon case?18 A. I don't think you could say we arranged 19 for others to be hired. If you're asking me if we 20 made referrals, we would refer -- you know, we made 21 quite extensive -- fairly extensive efforts to get 22 a PR firm hired for the trial that we were 23 expecting and we made a number of referrals in that 24 case, in that matter. 25 Q. What was the name of that PR firm?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 381 A. There were several. We actually, you 2 know, had a series of screening sessions. I think 3 Weber Shandwick was the one we ended up with. 4 Q. You mentioned that Fusion was conducting 5 litigation support in regard to the Prevezon case. 6 Could you expand a little more about what type of 7 litigation support activities you undertook? 8 MR. L\bVY: Beyond what he's already told you? 9 MR. DAVIS: With a little more detail.10 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:11 A. Yes. In the original period of the case 12 the question -- the client's explanation for or 13 response to the government's allegations was that 14 they originated with an organized crime figure in 15 Russia who had been extorting them and who they had 16 reported to the police and who had been jailed and 17 convicted for blackmailing them, and they claimed 18 that that was where these allegations originated, 19 which, you know, seemed remarkable because it was 20 in a \fustice Department complaint. 21 So the first thing, you know, in any case 22 really is to sort of try and figure out whether 23 your own client's story can be supported or whether 24 it's not true, and the lawyers -- you know, we work 25 with a lot of prominent law firms and in many cases
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 391 the first thing the lawyers need to know is whether 2 their client's story is real, whether it can be 3 supported, you know, because in any new case you 4 don't know whether your own client is telling you 5 the truth. 6 So originally one of the first things we were 7 hired to do was to check out whether this was, in 8 fact, the case. So they claimed that the 9 allegations originated with a mobster named Demetri 10 Baranovsky, B-A-R-A-N-O-V-S-K-Y, who was, in fact, 11 jailed for running a shake-down operation in which 12 he posed as an anticorruption campaigner for the 13 purpose of extorting money from people by 14 threatening to accuse them of some kind of corrupt 15 activities. As you know, Russia is rife with 16 corruption and there's a lot of anger over 17 corruption. 18 We were able to ascertain that Mr. Baranovsky 19 was, in fact, associated with Russia's biggest 20 organized crime family, the Solntsevo Brotherhood, 21 S-O-L-N-T-S-\b-V-O brotherhood, which is the major 22 dominant mafia clan in Moscow. So as far as it 23 went, the client seemed to be telling the truth. 24 You know, there was extensive record of these 25 events and we found some indications from western
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 401 law enforcement that western law enforcement did 2 consider Baranovsky to be a lieutenant in this 3 organized crime family. So we did that for a 4 while. \bdward Baumgartner helped a lot with that 5 because of his Russian language skills and his 6 ability to interface with the court system in 7 Russia. 8 And, you know, around the -- similarly, there 9 was a deposition of a customs agent by one of the 10 lawyers who -- you know, in this initial effort to 11 trace the origin of these allegations, where they 12 came from, how they could have ended up with the 13 \fustice Department, the first thing we did was 14 interview the client, got their story, and 15 interviewed the agent who worked on the case for 16 the DO\f and that agent said he got all his 17 information from William Browder. 18 So at that point I was asked to help see if 19 we could get an interview with William Browder. 20 They wrote a letter to Browder and asked him to 21 answer questions and he refused. Then the lawyers 22 wanted to know, you know, whether he could be 23 subpoenaed. So a lot of what I did in 2014 was 24 help them figure out whether he could be subpoenaed 25 in the United States to give a deposition, and the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 411 first thing that we did was we researched the 2 ownership and registration of his hedge fund, which 3 was registered in Delaware and filed documents with 4 the Securities and \bxchange Commission. 5 So we subpoenaed his hedge fund. A lot of 6 the early work I did was just documenting that his 7 hedge fund had presence in the United States. So 8 we subpoenaed his hedge fund. He then changed the 9 hedge fund registration, took his name off, said it 10 was on there by accident, it was a mistake, and 11 said that he had no presence in the United States 12 and that, you know -- as you may know, he 13 surrendered his citizenship in 1998 and moved 14 outside the United States. That was around the 15 time he started making all the money in Russia. So 16 he's never had to pay U.S. taxes on his profits 17 from his time in Russia, which became important in 18 the case later. 19 In any case, he said he never came to the 20 United States, didn't own any property here, didn't 21 do any business here, and therefore he was not 22 required to participate in the U.S. court system 23 even though he admitted that he brought the case to 24 the U.S. \fustice Department. So we found this to 25 be a frustrating and somewhat curious situation.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 421 He was willing to, you know, hand stuff off to the 2 DO\f anonymously in the beginning and cause them to 3 launch a court case against somebody, but he wasn't 4 interesting in speaking under oath about, you know, 5 why he did that, his own activities in Russia. 6 So looking at the public record we determined 7 that he did come to the United States frequently, 8 and I discovered through public records that he 9 seemed to own a house in Aspen, Colorado, a very 10 expensive mansion, over $10 million, which he had 11 registered in the name of a shell company in a 12 clear attempt to disguise the ownership of the 13 property. We were able to ascertain that he does 14 use that property because he registered cars to 15 that property with the Colorado DMV in the name of 16 William Browder.17 So we began looking for public information 18 about when he might be in Aspen, Colorado, and I 19 found a listing on the Aspen Institute Website 20 about an appearance he was going to make there in 21 the summer of 2014. So we -- I served him a 22 subpoena in the parking lot of the Aspen Institute 23 in the summer of 2014 using two people -- two 24 subcontractors. Actually, those other 25 subcontractors were -- their names escape me, but I
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 431 forgot about those. We can get you that. This is 2 all in the Pacer court record, the public court 3 record. 4 In any event, the three of us served -- there 5 was another subcontractor working for the law firm 6 whose name I also forget. I did not retain him, 7 but I was asked to work with him on this. He is a 8 private investigator and we can get you his name. 9 In any event, we served him the subpoena and he ran 10 away. He dropped it on the ground and he ran away. 11 He jumped in his car and went back to his mansion. 12 At that point he tried to suppress -- tried 13 to quash the subpoena on the grounds it hadn't been 14 properly served. We didn't get a video, but there 15 are sworn affidavits from my servers in the court 16 record about the service. But he objected to it on 17 a number of grounds. A, he continued to insist he 18 had nothing to do with the United States and didn't 19 come here very often even, though we caught him 20 here, clearly has cars in Colorado. He also said 21 that you can't serve a subpoena for a case in 22 New York in the state of Colorado, it's outside the 23 primary jurisdiction. He also began to raise 24 questions about whether Baker Hostetler had a 25 conflict of interest because of some previous work
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 441 he did with one of the Baker lawyers. 2 This led to a long, drawn-out discovery 3 battle that I was in the center of because I served 4 the subpoenas and I helped find the information for 5 the first set of subpoenas that lasted, you know, 6 through 2014. This was, you know, a lot of what I 7 did. This was -- the main focus was on trying to 8 get William Browder to testify under oath about his 9 role in this case and his activities in Russia. 10 All of this -- his determined effort to avoid 11 testifying under oath, including running away from 12 subpoenas and changing -- frequently changing 13 lawyers and making lurid allegations against us, 14 including that, you know, he thought we were KGB 15 assassins in the parking lot of Aspen, Colorado 16 when we served the subpoena, all raised questions 17 in my mind about why he was so determined to not 18 have to answer questions under oath about things 19 that happened in Russia. 20 I'll add that, you know, I've done a lot of 21 Russia reporting over the years. I originally met 22 William Browder back when I was a journalist at the 23 Wall Street \fournal when I was doing stories about 24 corruption in Russia. I think the first time I met 25 him he lectured me about -- I was working on a
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 451 story about Vladimir Putin corruption and he 2 lectured me about how have Vladimir Putin was not 3 corrupt and how he was the best thing that ever 4 happened to Russia. There are numerous documents 5 that he published himself, interviews he gave 6 singing the praises of Vladimir Putin. At that 7 time I was already investigating corruption in 8 Putin's Russia. 9 So this made me more curious about the 10 history of his activities in Russia and what that 11 might tell me about corruption in Russia, and as 12 part of the case we became curious about whether 13 there was something that he was hiding about his 14 activities in Russia. So through this period while 15 we were attempting to get him under oath we were 16 also investigating his business practices in Russia 17 and that research -- and I should add when I say 18 "we," I mean the lawyers were doing a lot of this 19 work and it wasn't -- I can't take responsibility 20 or pride of place on having done all this work. We 21 were doing it all together. It was a -- you know, 22 there were a number of lawyers involved, other 23 people. 24 In the course of doing this research into 25 what he might not want to be asked about from his
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 461 history in Russia we began to learn about the 2 history of his tax avoidance in Russia and we began 3 to deconstruct the way that his hedge fund 4 structured its investments in Russia and, you know, 5 we gradually accumulated through public records, 6 not all from Russia, that he set up dozens of shell 7 companies in Cyprus and other tax havens around the 8 world to funnel money into Russia and to hold 9 Russian securities. 10 He also set up shell companies inside of 11 Russia in order to avoid paying taxes in Russia and 12 he set up shell companies in a remote republic 13 called Kalmykia, K-A-L-M-Y-K-I-A, which is next to 14 Mongolia. It's the only Buddhist republic in 15 Russia and there's nothing much there, but if you 16 put your companies there you can lower your taxes. 17 They were putting their companies in Kalmykia that 18 were holding investments from western investors and 19 they were staffing these companies -- they were 20 using Afghan war veterans because there's a tax 21 preference for Afghan war veterans, and what we 22 learned is that they got in trouble for this 23 eventually because one of Putin's primary rules for 24 business was you can do a lot of things, but you've 25 got to pay your taxes.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 471 In fact, William Browder famously said in 2 2005 at Davos everybody knows under Putin you have 3 to pay your taxes, which is ironic because at the 4 time he was being investigated for not paying 5 taxes. Ultimately they were caught, some of these 6 companies were prosecuted, and he was forced to 7 make an enormous tax payment to the government of 8 Russia in 2006. 9 I will add that Sergei Magnitsky was working 10 for him at this time and all of this happened prior 11 to the events that you are interested in involving 12 the Russian treasury fraud and his jailing. This 13 precedes all that. 14 But returning to the detailed discussion of 15 my work, we investigated William Browder's business 16 practices in Russia, we began to understand maybe 17 what it was he didn't want to talk about, and as we 18 looked at that we then began to look at his 19 decision to surrender his American citizenship in 20 1998. At that point somewhere in there the Panama 21 papers came out and we discovered that he had 22 incorporated shell companies offshore in the mid 23 1990s, in 1995 I believe it was in the British 24 Virgin Islands, and that at some point his hedge 25 fund's shares had been transferred to this offshore
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 481 company. 2 This offshore company was managed -- several 3 of his offshore companies were managed by the 4 Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca, 5 M-O-S-S-A-C-K, Fonseca, F-O-N-S-\b-C-A, which is 6 known now for setting up offshore companies for 7 drug kingpins, narcos, kleptos, you name it. They 8 were servicing every bad guy around. And I'm 9 familiar with them from other money laundering and 10 corruption and tax evasion investigations that I've 11 done. 12 I'll note parenthetically that William 13 Browder talks a lot about the Panama papers and the 14 Russians who are in the Panama papers without ever 15 mentioning that he's in the Panama papers. This 16 is, again, a public fact that you can check 17 on-line. 18 So that's an overview of the sort of work I 19 was doing on this case. In the course of that I 20 also began reaching back, I read his book Red 21 Notice to understand his story and the story of his 22 activities in Russia. I'll add also that I was 23 extremely sympathetic for what happened to Sergei 24 Magnitsky and I told him that myself and I tried to 25 help him. It was only later from this other case
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 491 that I began to be curious and skeptical about 2 William Browder's activities and history in Russia.3 MR. FOST\bR: Can I ask you a follow-up 4 question. I appreciate the narrative answer, but 5 at the very beginning of the narrative you talked 6 about beginning this journey by interviewing -- 7 conducting an interview of the case agent who said 8 he'd gotten all of his information -- the case 9 agent or the attorney, the primary person at the 10 DO\f, you said they got all their information from 11 Bill Browder. Can you tell us who that was and who 12 conducted the interview? 13 MR. L\bVY: Mr. Simpson should definitely 14 answer that question. I just want to make sure for 15 the record that he hadn't finished his answer. He 16 can talk more extensively about the litigation 17 support that he provided for Baker --18 MR. FOST\bR: We're happy to get into that if 19 he wants to do that. We're just coming up at the 20 end of our hour. 21 MR. L\bVY: No problem. 22 MR. FOST\bR: and I wanted to get that 23 follow-up in before --24 MR. L\bVY: No problem. No problem at all. 25 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 501 A. I'll just finish with one last thing and 2 I'm happy to answer that question. 3 So in the course of this, you know -- I mean, 4 one of my interests or even obsessions over the 5 last decade has been corruption in Russia and 6 Russian kleptocracy and the police state that was 7 there. I was stationed in \burope from 2005 to 2007 8 or '8. So I was there when Putin was consolidating 9 power and all this wave of power was coming. So 10 it's been a subject that I've read very widely on 11 and I'm very interested in the history of Putin's 12 rise. 13 You know, in the course of all this I'll tell 14 you I became personally interested in where Bill 15 Browder came from, how he made so much money under 16 Vladimir Putin without getting involved in anything 17 illicit. So I read his book and I began doing 18 other research and I found filings at the S\bC 19 linking him quite directly and his company, Salomon 20 Brothers at the time, to a company in Russia called 21 Peter Star, and I had, as it happens, vetted Peter 22 Star and I knew that Peter Star was, you know, at 23 the center of a corruption case that I covered as a 24 reporter at the Wall Street \fournal. When I went 25 back into the history of Peter Star I realized that
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 511 Bill Browder did business with the mayor's office 2 in Saint Petersburg when Vladimir Putin was the 3 deputy mayor and was responsible for dealing with 4 western businessmen and corporations. 5 I then went and looked in Red Notice, this 6 was a large deal, it was the biggest deal ever for 7 Salomon at that time, they sold $98 million worth 8 of stock on NASDAQ. There's no mention of William 9 Browder's deal with Peter Star in Red Notice. I 10 can't tell you why, but I can tell you that Peter 11 Star later became the subject of a massive 12 corruption investigation, Pan-\buropean, that I 13 exposed a lot of and that led to the resignation of 14 Putin's telecoms minister. So I assume he might 15 not have -- this is kind of a pattern with Browder, 16 which is he tends to omit things that aren't 17 helpful to him, and I think we've seen a good bit 18 of that lately in his allegations against me, which 19 I'm sure you're going to ask me about. 20 So your question about the IC\b agent, he was 21 deposed by \fohn Moscow of the New York office of 22 Baker Hostetler. \fohn is an old associate of mine 23 from my days as a journalist. \fohn's an expert on 24 tax evasion and money laundering. He was the head 25 of the rackets bureau for the district attorney's
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 521 office in New York. 2 MR. FOST\bR: You're talking about a formal 3 deposition in the litigation?4 MR. SIMPSON: Yeah. 5 MR. FOST\bR: I just wanted to clarify that. 6 MR. SIMPSON: Again, it's in the court 7 record. One of the frustrating things about this 8 whole issue for me is everything I'm talking about 9 or most of it is in the court record. You know, I 10 don't take a lot of credit for my work. So you 11 won't see my name scattered through the court 12 record, but a lot of this is what I did. 13 MR. DAVIS: I think that's concludes our 14 first hour. Let's take a short break before we 15 begin a new one. 16 MR. FOST\bR: Let's go off the record. 17 MR. DAVIS: We'll go off the record at 18 10:45. 19 (A short break was had.)20 MS. SAWY\bR: It's about 10:55. 21 \bXAMINATION22 BY MS. SAWY\bR:23 Q. Mr. Simpson, again, I'm Heather Sawyer, I 24 work as counsel for Senator Feinstein, and I have 25 with me two of my colleagues. I will primarily be
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 531 asking the questions. They may have some 2 follow-up.3 We want to make sure we're clear. So 4 certainly if I ask you a question, anything that's 5 unclear, let me know and I will clarify it. Again, 6 we appreciate you being here today to answer our 7 questions. 8 You had talked with my colleagues a bit about 9 the work that Fusion GPS does in general and I 10 wanted to ask you some follow-up on that. What 11 would you describe as kind of the key expertise of 12 your firm, Fusion GPS?13 A. Public information is our specialty. We 14 generally are all ex-journalists and specific type 15 of journalists, investigative reporters, and, you 16 know, being a journalist is all about finding 17 public information. At least, you know, the kind 18 of journalism I practiced was based on documents. 19 I'm a document hound and so are my colleagues. 20 So essentially we gather up large quantities 21 of public information and we process that. We've 22 sort of more recently branched into data science 23 and, you know, digital data, obtaining databases 24 through FOIA. We do a lot of Freedom of 25 Information Act work. We work with court records
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 541 a lot, corporate records a lot. Some of my 2 employees do a lot of financial crime and money 3 laundering and fraud investigations, tax evasion, 4 that sort of thing. Those are my specialties. 5 I was also a political reporter and covered 6 campaigns and elections. I know a lot about how 7 campaigns work and how, you know, Washington works 8 generally. So we do things like policy disputes, 9 one industry versus another, one company versus 10 another. We don't do a lot of campaign consulting, 11 but every four years for the last couple of cycles 12 we've done some presidential work. 13 Generally speaking, the way our business is 14 structured most campaigns don't have the budget for 15 the kind of services that we provide. So we only 16 would do things where people have the resources to 17 pay for a serious piece of research. So we do 18 things like a California initiative or 19 presidential. 20 Q. And how would you describe like how would 21 you pitch and why would a client need your 22 services?23 A. Generally speaking, people tend to get 24 referred to us when they have a sort of undefined 25 need, like they feel like they don't know what
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 551 happened or they don't know what happened, they 2 don't know what's going on. So I think that's what 3 I referred to earlier as the decision support part 4 of our work. 5 You know, a client will come to us and 6 they'll say I'm being sued and they're accusing me 7 of X and, you know, not only did I not do it, but I 8 don't even understand why they're suing me. I 9 mean, that's a kind of typical thing. Also another 10 example would be I think I've been defrauded, but I 11 can't figure out how or why. Or I keep -- you 12 know, I run the best company in my industry and, 13 you know, we make the best widgets and we keep 14 losing out on the Pentagon contract to this other 15 guy and we think something fishy's going on and we 16 want you to help us figure it out. 17 Q. So in some ways it's fact gathering and 18 due diligence for clients?19 A. Well, it is certainly fact gathering and I 20 certainly am around the due diligence industry and 21 I am essentially part of it, but we don't really do 22 a lot of classic due diligence, which has become a 23 commoditized product in the business intelligence 24 field that is conducted, you know, at a fairly sort 25 of low level. it's become sort of a mass product
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 561 like a McDonald's cheeseburger. 2 Q. I think when you were speaking with my 3 colleagues you described your work as open ended 4 and not results directed. Can you explain a little 5 more what you mean by that? 6 A. Sure. Another thing we say about our work 7 is it's custom information, it's a customized 8 product. You tell us what your problem is and we 9 customize a research solution. In general when 10 people come to us and they tell us what their 11 challenge is, we stipulate that they retain us for 12 30 days, they agree to pay our fee, they don't tell 13 us what to do, they don't tell us, you know, what 14 result to get. I like to call it a holistic 15 methodology. 16 The reason we do it that way, you know, A, we 17 are professionals and we feel like it's not helpful 18 to have someone dictating how you do things, but, 19 B, if you predetermine the result that you're 20 looking for you tend to miss things. So it's 21 better -- you know, it's pure versus applied 22 science, right? You're looking to understand how 23 things work before you understand what you might 24 need to address a particular problem. 25 What happens after you've done open-ended
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 571 research is then, of course, you try to apply it to 2 the specific issues at hand. So if you're not able 3 to get a government contract and you think the 4 other guy is up to something and we find out, you 5 know, indeed he's been making, you know, payments 6 to somebody, you know, then we would, you know, 7 advise them on how to address that. 8 Q. So the way it's structured you are 9 certainly free to follow the facts wherever they 10 may lead you in the course of research?11 A. That's right. You know, it's a little 12 different in litigation where you're working for an 13 attorney and he's got specific things he needs, 14 like serving a witness or something like that, but 15 on the research side of it it's -- I have the 16 professional -- basically I reserve for myself the 17 professional freedom to find out the answers. 18 Q. A \fanuary 11, 2017 New York Times article 19 described your firm, Fusion GPS, as a firm that 20 "Most often works for business clients, but in 21 presidential elections the firm is sometimes hired 22 by candidates, party organizations, or donors to do 23 political oppo work, short for opposition research 24 on the side." 25 Is that an accurate description of the firm?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 581 A. In a shorthand way, yeah. I mean, it's 2 consistent with the description I think I gave you. 3 We don't do a lot of campaign work, but, you know, 4 every few years we do. And most of our clients are 5 not trying to win an election. They're trying to 6 win a lawsuit or, you know, find out who ripped 7 them off. 8 Q. With regard to the political or campaign 9 work that you do, the same principles you've talked 10 about in terms of how the relationship is 11 structured, how the research is done, do those same 12 principles apply to that political or campaign 13 research as well?14 A. Yes. There's a limited number of examples 15 because we don't do a lot of it, but, again, my 16 specialty is really sort of financial 17 investigations and business practices. In the 18 last -- you know, in a current example we have a 19 businessman who had a far-flung business empire all 20 around the world. So, you know, that was a natural 21 subject for me. So we do, we investigate 22 multinational enterprises on a frequent basis. 23 Q. \fust to be clear, when you say "in the 24 current example," what are you referring to?25 A. 2016 presidential election.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 591 Q. And then, by extension, when you're 2 talking about an international businessman, I 3 presume you're talking about then candidate now 4 President Trump? 5 A. Yes. 6 Q. I do want to ask you more about that, but 7 before we get to that, in general, when you do the 8 political or campaign work you're equally free to 9 follow the facts wherever they lead you and the 10 firm Fusion GPS?11 A. Yes, that's right. 12 Q. Now, certainly it sounds like you handle 13 business for multiple clients, not just one client 14 at one time. How do you handle the fact that you 15 have work for more than one client in terms of 16 protecting confidentiality in general and 17 ensuring -- well, first of all, I presume that you 18 take steps so that work for one client is not 19 shared with another client? 20 MR. L\bVY: What's the question? 21 MS. SAWY\bR: Do you take steps to ensure that 22 work that you're doing for one client is not shared 23 with another client?24 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:25 A. Yes. My partners and I don't talk
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 601 about -- it's like a lawyer wouldn't talk about one 2 client to another client. You know, there's some 3 exceptions when things become public. If we're 4 working on a public matter and someone else asks us 5 about it, I mean, obviously if it's public it's not 6 -- it doesn't need to be protected. But we have 7 systems to segregate our cases and clients and, you 8 know, we deal with them individually and we operate 9 in that sense, you know, like a lawyer would. 10 As the business has grown, you know, we've 11 taken on more and more matters. So I don't -- you 12 know, I generally do about a half a dozen cases at 13 a time on all range of subjects in all parts of the 14 world, and the same is true of my partners and we 15 divide them up. So sometimes we work together, but 16 frequently each of them will be doing three, four, 17 five cases at a time. 18 Q. With regard to subcontractors who work 19 with the firm, do you have a policy that is shared 20 with them about how they are to treat the 21 information that they're doing on behalf of one of 22 your clients vis-a-vis some of your other clients?23 A. Well, our subcontractors are governed by 24 NDA's to start with. In most cases that I can 25 think of we don't have one subcontractor working on
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 611 more than one matter, but to the extent that would 2 happen, we don't really -- when you're dealing with 3 subcontractors you're giving them generally very 4 specific assignments, find out what you can about 5 this company or this businessman or this court 6 case, whatever, and a lot of that you never get 7 into who the client is. It's irrelevant. 8 I'd say more often than not the 9 subcontractors don't know who the client is. We 10 would not volunteer that information to them unless 11 they were what we would call a super sub, which is 12 someone who, you know, has worked with us for a 13 long time and has enough trust and confidence to be 14 involved. Again, it would also be on a kind of 15 need-to-know basis. There's no need for a 16 subcontractor to know who a client is unless it's 17 for, you know, KYC, know your customer kind of due 18 diligence purposes. Sometimes we identify clients 19 to prevent conflicts. So unless there's a reason 20 like that or because they need to meet with the 21 client, you know, we generally wouldn't tell them 22 who the client is. 23 Q. So you had mentioned a few minutes ago 24 that you had done some political or campaign 25 research in the course of the 2016 presidential
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 621 election and you clarified that that was work 2 related to then Candidate and now President Trump. 3 What can you tell us about that work? Can you just 4 describe it first generally and then I'll ask you 5 some follow-up.6 A. It was, broadly speaking, a kind of 7 holistic examination of Donald Trump's business 8 record and his associations, his bankruptcies, his 9 suppliers, you know, offshore or third-world 10 suppliers of products that he was selling. You 11 know, it evolved somewhat quickly into issues of 12 his relationships to organized crime figures but, 13 you know, really the gamut of Donald Trump. 14 What we generally do at the beginning of a 15 case if it's possible is to order all the books 16 about the subject from Amazon so we're not 17 reinventing the wheel and we know what's been 18 written and said before. So this was typical. We 19 ordered every Donald Trump book and, to my 20 surprise, that's a lot of books. I was never very 21 interested in Donald Trump. He was not a serious 22 political figure that I'd ever had any exposure to. 23 He's a New York figure really. 24 So anyway, we read everything we could read 25 about Donald Trump. Those books cover his
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 631 divorces, his casinos, his early years dealings 2 with labor unions and mafia figures. I'm trying to 3 think what else. His taxes certainly have always 4 been a big issue. Again, it was sort of an 5 unlimited look at his -- you know, his business and 6 finances and that sort of thing. 7 Q. And when did this work begin?8 A. It was either September or October of 9 2015. I recall being in London on other business 10 and hearing somebody wanted for us to take a look 11 at it. 12 Q. And what can you tell us about who engaged 13 you initially to do that work? 14 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that question might 15 implicate privilege. 16 BY MS. SAWY\bR:17 Q. So it has been publicly reported that the 18 initial engagement of September to October 2015 was 19 by someone with ties -- with Republican ties. Can 20 you confirm whether that is accurate or not? 21 MR. L\bVY: We're not going to talk about the 22 identity of clients. 23 BY MS. SAWY\bR:24 Q. So with regard to this engagement in 25 September -- that began initially in September or
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 641 October 2015, what were you asked specifically to 2 do by the client?3 A. I don't have specific recollection of 4 there being a specific tasking. I believe it was 5 why don't you take a look at Donald Trump, it looks 6 like he may, you know, be more successful than 7 people think, something -- there was some level of 8 insight that he had a better shot than people were 9 giving him at the time, but it was on open-ended 10 request like most of the things that we get. 11 Q. And, again, on that one was the work 12 directed at all by the client? Did they ask you to 13 look at any particular aspects of Candidate Trump's 14 background?15 A. I don't -- I know there was --16 MR. L\bVY: We're not going to get into client 17 communications. It's privileged. 18 BY MS. SAWY\bR:19 Q. Were you in any way limited in the 20 research that you did or the facts that you wanted 21 to pursue?22 A. Can I talk generally about my practices 23 and the history? 24 Q. Sure.25 A. I mean, in general it's very rare for
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 651 someone to tell me look here, don't look there. 2 For the most part we are looking at -- you know, 3 we're trying to understand something big. So it's 4 really counterproductive for somebody to tell you 5 look here, don't look there, I'm interested in X 6 but not Y. So we generally sort of push back when 7 that happens, but I have to say we sort of set the 8 rules at the beginning and people, you know, 9 accepted those terms. So generally that's what we 10 explain to people in the beginning of our 11 engagements, you know, let us do our jobs and 12 that's the way it works best. 13 Q. And did that -- can you tell us whether 14 that general practice and rule applied to the 15 engagement that you took on in September or October 16 2015 with regard to Candidate Trump? 17 MR. L\bVY: You can answer that without 18 getting into client communications. 19 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:20 A. I mean, we were -- it was regular order. 21 As, you know, various people will tell you, I'm -- 22 you know, it would be like herding a cat, right? 23 We're going to do what we do. So it was regular 24 order. 25 Q. And then when you spoke with my colleagues
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 661 earlier you had indicated that sometimes when facts 2 are gathered you present options to a client and 3 you articulated kind of four options, a potential 4 lawsuit, take it to a government agency, give it to 5 Congress, give it to the press. Did you -- were 6 those the general options on the table with regard 7 to this engagement as well? 8 MR. L\bVY: If you can discuss it without 9 talking about client communications. If you can't, 10 you can't.11 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:12 A. I'm just trying to -- because it evolved 13 it's a little bit hard to -- I mean, in the 14 beginning of this case like pretty much every case 15 there was no -- there was no range of options -- 16 there weren't -- it was a request to see what we 17 could find out about Donald Trump and the, you 18 know, goal or sort of reason, there wasn't really 19 one. It was tell me what we need to know about 20 this guy. So later on, you know, we started 21 getting press inquiries and at that point, you 22 know, the sort of press element enters the 23 equation, but I can't really get into what they 24 told me or didn't tell me to do. 25 Q. And are you free today to talk to us about
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 671 any of the actual findings from that research and 2 that engagement?3 A. Yes. 4 Q. Okay. So with regard to that initial 5 engagement because you had talked a bit about some 6 of the research you had done -- I think you said it 7 was holistic, financials, potential ties to 8 organized crime. With regard to this initial 9 engagement that started in October, September, can 10 you just explain for us what your findings were.11 A. I guess I'll just give you the caveat 12 that, you know, it's a group effort. So I can tell 13 you, you know, as the person that was, you know, 14 running the project, you know, I had my fingers in 15 various things, but there were also the things that 16 I was directly focused on. 17 In the early -- the very first weekend that I 18 started boning up on Donald Trump, you know, I 19 found various references to him having connections 20 to Italian organized crime and later to a Russian 21 organized crime figure named Felix Sater, 22 S-A-T-\b-R. It wasn't hard to find, it wasn't any 23 great achievement, it was in the New York Times, 24 but as someone who has done a lot of Russian 25 organized crime investigations as a journalist
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 681 originally that caught my attention and became 2 something that, you know, I focused on while other 3 people looked at other things. 4 So from the very beginning of this organized 5 crime was -- Russian organized crime was a focus of 6 interest. I guess I should just repeat, you know, 7 this is a subject that I covered extensively at the 8 Wall Street \fournal. I wrote a series of front- 9 page articles about various corrupt politicians 10 from Russia, oligarchs, and one of the things that 11 I wrote about was the connections between western 12 politicians and Russian business figures. So, you 13 know, I was sort of an amateur student of the 14 subject and I had written about some of these same 15 Russian crime figures, you know, years earlier in 16 the U.S. and various frauds and things they were 17 involved in. 18 As it happens, Felix Sater was, you know, 19 connected to the same Russian crime family that was 20 at issue in the Prevezon case, which is the 21 dominant Russian crime family in Russia and has a 22 robust U.S. presence and is involved in a lot of 23 crime and criminal activity in the United States 24 and for many years was the -- the leader of this 25 family was on the FBI most wanted list and lives
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 691 openly in Moscow as a fugitive from U.S. law for a 2 very elaborate stock fraud. 3 Q. Who is that individual and family?4 A. The first name is Semyon, S-\b-M-Y-O-N, the 5 last name is Mogilevich, M-O-G-I-L-\b-V-I-C-H. 6 Mogilevich is sometimes referred to as the brainy 7 Don because he runs very sophisticated schemes 8 including, according to the FBI, involving natural 9 gas pipelines in \burope, and he's wanted in 10 connection with an elaborate stock fraud called YBM 11 Magnex that was took place in the Philadelphia 12 area. 13 You know, Russian organized crime is very 14 different from Italian organized crime. It's much 15 more sort of a hybrid kind of thing where they're 16 involved in politics and banking and there's even a 17 lot of connections between the mafia and the KGB or 18 the FSB and cyber crime, things that the Italians 19 sort of never figured out. Stock fraud in 20 particular was the big thing in the U.S. In any 21 event, all of that entered into my thinking when I 22 saw that Donald Trump was in business with Felix 23 Sater in the Trump Soho project and a number of 24 other controversial condo projects. 25 Q. And what, if anything, did you conclude
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 701 about the connection between and in the business 2 dealings that then Candidate Trump had had with 3 Mr. Sater? 4 A. Well, somewhat analogous to the Browder 5 situation I found it notable this was something he 6 didn't want to talk about and testified under oath 7 he wouldn't know Felix if he ran into him in the 8 street. That was not true. He knew him well and, 9 in fact, continued to associate with him long after 10 he learned of Felix's organized crime ties. So, 11 you know, that tells you something about somebody. 12 So I concluded that he was okay with that and that 13 was a troubling thing. I also, you know, began 14 to -- I keep saying I, but we as a company began to 15 look at where his money came from and, you know, 16 that raised a lot of questions. We saw indications 17 that some of the money came from Kazakhstan, among 18 other places, and that some of it you just couldn't 19 account for. 20 You know, we also conducted a much broader 21 sort of look at his entire career and his overseas 22 investments in places like \burope and Latin 23 America. You know, it wasn't really a Russia 24 focused investigation for the first half of it. 25 That was just one component of a broader look at
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 711 his business career, his finances. We spent a lot 2 of time trying to figure out whether he's really as 3 rich as he says he is because that was the subject 4 of a libel case that he filed against a journalist 5 named Tim O'Brien for which there was quite a lot 6 of discovery and litigation filings detailing 7 O'Brien's allegation that he was worth, you know, 8 maybe a fifth to a third of what he claims and 9 Trump's angry retort that he was worth far more 10 than that. 11 So we did things like we looked at the golf 12 courses and whether they actually ever made any 13 money and how much debt they had. We looked at the 14 bankruptcies, how could somebody go through so many 15 bankruptcies, you know, and still have a billion 16 dollars in personal assets. So those are the kinds 17 of things. We looked at a lot of things like his 18 tax bills. Tax bills are useful because you can 19 figure out how much money someone is making or how 20 much they're worth or how much their properties are 21 worth based on how much they have to pay in taxes. 22 One of the things we found out was that, you 23 know, when it comes to paying taxes, Donald Trump 24 claims to not have much stuff. At least the Trump 25 organization. So they would make filings with
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 721 various state and local authorities saying that 2 their buildings weren't worth much. 3 Q. And this information that you gathered, 4 was it shared with the client that you had for that 5 September, October engagement?6 A. I can't answer that.7 MS. QUINT: When you said you looked at the 8 golf courses and bankruptcies, just to clarify, 9 everything you're talking about was for that 2015 10 engagement? When you say it wasn't Russia focused 11 at first, I'm unclear of the time. 12 MS. SAWY\bR: Yeah. Can you tell us when that 13 engagement ended? 14 MR. L\bVY: Which question is pending? Can 15 you repeat the question? 16 MS. QUINT: I think they're related. I lost 17 track when you said you looked at golf courses, 18 bankruptcies, tax bills and it was not initially 19 Russia centric. I'm wondering the time frame to 20 make sure we're all on the same page.21 MR. SIMPSON: It's difficult to specifically 22 recall when we did exactly what. For example, the 23 specific issue of the golf courses I think did come 24 up later, much later, but these things run in 25 stages. For instance, in the early stage of an
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 731 investigation, you know, particularly of Donald 2 Trump you want to get every lawsuit the guy's ever 3 been in. So, you know, we collected lawsuits from 4 around the country and the world. And I do 5 remember one of the earlier things we did was we 6 collected a lot of documents from Scotland because 7 he'd been in a big controversy there about land 8 use. There had been another one in Ireland. There 9 was a lot of Freedom of Information Act requests 10 and that sort of thing. 11 So in the early phases of something you're 12 collecting lots of paper on every subject 13 imaginable. So in the course of reading that 14 litigation we would follow up on things that were 15 interesting, such as a libel case against a 16 journalist that he settled, which, in other words, 17 he didn't prevail in his attempts to prove that he 18 was a billionaire. 19 BY MS. SAWY\bR:20 Q. So one way to help clarify this is just 21 to -- you know, we had been talking about an 22 engagement that began in September or October of 23 2015. Can you tell us when that particular 24 engagement ended?25 A. I can only estimate it.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 741 Q. And in general when do you think that 2 ended?3 A. Spring of 2016. 4 MR. L\bVY: Don't guess. 5 MR. SIMPSON: I'm sorry. 6 BY MS. SAWY\bR:7 Q. Okay. But that engagement did come to an 8 end and it came to an end before November 8th, the 9 election, November 8, 2016?10 A. It did end before the election, yes. 11 Q. And then did you continue doing opposition 12 work on Candidate Trump -- then Candidate Trump, 13 now President Trump for a different client?14 A. Yes. 15 Q. And can you tell us generally when that 16 engagement began?17 A. It was in the first half of 2016. 18 Q. And what, if anything, can you tell us 19 about that client?20 A. Nothing. 21 MR. L\bVY: Not nothing as a factual matter, 22 but he's going to decline to answer that question. 23 MS. SAWY\bR: And the basis again for 24 declining that question? 25 MR. L\bVY: Privilege.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 751 MS. SAWY\bR: Okay. 2 MR. L\bVY: And other obligations of 3 confidentiality. 4 MS. SAWY\bR: \fust to be clear for the record, 5 specifically what privilege? 6 MR. L\bVY: The privileges that we previously 7 asserted with the committee. They're in our 8 April 7 and \fune 23 letters. 9 MS. SAWY\bR: Okay. 10 BY MS. SAWY\bR:11 Q. With regard to the engagements, both of 12 these engagements to do opposition research on 13 Candidate Trump, were you paid directly by each of 14 the clients or was there an intermediary paying 15 you?16 A. I think I'd like to confer with my lawyer 17 about this. 18 MR. L\bVY: Sure. 19 (Whereupon a discussion was had 20 sotto voce.)21 MR. SIMPSON: I'm going to decline to answer 22 that question. 23 MS. SAWY\bR: And, again, the grounds for 24 declining? 25 MR. L\bVY: It's a voluntary interview and it
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 761 would implicate privileges and obligations that 2 we've set forth with the committee potentially. 3 MS. SAWY\bR: Sure. 4 BY MS. SAWY\bR:5 Q. At a news briefing on August 1, 2017 White 6 House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders 7 described Fusion GPS as a democratic linked firm. 8 Is that an accurate description?9 A. I would not agree with that description. 10 I was a journalist for most of my adult life and a 11 professional at not taking sides, and I'm happy and 12 proud to say I have lots of Republican clients and 13 friends and I have lots of Democratic clients and 14 friends. I've lived in this city for 30 years or 15 so and I know a lot of people on both sides and we 16 have a long proud history of not being partisan. 17 And the same is true for my colleagues. We 18 intentionally don't hire people who have strong 19 partisan affiliations. We prefer journalists who 20 don't see things through ideological prisms and 21 ideological prisms are not helpful for doing 22 research. 23 Q. So it has been widely reported that you 24 engaged Christopher Steele to do part of the 25 research, the opposition research on Candidate
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 771 Trump. Is that accurate?2 A. Yes. 3 Q. And he was working in that capacity as a 4 subcontractor for you? And when I say "you" here I 5 mean Fusion GPS.6 A. Yes. 7 Q. And when did you engage Mr. Steele to 8 conduct opposition research on Candidate Trump?9 A. I don't specifically recall, but it would 10 have been in the -- it would have been May or \fune 11 of 2016. 12 Q. And why did you engage Mr. Steele in May 13 or \fune of 2016?14 A. That calls for a somewhat long answer. We 15 had done an enormous amount of work on Donald Trump 16 generally at this point in the project and we began 17 to drill down on specific areas. He was not the 18 only subcontractor that we engaged. Other parts of 19 the world required other people. For example, we 20 were interested in the fact that the Trump family 21 was selling merchandise under the Trump brand in 22 the United States that was made in sweat shops in 23 Asia and South America -- or Latin America. So we 24 needed someone else for that. So there were other 25 things. We were not totally focused on Russia at
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 781 that time, but we were at a point where we were -- 2 you know, we'd done a lot of reading and research 3 and we were drilling down on specific areas. 4 Scotland was another one. 5 So that's the answer. What happens when you 6 get to this point in an investigation when you've 7 gathered all of the public record information and 8 you've begun to exhaust your open source, you know, 9 resources is that you tend to find specialists who 10 can take you further into a subject and I had known 11 Chris since I left the Wall Street \fournal. He was 12 the lead Russianist at MI6 prior to leaving the 13 government and an extremely well-regarded 14 investigator, researcher, and, as I say, we're 15 friends and share interest in Russian kleptocracy 16 and organized crime issues. I would say that's 17 broadly why I asked him to see what he could find 18 out about Donald Trump's business activities in 19 Russia. 20 Q. So in May or \fune 2016 you hired 21 Christopher Steele to, as you've just indicated, 22 find out what he could about Donald Trump's 23 business activities in Russia. Did something in 24 particular trigger that assignment?25 A. No, I don't think I could point to
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 791 something in particular as a trigger. I mean, the 2 basis for the request was he had made a number of 3 trips to Russia and talked about doing a number of 4 business deals but never did one, and that struck 5 me as a little bit odd and calling for an 6 explanation. 7 You know, in the background of all 8 international business is questions about 9 corruption. The Trump organization had branched 10 out all over the world in like the four to eight 11 years prior to 2016. So in any kind of 12 investigation you would naturally want to know 13 whether there was some issue with improper business 14 relationships. 15 I'll just stress that we weren't looking 16 for -- at least it wasn't at the forefront of my 17 mind there was going to be anything involving the 18 Russian government per se, at least not that I 19 recall. 20 Q. So at the time you first hired him had it 21 been publicly reported that there had been a cyber 22 intrusion into the Democratic National Convention 23 computer system? 24 A. I don't specifically remember. What I 25 know was that there was chatter around Washington
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 801 about hacking of the Democrats and Democratic think 2 tanks and other things like that and there was a 3 site that had sprung up called D.C. Leaks that 4 seemed to suggest that somebody was up to 5 something. I don't think at the time at least that 6 we were particularly focused on -- well, I don't 7 specifically remember. 8 Q. So you hired Mr. Steele. Had you worked 9 with him before?10 A. Yes. 11 Q. And can you generally describe what he had 12 done in the capacity of working with you and your 13 firm, what kind of projects?14 A. Generally speaking, like me, Chris tends 15 to work for lawyers who are attempting to assist 16 clients in litigation or an asset recovery-type 17 situation. And so, you know, the former Soviet 18 Union throws off an enormous number of disputes 19 about who owns what because of the history of state 20 ownership of everything and the transfers of 21 property into private hands following the collapse 22 of the Soviet Union was a murky process. So 23 particularly in \burope there's a lot of disputes 24 over who really owns what. 25 And so we would collaborate on those kinds of
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 811 investigations. Sometimes a controversy would 2 spill over into the United States and, you know, I 3 would be asked to see if I could find a company 4 here or there or run director searches on 5 individuals who might be associated with people we 6 were interested in, that sort of thing. It's 7 interesting work, but it's kind of plain vanilla 8 business intelligence, litigation support stuff. 9 Q. And roughly how many years -- over how 10 many years, like when do you first recall working 11 with him?12 A. I believe we met in 2009. We've worked 13 together since 2009. 14 Q. And how did you find the quality of his 15 work over that period of time?16 A. Quality is a really important issue in the 17 business intelligence industry. There's a lot of 18 poor quality work and a lot of people make a lot of 19 promises about what they can do and who they know 20 and what they can find out and then there's just a 21 lot of people who operate in sort of improper 22 questionable ways. Chris was, you know, a person 23 who delivered quality work in very appropriate 24 ways. 25 So -- I mean, I hope you won't be insulted,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 821 but he's basically a Boy Scout. You know, he 2 worked for the government for a very long time. He 3 lives a very modest, quiet life, and, you know, 4 this is his specialty. We got along very well 5 because my speciality is public information. So he 6 was comfortable working with me and I was 7 comfortable working with him and, you know, we've 8 both been around a lot of criminal investigations 9 and national security stuff. 10 When I was at the \fournal I spent many years 11 investigating the financing of Al-Qaeda. So I did 12 get introduced to sort of national security law and 13 national security operations and wrote a lot about 14 that and was dragged into court over that a few 15 times for things I wrote about people suspected of 16 funding terrorism. So we had a lot of common 17 interests and background. 18 Q. And specific to the engagement with regard 19 to the research on Candidate Trump, why did you 20 specifically ask Mr. Steele to do that work?21 A. The way our firm runs we pursue things, 22 you know, somewhat out of curiosity. So we didn't 23 know -- it was opaque what Donald Trump had been 24 doing on these business trips to Russia. We didn't 25 know what he was doing there. So I gave Chris --
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 831 we gave Chris a sort of assignment that would be 2 typical for us which was pretty open ended. We 3 said see if you can find out what Donald Trump's 4 been doing on these trips to Russia. Since Chris 5 and I worked together over the years there's a lot 6 that didn't need to be said. That would include 7 who is he doing business with, which hotels does he 8 like to stay at, you know, did anyone ever offer 9 him anything, you know, the standard sort of things 10 you would look at. I don't think I gave him any 11 specific instructions beyond the general find out 12 what he was up to. 13 Q. And was anyone else -- did you engage 14 anyone else to do that particular research?15 A. In Russia? 16 Q. Yes.17 A. So we had other people like \bd Baumgartner 18 who, you know, by this time -- I guess Prevezon was 19 still winding down, but who would do Russian 20 language research which didn't involve going to 21 Russia. It just involves reading Russian newspaper 22 accounts and that sort of thing. 23 Q. So was Mr. Baumgartner also working on 24 opposition research for Candidate Trump?25 A. At some point, I think probably after the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 841 end of the Prevezon case we asked him to help with 2 I think -- my specific recollection is he worked on 3 specific issues involving Paul Manafort and 4 Ukraine. 5 Q. With regard to the presidential election 6 of 2016?7 A. Yes. 8 Q. We had talked about work for multiple 9 clients. What steps were taken, if any, to make 10 sure that the work that Mr. Baumgartner was doing 11 for Prevezon was not shared across to the clients 12 you were working for with regard to the 13 presidential election?14 A. He didn't deal with them. He didn't deal 15 with the clients. There wouldn't have been any 16 reason to -- he operates under the same rules that 17 I do. 18 Q. And with regard to Mr. Steele, did he ever 19 do any work for Fusion GPS on the Prevezon 20 litigation matter?21 A. No. 22 Q. It's my understanding that Mr. Steele 23 works with a company called Orbis & Associates. 24 Did anyone else at Orbis, to the best of your 25 knowledge, work with Mr. Steele on the engagement
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 851 that you had with him related to Candidate Trump?2 A. I mean, I don't know their names. 3 Q. So do you know whether anyone else worked 4 with him?5 A. Yes. I mean, do you mean as 6 subcontractors or within his company? 7 Q. First within his company. 8 MR. L\bVY: If you know. 9 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:10 A. I mean, I just don't remember their names. 11 I remember meeting somebody in London who I think 12 worked on it, but I just don't remember.13 Q. Somebody else associated with Orbis?14 A. Yes. 15 Q. With regard to the assignment that you 16 gave to Mr. Steele to do Russia-related research 17 for Candidate Trump, is that an accurate way to 18 describe it? I said Russia-related research with 19 regard to Candidate Trump. Would that be a fair 20 way to describe the assignment?21 A. Yes. 22 Q. Did you have any input into the actual 23 work that he did? Did you give him directions as 24 to what to research specifically?25 A. I don't recall giving him specific
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 861 instructions. We spoke on the phone about various 2 areas of interest. For example, when Paul Manafort 3 was elevated to running the campaign, we talked 4 about Paul Manafort and his long history of 5 dealings with Russian oligarchs. So it's more of a 6 collaboration than, you know, sort of manager- 7 employee kind of relationship. You know, we would 8 talk about things that were interesting to us and 9 that seemed to be -- you know, needed to be 10 (indecipherable). 11 Q. So is it fair to describe it as you would 12 collaboratively discuss potential topics to 13 explore?14 A. Yes, I think that's fair. 15 Q. And did you conduct any of the actual 16 research yourself?17 A. Well, I think it's important to understand 18 we were doing in my company, you know, all kinds of 19 research, including lots of Russia research, and 20 part of what you do when you get information from 21 someone outside the company who's specifically 22 looking at a discrete set of questions or issues is 23 you add it to the stuff you've already gathered. 24 So we did all kinds of stuff on public information 25 about Donald Trump's business trips to Russia and
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 871 business dealings with Russians. I mean, Chris's 2 role was specifically to do the thing that we 3 couldn't do, which was to arrange to talk to 4 people. Generally speaking, we don't do a lot of 5 interviewing. Our research is very document 6 focused. 7 Q. So to the extent you can describe, when 8 you say he was doing something you could not do and 9 that was he was arranging to talk to people, can 10 you describe who it was he was reaching out to, 11 what you knew about that?12 A. I don't think for security reasons, among 13 other things, it's an area I'm not going to be able 14 to go into in terms of sources and things like 15 that. I think speaking broadly, you know, there's 16 a large diaspora of Russians around the world and 17 people in Moscow that, you know, are talking to 18 each other all the time. The thing that people 19 forget about what was going on in \fune of 2016 was 20 that no one was really focused on sort of this 21 question of whether Donald Trump had a relationship 22 with the Kremlin. 23 So, you know, when Chris started asking 24 around in Moscow about this the information was 25 sitting there. It wasn't a giant secret. People
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 881 were talking about it freely. It was only, you 2 know, later that it became a subject of great 3 controversy and people clammed up, and at that time 4 the whole issue of the hacking was also, you know, 5 not really focused on Russia. So these things 6 eventually converged into, you know, a major issue, 7 but at the time it wasn't one. 8 Q. I have five or so more minutes and I know 9 that I have a lot more questions just about some of 10 that work, but I do want to just pin down a couple 11 things about the engagement in particular before we 12 end this hour. 13 So with regard to selecting Mr. Steele 14 specifically to do the Russia -- to do work on 15 Candidate Trump's ties to Russia, do you believe 16 based on his experience and background that 17 Mr. Steele would have been aware of the potential 18 in his discussions with these people that he could 19 be fed this information?20 A. When Chris -- I don't believe it, I know 21 it. When Chris briefs in a sort of more formal 22 setting, which I've seen, you know, when he 23 introduces himself -- you know, he was the lead 24 Russianist for MI6. So the first sort of beginning 25 of that is he says, you know, I've worked on this
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 891 issue all my life and when you're trained in 2 Russian intelligence matters the fundamental 3 problem of your profession is disinformation. It's 4 the number one issue. 5 In any collection of field -- you know, 6 information from the field you should assume that 7 there will be possibly some disinformation and 8 that, you know, as a professional who has dedicated 9 my life to this, you know, I am trained to spot 10 possible or likely disinformation. So it's front 11 and center when you gather information in Russia. 12 Q. And when you hired him to do the work, did 13 the client -- were you still working for -- at any 14 time did you work for two clients on this 15 opposition research? Did they overlap, the two 16 clients?17 A. I just don't know. I can just tell you 18 that it was -- I mean, things follow the political 19 cycle. So there was a point at which the 20 Republican primaries were fundamentally over and 21 the Democrats hadn't really begun yet. So there 22 was some transition period. That's all I can say. 23 I don't keep the books at my place. So I would 24 feel -- I'm afraid to give you a wrong answer that. 25 I just don't know.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 901 Q. Did either client know that you had hired 2 Mr. Steele specifically?3 A. I don't think I can answer that. 4 Q. And on what basis can you not answer that? 5 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that question 6 would -- could require the disclosure of client 7 communications which might implicate privileges and 8 obligations that we've previously set forth to the 9 committee. 10 BY MS. SAWY\bR:11 Q. Okay. Maybe you can answer this question, 12 then. Did either client ever direct Mr. Steele 13 themselves, directly engage and have conversations 14 with Mr. Steele?15 A. I don't think I can answer that. 16 MR. L\bVY: Do you want to take a break?17 MR. SIMPSON: Sure. 18 MR. L\bVY: Let's take a break and confer. 19 MR. SIMPSON: That's fine. 20 MS. SAWY\bR: Sure. We'll go off the record 21 for a few minutes. 22 MR. FOST\bR: It's 11:51. 23 (A short break was had.)24 MR. FOST\bR: It's 11:53. 25 MS. SAWY\bR: I think the question pending was
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 911 just whether or not the clients specifically spoke 2 with or directed Mr. Steele's work? 3 MR. L\bVY: So he can't talk about client 4 communications, directions to the client -- 5 directions to Mr. Steele as those communications 6 might implicate privilege or obligations, but if 7 you want to ask him whether the clients directed 8 Mr. Steele to go to the FBI, that's a question he 9 can answer. That's in the scope of the interview 10 today. 11 BY MS. SAWY\bR:12 Q. All right. So we'll get to that. We'll 13 talk about that a little bit later. Let me just 14 follow up on a couple other things that came up and 15 then we'll conclude for our hour and turn it back 16 to our colleagues. 17 So one of the things that came up in the 18 course of our conversation and when I had asked you 19 specifically about work being done for one client 20 and rules and procedures in place to ensure that 21 that work is not shared with another, can you just 22 specifically describe those rules. I think at one 23 point you indicated that you and Mr. Baumgartner 24 had operated under the same rules?25 A. Right. We're both professionals and we
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 921 both deal with multiple clients. So we don't talk 2 about a case with one client with another client. 3 I think since you raised this I should be 4 clear, Mr. Baumgartner did not know about 5 Mr. Steele, the work I was doing with Mr. Steele 6 or, you know, the memos he was writing. 7 MR. FOST\bR: Can you speak up a little bit. 8 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:9 A. Mr. Baumgartner did not know about the 10 work that we were doing with Mr. Steele. One of 11 the ways that we avoid bleeding between one case 12 and another is compartmentalization. We don't tell 13 people -- we don't tell one subcontractor what 14 we're doing with another subcontractor. We don't 15 even tell them, you know, that they exist. 16 Q. What about Mr. Steele, what rules was he 17 operating under when he was doing the work on 18 Candidate Trump?19 A. \bvery subcontractor signs an NDA at the 20 beginning of the discussion before even there's an 21 engagement. So he was operating under an NDA. 22 Q. And in general what does that NDA provide? 23 And by NDA I assume you mean nondisclosure 24 agreement? 25 A. Right. Again, the paperwork side of the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 931 business is not my strong suit, but it's a general 2 strict prohibition on sharing information about the 3 nature of the work you're doing, your findings with 4 anyone outside of, you know -- we're the client in 5 this case. So they're not allowed to share 6 information with anyone outside the case. 7 Q. And you had talked a bit about prior work 8 and Mr. Steele's performance in prior work and 9 being satisfied by that work. Did you do anything 10 to kind of test and make sure that information he 11 was giving you was accurate?12 A. So in the sort of -- I know I'm repeating 13 myself, but generally we do public records work. 14 So we deal in documents and things that are very 15 hard and that are useful in court or, you know, 16 other kinds of proceedings. 17 Chris deals in a very different kind of 18 information, which is human intelligence, human 19 information. So by its very nature the question of 20 whether something is accurate isn't really asked. 21 The question that is asked generally is whether 22 it's credible. Human intelligence isn't good for, 23 you know, filing lawsuits. It's good for making 24 decisions and trying to understand what's going on 25 and that's a really valuable thing, but it's not
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 941 the same thing. 2 So when you evaluate human intelligence, 3 human reporting, field reporting, source reporting, 4 you know, it's sort of like when you're a 5 journalist and you're trying to figure out who's 6 telling the truth, right. You don't really decide 7 who's telling the truth. You decide whether the 8 person is credible, right, whether they know what 9 they're talking about, whether there's other 10 reasons to believe what they're saying, whether 11 anything they've said factually matches up with 12 something in the public record. 13 So, you know, we would evaluate his memos 14 based on whether he told us something we didn't 15 know from somewhere else that we were then able to 16 run down. So, you know, for example, he, you know, 17 wrote a memo about a Trump campaign advisor named 18 Carter Page and his mysterious trip to Moscow. 19 Q. I'm just going to stop you for a moment 20 because I hadn't yet gotten to the specific stuff 21 of the Trump assignment. I was just trying to get 22 a sense of the specific ways in which you assessed 23 his performance in determining to hire him.24 A. That's how we did it. We would assess it 25 based on the content and the credibility of -- we'd
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 951 try to determine the credibility of what we were 2 reading. 3 MR. MUS\b: His reference was to give you an 4 example. I think that's where he was going. 5 MR. SIMPSON: Yeah.6 MS. SAWY\bR: I understand and I appreciate 7 that and we'll get to that. I just didn't want 8 to -- in light of the time I didn't want to get you 9 started down that road. If I could just have a 10 second because I want to make sure we finish our 11 questions on this topic and we'll resume our next 12 hour with some of the others. 13 MR. SIMPSON: Okay. 14 MS. SAWY\bR: So we'll go off the record. 15 It's high noon, 12:00. So let's go off the record. 16 (A short break was had.)17 MR. DAVIS: We're back on the record. It's 18 12:06 p.m. 19 \bXAMINATION20 BY MR. DAVIS:21 Q. All right. Mr. Simpson, I'm going to 22 return to the topic of Prevezon. Let me know if 23 I'm accurately summarizing the scope of work you're 24 describing. I think you've described three main 25 areas so far. First is that you were investigating
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 961 Prevezon's side of the story to see if it was 2 credible; the second is you were investigating Bill 3 Browder's ties to the U.S. and related subpoena 4 issues; and the third is that you were 5 investigating Bill Browder's Russian businesses. 6 Is that correct? 7 MR. L\bVY: I think he said a lot more than 8 that, but go ahead. 9 MR. DAVIS: I listed the main topics. That's 10 where we left off. 11 MR. L\bVY: I don't think that's the main 12 topics either, but go ahead. 13 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:14 A. Is that a yes-or-no question? I think 15 those are three things I covered, but I covered a 16 lot of stuff. 17 Q. With the information that you gathered in 18 those and related efforts, what did you do with the 19 information once you obtained it? 20 A. Well, the first thing you do is you give 21 it to the lawyers and, you know, when appropriate 22 you give it to reporters, you know, put it in court 23 filings. 24 Q. So is it correct, then, people associated 25 with Fusion did communicate with journalists about
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 971 the Prevezon case and the information you found out 2 about Mr. Browder?3 A. Yes. 4 Q. And did Fusion engage in these 5 communications with the media on its own accord or 6 were you directed or authorized to do so? 7 A. In litigation support, you know, basically 8 the cases that we work on frequently get some media 9 attention. So it's always part of a litigation 10 engagement that if you're the guy that does the 11 research, you're going to end up talking to 12 reporters because they're going to ask questions 13 about, you know, information from the case. 14 MR. L\bVY: \fust make sure you answer his 15 question. Was it done?16 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:17 A. That's part of what the lawyers hire you 18 to do and that's what they instruct you to do. The 19 way it generally happens is the lawyer gets a call 20 from a reporter who wants to write a story about 21 the case and he answers the questions or gives them 22 a quote and then he instructs me to give him 23 background information.24 Q. So then was it typically done on a 25 case-by-case basis or did you have blanket
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 981 authorization regardless of specific interactions 2 with the attorneys?3 A. These things evolved over time. So in the 4 beginning of the case when you're new to a subject 5 you're generally fielding -- you generally get 6 requests from the lawyers to answer a specific 7 question that a reporter has. So the reporter will 8 call and they'll want to know whatever, where the 9 house was in Colorado, and he'll say somewhere in 10 Aspen, ask Glenn. Then he'll send him to me or 11 he'll send me to them. Later on when you get where 12 you've gathered a mass of information that covers a 13 whole wide range of topics and, you know, if 14 there's more coverage, you know, they will direct 15 you to answer questions for the reporters covering 16 the case. They won't tell you on an individual 17 basis talk to so-and-so. It's a little of both. 18 Q. Was Fusion then paid for these 19 communications with the media? 20 A. We were compensated for our litigation 21 support and as part of that we were directed to 22 talk to the media. So in the fundamental sense 23 yes, we were. Specifically paid for individual 24 conversations, I don't think so. 25 MR. FOST\bR: Do you bill hourly?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 991 MR. SIMPSON: It depends on the case. 2 MR. FOST\bR: On this case?3 MR. SIMPSON: I think we did on this case. 4 MR. FOST\bR: So did you bill for 5 conversations with the press on this case?6 MR. SIMPSON: I'm sorry to say I don't know. 7 I probably did not. Generally speaking, what I 8 would bill for would be to attend events where 9 there would be press. So if I was at a court 10 hearing -- most of the press was around court 11 hearings. So I would go to a court hearing with 12 the lawyers and there would be reporters there. So 13 part of what I was billing for was answering their 14 questions.15 BY MR. DAVIS:16 Q. And with which news organizations did 17 Fusion communicate in relation to the Prevezon 18 case?19 A. I will try to remember them. It was the 20 major news organizations that were covering the 21 litigation. Usually it was their courthouse or 22 legal reporters. So it was Bloomberg, New York 23 Times, Wall Street \fournal, probably Reuters, Legal 24 360. I'm sure there were a handful of others.25 Q. Was the Financial Times possibly one of
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1001 them? 2 A. Yes. 3 Q. Politico? 4 A. They approached us with -- they had been 5 getting information from Bill Browder. He had 6 alleged to them that we were part of a big campaign 7 on Capitol Hill and that we were engaged in 8 lobbying and that it was all designed to affect 9 legislation or smear him or Sergei Magnitsky. So 10 eventually we did end up dealing with that, but I 11 don't remember whether we dealt with them prior to 12 that. I don't think they covered the case prior to 13 that. 14 Q. What about NBC?15 A. We would have -- I'm sorry. Yes. 16 Q. And the New Republic?17 A. I think so.18 Q. And do you recall what information you 19 provided to each or is that too into the weeds?20 A. I don't know if it's in the weeds, but 21 generally speaking, the work -- we provided 22 information about the work that I had done about 23 William Browder's credibility. The whole case 24 ended up -- when I said when he declined to appear 25 voluntarily as I am here and explain things, you
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1011 know, it ended up being an issue of why he didn't 2 want to talk. So a lot of it was about his 3 credibility, about his account of his activities in 4 Russia, about his history of tax avoidance, all 5 these things. 6 Q. Did Fusion provide the media information 7 alleging that Browder had illicitly engineered the 8 purchase of 133 million shares of Gazprom?9 A. I don't know for sure, but we certainly 10 did research on that issue. 11 Q. And you described investigating these 12 series of issues. How did you acquire the 13 information in the course of this investigate?14 A. We used the methods that I've described 15 here today. We pulled court records, we pulled 16 corporate records, we, you know, pulled real estate 17 records, S\bC securities filings, that sort of 18 thing. 19 Q. And was any of the information you 20 provided to the media information that wasn't the 21 result of your own research but that had been 22 passed along to you by Baker Hostetler or Prevezon?23 A. I think the answer to that is yes, but I'm 24 struggling to think of a specific example. As I 25 was saying earlier, the lawyers did a lot of the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1021 research too. So there was obviously a sharing of 2 research where, you know, we were feeding research 3 to them and they were housing a central repository 4 of research and then the research would become 5 memoranda and given in court filings. In a lot of 6 these cases we were giving people court filings. 7 So the information was mixed together from various 8 sources. 9 Q. Did Fusion independently verify the 10 information provided by Baker Hostetler or Prevezon 11 or in this circumstance was it assumed to be 12 reliable given your work with them?13 A. We certainly did not independently verify 14 everything that the lawyers generated in the case. 15 That would have been an enormous task and it would 16 have made no sense. 17 I just want to stress that I've worked with 18 Baker Hostetler for -- you know, since 2009, so I 19 guess going on over eight years, and they're very 20 good lawyers and very conservative. So if they 21 provided me with information that they had 22 gathered, I would have been confident -- I was 23 confident in the quality of their work. 24 Q. And did Prevezon or Baker Hostetler ever 25 direct Fusion to relay to the media information
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1031 that they had provided to Fusion?2 A. I'm sorry. Can you say that again. 3 Q. Did Baker Hostetler or Prevezon direct 4 Fusion to relay to the media information that they 5 had provided to you?6 A. I don't specifically recall an example of 7 that, but I think as a general sort of operating 8 principle we were working at their direction and 9 they were providing us with, you know, case 10 information. So I think so, but I just don't have 11 an idea. 12 Q. And did anyone at Fusion or perhaps 13 Mr. Baumgartner review Russian documents related to 14 the Prevezon matter?15 A. Yes. 16 Q. Do any --17 A. Most of them were Russian court 18 documents. 19 Q. Do any Fusion employees or associates 20 speak Russian?21 A. No. I'll qualify that. Depends on how 22 you define associate. \bdward isn't an employee of 23 the company, but he speaks Russian. He's a 24 subcontractor. 25 Q. Aside from Mr. Baumgartner, do you have
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1041 any other support from Russian-speaking individuals 2 in reviewing the Russian documents?3 A. Not in my company, at least not that I can 4 recall. There was other Russian speakers I think 5 that were engaged by Baker Hostetler in various 6 situations, like translators, Russian bilingual 7 lawyers, that sort of thing. 8 Q. Do you remember the names of any of those 9 people?10 A. Anatoli, whose last name I can't really 11 pronounce, was a New York-based \bnglish-Russian 12 court translator. He was mostly a courtroom 13 translator. So I don't know whether he -- I really 14 don't know the extent of their other involvement 15 with other people in these things. 16 MR. FOST\bR: Can I just back up before we get 17 too far afield of this. I want to follow up on an 18 answer that you gave earlier. You described your 19 interactions with the press as primarily being 20 directed to answer questions, in other words, the 21 contact as being initiated by the press. That's my 22 understanding of how you described it. 23 MR. L\bVY: I don't think that's a complete 24 summary of what he said. 25 MR. FOST\bR: Feel free to correct me if I'm
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1051 wrong. My question is were there instances where 2 you were initiating contact with the press or 3 pitching stories to the press?4 MR. SIMPSON: Sure. I mean, the range of 5 things that you would do, you know, again, it would 6 evolve. In the beginning you were going to a lot 7 of hearings and a lot of legal reporters are 8 showing up and you're mostly answering their 9 questions. Depending on the setting, you know, you 10 might get a question for the lawyers like is anyone 11 from Reuters going to be there and you would reach 12 out to Reuters and say are you guys sending someone 13 to this hearing. So there was definitely some 14 reach out like that. Then we would also talk to 15 reporters, you know, generally covering issues of 16 corruption or law or Russia or whatever and say, 17 you know, we're involved in a really weird court 18 case, you might be interested in this. 19 MR. FOST\bR: So is it fair to say that part 20 of your job, then, was to locate reporters who 21 would write about these matters from a point of 22 view that was advantageous to your client?23 MR. SIMPSON: Yes, but I think we should note 24 here that William Browder is an especially 25 aggressive media self-promoter and promoter of his
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1061 story. So for much of this case it was reactive 2 and we were constantly besieged with reporters 3 pursuing negative stories about Prevezon, the 4 events of the Prevezon case that had been given to 5 them by William Browder. So, you know, unhappily, 6 I would say, you know, a lot of what we were doing 7 was simply responding to his wild allegations, 8 unsupported wild allegations. 9 There were certainly moments, particularly 10 concerning his unwillingness to appear for a 11 deposition, where we said to some reporters, hey, 12 guy, you know, he's just dodged his third subpoena, 13 you might want to write about this, it's pretty 14 funny. In fact, you know, the third one he ran 15 down a street in Manhattan in the middle of a 16 blizzard to get away from our process servers, but 17 that one we actually had them film it. 18 So, you know, did we want to get that 19 covered, did we think it was important that people 20 know that this guy was unwilling to appear in court 21 in public under oath to talk about the story that 22 he'd been selling for years about his activities in 23 Russia? Yeah, we wanted people to know that.24 BY MR. DAVIS:25 Q. Other than the media and Baker Hostetler,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1071 did Fusion provide any information regarding the 2 Prevezon matter to any other third parties?3 A. I don't have a specific recollection of 4 doing so. If there's a specific incident that 5 you'd like to ask about I'd be happy to try and 6 answer that. I don't remember. 7 Q. We'll get into that a little bit more. 8 Also to go back to the translator you 9 mentioned, you said Anatoli and that you didn't 10 know how to pronounce --11 A. Samochornov I think is his --12 Q. Okay.13 A. I'm massacring it. Again, it's something 14 that's in the public record. 15 Q. Do you know Rinat Akhmetshin?16 A. Yes, I do. 17 MR. MUS\b: Spell it.18 MR. DAVIS: Sure. R-I-N-A-T, 19 A-K-H-M-\b-T-S-H-I-N. 20 BY MR. DAVIS:21 Q. When did you first meet Mr. Akhmetshin? 22 A. When I was a reporter at the Wall Street 23 \fournal. 24 Q. And as far as you know, what is his 25 business?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1081 A. Some kind of PR consulting lobbyist. I 2 think he's a registered lobbyist. 3 Q. Have you ever worked with Mr. Akhmetshin?4 A. I've been -- in the Prevezon case I 5 interacted with him. I think -- again, this has 6 unhelpfully been distorted by William Browder into 7 some sort of economic relationship or conspiracy or 8 something. I don't have any economic relations 9 with him. You know, I've bumped into him over the 10 years around town. So, you know, the only thing 11 that I specifically recall having done with him was 12 interacting for a brief period on the Prevezon 13 case. 14 Q. You don't recall working with him for any 15 other clients or cases?16 A. Let's be clear, I'm sure we did not do 17 business together, but I do work on areas of the 18 world where he's from, Central Asia, former Soviet 19 Union, and he is, as I'm sure you've seen, a guy 20 around town who knows lots of people who cover this 21 stuff. I met him in connection with some stories I 22 was doing on Kazakhstan at the Wall Street \fournal. 23 That's the kind of context I've bumped into him 24 over the years. He's told me various things and I 25 think I even met one of his clients at one point,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1091 but it wasn't a business thing. I don't think I 2 was doing any work. I was just networking. 3 Q. You said he told you various things. Do 4 you mean he would pass along information to you?5 A. The information that I remember was about 6 his Kyrgyzstan stuff. There was a congressional 7 investigation into Kyrgyzstan that he claimed 8 credit for having started and he told me about it 9 for some reason, but it wasn't because we were 10 doing business together. It was coffee or 11 something. 12 Q. You said he claimed credit for having 13 started the congressional investigation?14 A. That's my recollection, but this was some 15 years ago. 16 Q. And you said you met one of his clients. 17 Do you remember which client?18 A. A former Kazakh politician whose name 19 escapes me. 20 Q. Do you remember when you met that client?21 A. Years ago in London. 22 Q. Has Mr. Akhmetshin ever been paid by 23 Fusion GPS?24 A. Not to my knowledge. 25 Q. Has he ever provided information to Fusion
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1101 GPS for use in your work?2 A. I don't have a specific recollection of 3 him having done so. I would hesitate to say so 4 categorically because I've been running this 5 business now for a number of years and I would have 6 interacted with him at various times and ways that 7 I probably don't remember, but not that I 8 specifically recall. 9 Q. Has Mr. Akhmetshin ever paid Fusion GPS 10 for work?11 A. Not to my knowledge. 12 Q. You mentioned interacting with him in the 13 Prevezon matter. What did you understand his role 14 to be in the Prevezon work? 15 A. I did not have a clear understanding of 16 his role initially. He started attending meetings 17 sometime in 2016, just a handful of things, and 18 it's -- you know what? I don't recall anyone ever 19 saying to me you're not doing X, Y, or Z. They may 20 have. I just don't recall. The lane that I was in 21 was the court case and this fight over whether 22 Browder would have to testify, which morphed then 23 into this fight over whether -- you know, his 24 allegations that \fohn Moscow had a conflict of 25 interest. So I was very focused on that. These
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1111 other issues came up two plus years into the case 2 and he was clearly dealing with them, but I don't 3 recall anyone sort of giving me a specific 4 explanation, you know, of what he was doing. 5 MR. FOST\bR: What other issues?6 MR. SIMPSON: The issues of the -- what do 7 you call it, HRAGI, the foundation and the 8 congressional stuff. 9 BY MR. DAVIS:10 Q. You mentioned he started showing up at 11 meetings in 2016. Who else attended these 12 meetings?13 A. I don't specifically remember. I mean, \bd 14 Lieberman I think was at a meeting. Again, I don't 15 think it was -- it wasn't a lot of meetings, just 16 one or two, but it was at Baker Hostetler. 17 MR. FOST\bR: Can you explain briefly who \bd 18 Lieberman is. 19 MR. SIMPSON: \bd Lieberman is a lawyer in 20 Washington who has a specialty in international tax 21 who worked for Baker Hostetler on some of the 22 analysis of the alleged tax evasion by Hermitage 23 Capital and William Browder. And then subsequently 24 also he knows Rinat from I guess, I don't know, 25 college or something and subsequently the two of
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1121 them were working on the -- I don't know what to 2 call it, the congressional stuff. 3 MR. FOST\bR: Lobbying Congress?4 MR. SIMPSON: I believe they registered to 5 lobby Congress. 6 BY MR. DAVIS:7 Q. Did Fusion provide any of its research to 8 Mr. Akhmetshin whether directly or through an 9 intermediary such as Baker Hostetler? 10 A. Yes. We were directed to do so by Baker 11 Hostetler. 12 Q. And do you know or have reason to believe 13 whether Mr. Akhmetshin used that information when 14 he spoke with people on the Hill?15 A. I have reason to believe that. I don't 16 have specific knowledge of his discussions with 17 people on the Hill. I don't remember. He may have 18 told me what he did. As I say, it was not the 19 focus of my work. 20 Q. Has Mr. Akhmetshin ever said anything to 21 you indicating or implying that he had worked with 22 the Russian government?23 A. Well, I knew he had been a soldier, I knew 24 he had been in the Soviet military, and I also knew 25 that he went to Moscow a fair bit because he said
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1131 on several occasions I'm in Moscow or I'm going to 2 Moscow. He may have -- I don't recall whether he 3 mentioned having worked with the Russian 4 government. 5 Q. Has he ever said anything to you 6 indicating or implying that he had worked for 7 Russian intelligence more specifically?8 A. Well, as I said, I'm sure that he had 9 mentioned to me maybe back in, you know, the time 10 when I was at the Wall Street \fournal that he was 11 in the Soviet military and he had some kind of 12 low-level intelligence position, but I don't 13 remember anything beyond that. He certainly didn't 14 say anything in recent years about having any 15 current connections with Russian intelligence. 16 Q. Has he ever said anything to you 17 indicating or implying that he has contacts or 18 connections with Russian government officials?19 A. Not that I specifically recall. 20 Q. Do you have reason to believe that he has 21 ties to the Russian government?22 A. I have reason to wonder whether he has 23 ties to the Russian government, but, you know, in 24 the course of my work for Baker Hostetler the 25 question of whether he had some connection to the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1141 Russian government wasn't germane really. It just 2 didn't come up. Obviously with the news of this 3 meeting at Trump Tower and the allegations in the 4 media that there's some relationship there I share 5 everyone's interest in the answer to that 6 question. 7 Q. Do you know Natalia Veselnitskaya?8 A. Yes. 9 Q. When did you first interact with 10 Ms. Veselnitskaya? 11 A. I believe it was sometime in 2014. 12 Q. Has Fusion ever worked with 13 Ms. Veselnitskaya?14 A. Didn't I just answer that? Yes. I mean, 15 she was the lawyer, the Russian lawyer who retained 16 Baker Hostetler who retained us. So when you say 17 "worked with," I don't know that as a technical 18 meaning, but we interacted with her as part of the 19 Prevezon litigation. 20 Q. Has Fusion ever been paid by her?21 A. Well, she arranged -- as the lawyer for 22 Prevezon she would have arranged for Prevezon to 23 pay Baker Hostetler which paid us. So if that's 24 what your question is, then the answer is yes, but 25 I mean, I don't think the money came from her. It
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1151 came from Prevezon. 2 Q. Were there any direct payments that didn't 3 go through Baker Hostetler?4 A. No. 5 Q. So what did you understand her role to be 6 in the litigation? You said she was the attorney 7 for Prevezon. Was she managing the case for 8 Prevezon?9 A. I was not introduced to her originally. 10 The original way that she was -- it came up in my 11 conversations with Mark Cymrot and other Baker 12 lawyers was as the person who had hired them who 13 had the information about the extortion case 14 against Demetri Baranovsky. It was represented to 15 me by Mark Cymrot that she handled that matter and 16 was familiar with the prosecution of Demetri 17 Baranovsky and very well versed in the events of 18 the extortion. So, you know, that's how I learned 19 of her and I think that's probably -- our first 20 interactions were probably about that subject.21 Q. Did she provide Fusion with the 22 information about that extortion case?23 A. Well, I certainly discussed it with her at 24 some point, but it was all in Russian. You know, 25 the bulk of the Russian-\bnglish translating just
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1161 for, you know, chain of evidence reasons went from 2 her to Baker Hostetler. They would have materials 3 analyzed and translated and then they would -- I 4 don't read a word of Russian. So I would get the 5 certified translations of stuff from Baker. 6 Q. And beyond your interactions with her 7 about the extortion issue, what type of interaction 8 did you have with her in the course of the Prevezon 9 work?10 A. In the early period it was I believe 11 largely about this extortion case. Later on when 12 we would appear in court it would -- you know, she 13 would come to some of the Court hearings and the 14 issue of Browder's efforts to avoid having to 15 testify were front and center, sort of the main 16 issue for quite a while. So I don't remember 17 specific conversations with her about that, but 18 that's what we would have discussed. 19 Q. Have you met in person with her on other 20 occasions besides court hearings?21 A. I attended a couple client dinners and I 22 think that's about it. 23 Q. Do you recall when and where those would 24 have been?25 A. I recall some of the when and the where.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1171 There were a couple of dinners in New York and a 2 couple of dinners in D.C. I don't remember when 3 they started. I think probably 2015. And there 4 was some in 2016 in both cities. 5 Q. Were any in \fune 2016?6 A. Yes. Two. 7 Q. Were those in New York or in D.C.?8 A. I believe that one was in New York and one 9 was in D.C.10 Q. Do you recall the specific date of either?11 A. I didn't until we tried to piece these 12 things together, but \fune 8th I think was the 13 dinner in New York and I think the 10th was the 14 dinner in D.C., something like that. 15 Q. And what were the purposes of these 16 dinners?17 A. Well, the first one was just an obligatory 18 client dinner which, you know, when you work on a 19 legal case you get invited to dinner with the 20 clients. The one in D.C. was more of a social 21 thing. It wasn't -- she was at it, but it wasn't 22 really about the case. It was just a bunch of Mark 23 Cymrot's friends. You know, the editor of the 24 Washington Post book section was there and his wife 25 who's a well-known author were also there. I can't
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1181 remember who else was there. But anyway, she sat 2 at the other end of the table from me and, you 3 know, as I said, she doesn't really speak \bnglish 4 and I don't speak Russian. So not a lot of 5 chit-chat. 6 Q. Was it your understanding that the 7 research you provided to Baker Hostetler would then 8 be passed on to Ms. Veselnitskaya?9 A. To the extent that it was useful and 10 interesting to her I'm sure they did, yes. 11 Q. Has she ever said anything to you, 12 presumably via a translator, indicating or implying 13 she had worked with the Russian government?14 A. No, but Mark Cymrot told me when he told 15 me of her existence that she was a former 16 prosecutor. 17 Q. And has she ever said anything to you more 18 specifically indicating or implying that she had 19 worked for Russian intelligence?20 A. No. 21 Q. Do you have any reasons to believe that 22 Ms. Veselnitskaya has ties to the Russian 23 government?24 A. I know what I've read in the newspaper. 25 Q. Beyond that?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1191 A. Beyond that my impression of her was of 2 someone who, you know, was a very smart and 3 ambitious lawyer, but not like a big political 4 player in the Kremlin. Of course given to wonder 5 given all the recent events and disclosures that I 6 was unaware of whether my assessment of her was 7 right or wrong. As we sit here today, the jury's 8 kind of out. I honestly can tell you all I knew is 9 she didn't seem to be a heavy hitter in the Kremlin 10 world. 11 Q. This might be a little repetitive, but 12 when did you first meet \bd Lieberman?13 A. I don't remember specifically, but it was 14 years ago. 15 Q. I believe you described his business. 16 Have you ever worked with Mr. Lieberman?17 A. I don't think so. 18 Q. Or Fusion more broadly? 19 A. Not that I can recall. 20 Q. Have you ever paid him or been paid by 21 him?22 A. No. 23 Q. And what exactly did you understand his 24 role to be in the Prevezon issue?25 A. Well, the initial issue that we worked on
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1201 together was the issues about alleged tax evasion 2 by Hermitage Capital in Russia and William 3 Browder's decision to surrender his citizenship 4 shortly before the tax rules on surrendering your 5 citizenship changed, which tended to make us 6 suspect that it was motivated by tax 7 considerations. At that time we didn't know about 8 the offshore companies in BVI. 9 Q. And what type of interactions did you have 10 with Mr. Lieberman in the course of the Prevezon 11 work?12 A. Collegial, I guess professional I would 13 say. \bd's, you know, got a background in tax. So 14 we talked about tax stuff. Later on, much later on 15 after a couple years had gone by, you know, he and 16 Rinat embarked on this other project, but I don't 17 have a specific recollection of whether I dealt 18 with him directly on any of that. 19 Q. Did Fusion provide its research to 20 Mr. Lieberman either directly or through an 21 intermediary such as Baker Hostetler?22 A. Not that I recall, but if the lawyers 23 asked me to send them something, I would send them 24 something. 25 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1211 Mr. Lieberman has ties to the Russian government?2 A. No. 3 Q. Do you know Mr. Robert Arakelian, 4 A-R-A-K-\b-L-I-A-N? 5 A. There was a guy at a lunch or dinner or 6 something named Robert and he was introduced to me 7 as Robert. Again, when you're going to like these 8 client meals or things like that, you know, we 9 didn't get into a lot of details of who he was. I 10 just remember he was introduced as a friend Denis 11 Katsyv, K-A-T-S-Y-V. That's my recollection. It 12 may be that he's a friend of Rinat's. I don't 13 really know. 14 Q. As far as you know, what is Mr. -- what is 15 Robert's business?16 A. I don't know. 17 Q. So presumably, then, has Fusion ever 18 worked with him?19 A. Not to my knowledge. 20 Q. What did you understand Mr. Arakelian's 21 role to be in the Prevezon work?22 A. I didn't know he had a role. If someone 23 told me I've forgotten, but, again, I was pretty 24 narrowly focused on a few things and he wasn't 25 involved in those things.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1221 Q. Were you aware that he was a registered 2 lobbyist for HRAGI?3 A. No. 4 Q. Other than meeting him at that dinner, did 5 you have any other interactions with him in the 6 course of the Prevezon work?7 A. Not that I can recall. 8 Q. Did Fusion provide any research to him 9 directly or through an intermediary such as Baker 10 Hostetler?11 A. I don't know. I mean, if Baker Hostetler 12 gave him information from my research or my 13 company's research, they didn't tell me. 14 Q. Do you have any reason to believe he has 15 ties to the Russian government?16 A. No. 17 Q. But you said he is friends with the 18 Katsyvs?19 A. I shouldn't speculate. I recall he was 20 introduced to me as a friend of someone and I don't 21 remember whether it was Rinat or Denis Katsyv, but 22 it was one or the other. 23 Q. Do you know Howard Schweitzer? 24 A. I don't, not that I can recall. 25 Q. So you've never done any business with
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1231 him; is that correct?2 A. I don't think so. 3 Q. Do you know if he had any role in the 4 Prevezon work?5 A. I've read that his firm was involved in 6 the lobbying, but it's just something I read. I 7 don't believe I had any personal interactions. 8 Q. Do you know who Denis Katsyv is?9 A. He's the owner of Prevezon. 10 Q. Did you have any interactions with him?11 A. Again, I sat in a few meetings, a couple 12 of client meals, but it was limited by his limited 13 \bnglish and my limited Russian. 14 Q. In your interactions with 15 Ms. Veselnitskaya did she claim to be acting as the 16 attorney for Prevezon Holdings and the Katsyv 17 family or just for Prevezon Holdings?18 A. She was introduced to me as the lawyer for 19 Prevezon. I never --20 MR. L\bVY: When you say "the Katsyv family," 21 Denis Katsyv is the only person named in the 22 lawsuit. I'm just wondering what you mean by that.23 MR. DAVIS: Denis or Pyotr. 24 MR. SIMPSON: As I said, she was introduced 25 to me as the lawyer for Prevezon. So -- and I
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1241 think the lawyer for Denis. So beyond that I 2 don't know. 3 BY MR. DAVIS:4 Q. Do you know who Pyotr Katsyv is?5 A. I do now. I mean, I knew a little bit 6 about him at the time, but now that it's become an 7 issue, at least in the mind of William Browder, 8 obviously I know who he is. 9 Q. Did you have any interactions with him?10 A. No. 11 Q. Do you know Chris Cooper?12 A. Yes. 13 Q. How long have you known Mr. Cooper?14 A. Probably ten years, maybe longer. 15 Q. As far as you know, what is his 16 business? 17 A. Public relations. 18 Q. Is he associated with the Potomac Square 19 Group? 20 A. I believe he is the Potomac Square Group. 21 Q. Has Fusion ever worked with Mr. Cooper or 22 the Potomac Square Group?23 A. Yes. 24 Q. Have you paid him or been paid by him?25 A. I believe we've paid him. I don't know if
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1251 he's paid us. 2 Q. What did you understand his role to be in 3 the Prevezon work?4 A. He worked on his movie doing -- 5 essentially as I understand it and recall it, he 6 was asked to help find a place where they could 7 show this movie. William Browder likes to use the 8 press, but he doesn't like anyone talking freely 9 about him or raising questions about the story of 10 his activities in Russia. So when this movie came 11 together they were going to screen it in \burope and 12 he hired the meanest libel firm in London which has 13 previously sued me on behalf of Saudi billionaires 14 and -- unsuccessfully I might add, and he 15 threatened to file libel cases against the people 16 who were daring to offer to host a showing of this 17 film. 18 So, as you know, they don't have the First 19 Amendment in \burope. So he was able to 20 successfully suppress the showings of this film 21 which questioned his credibility and whether -- the 22 truth of his story and his activities in Russia. 23 So Chris came up with the idea of showing it at the 24 Newseum which is dedicated to the First Amendment 25 and where they don't have much time for libel
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1261 lawyers and people trying to suppress free speech2 Q. And was the showing arranged for Prevezon, 3 for HRAGI? Who was arranging this?4 A. I don't know. 5 Q. Did Fusion have any role in that showing?6 A. We supplied some names of people. They 7 wanted to round up people who would be interested 8 in coming, journalists, friends, people interested 9 in Russia, and we supplied names for them. 10 Q. Did Fusion contact any journalists to 11 inform them about the film or the showing or to 12 encourage them to write about it?13 A. I believe that I mentioned it to some 14 journalists in terms of showing up. I don't 15 believe I -- I just don't remember whether I tried 16 to get anyone to write anything about it, but if I 17 did I would have had good reason to because it was 18 all about William Browder's credibility which was 19 the subject that we were hotly litigating in 20 New York and I had been on this -- you know, we had 21 been on this, you know, multi-year effort to get 22 him to answer questions about his activities in 23 Russia. So it was the central issue in the 24 Prevezon case. 25 Q. So you mentioned Mr. Cooper was involved
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1271 in establishing this screening. Do you know how he 2 came to be hired by Prevezon or HRAGI or whoever?3 A. I know a little. As I was saying earlier, 4 I've known Chris from Wall Street \fournal days and 5 I refer business to him. I know this doesn't fit 6 with the Browder theory of the case, but I don't do 7 a lot of public relations work and I refer, you 8 know, public relations jobs to other people, 9 friends. 10 So when the trial was approaching in the 11 Prevezon case I kept telling the lawyers you guys 12 have to hire a PR guy, I'm not going to do this, 13 it's just too much work. So we were trying to find 14 PR people and he was one of the people that I 15 recommended as a trial PR guy. From there I don't 16 have a clear sense of how he ended up working on 17 the movie, but it wouldn't be surprising if they 18 had his name from the previous referral. 19 Q. Do you know who came up with the idea of 20 creating HRAGI?21 A. I would be guessing. I just don't 22 remember. Someone may have told me. I don't 23 remember. 24 Q. What kind of interaction did Fusion have 25 directly or indirectly with HRAGI?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1281 A. I remember hearing about it. I remember 2 Rinat talking about it and maybe others. We were 3 very peripheral to this stuff and I don't remember 4 if I had any specific interactions with it. I 5 don't know if they had an office, I don't know if 6 they had a bank account. I just don't know. I do 7 know they registered to lobby. 8 Q. Do you know Lanny Wiles, L-A-N-N-Y, 9 W-I-L-\b-S? 10 A. I know him a little bit. I met him 11 originally when I was a journalist. He was 12 introduced to me as a well-connected Republican 13 consultant type and I bumped into him once or twice 14 over the years. 15 Q. Has Fusion ever worked with him?16 A. I don't think so, no. 17 Q. What did you understand his role to be in 18 the Prevezon-HRAGI work?19 A. Again, my understanding of people's 20 roles on -- he was involved in the lobbying. He's 21 a lobbyist. He was involved in the lobbying. 22 Beyond that I really couldn't say. 23 Q. Did you have any involvement with him in 24 the course of your work on the Prevezon?25 A. I think we had lunch once.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1291 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that 2 Mr. Wiles has ties to the Russian government?3 A. No. 4 Q. So as you mentioned, in 2016 people 5 associated with HRAGI met and attempted to meet 6 with people in a number of congressional offices. 7 Were you aware of any of these meetings?8 A. The meeting that I was aware of that I 9 remember hearing about was a meeting that actually 10 didn't happen which was some meeting that Mark 11 Cymrot was supposed to have. It's possible that he 12 was going to meet some Congressman. It's possible 13 that I was told about other meetings by some of 14 these people that we're discussing, but I don't 15 specifically remember hearing about other meetings. 16 I was generally aware that there was stuff going on 17 on the Hill. 18 Q. If I could refer back to \bxhibit 2, the 19 partial privilege log. The first page of that 20 document lists a 5/13/16 e-mail from Rinat 21 Akhmetshin to Mark Cymrot with the subject/ 22 description "Appointment with Cong. Hill." Do you 23 believe that to be a reference Congressman French 24 Hill?25 A. I don't know. I believe it was a
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1301 Congressman named Hill. I don't know if it was a 2 Congressman named French Hill. 3 Q. And do you recall any other mentions of 4 meetings with any particular congressional offices 5 or committees?6 A. I'm sure -- I'm sorry. I believe I recall 7 Rinat telling me that he was talking to Paul 8 Behrends, B-\b-H-R-\b-N-D-S. It was either Rinat or 9 Mark Cymrot or maybe both about some of these 10 issues, but, again, I don't have a great 11 recollection for the specifics. 12 Q. Did Fusion have any role in these 13 meetings?14 A. I mean, I think we were asked for 15 information, and to the extent that the lawyers 16 wanted me to give somebody information I would hand 17 it over to them. It's their information. 18 Q. To the best of your knowledge, was that 19 information referenced in the meetings with 20 congressional staff members?21 A. I don't know. 22 Q. You mentioned you had dinner with 23 Ms. Veselnitskaya on \fune 8th and 10th of 2016. 24 Were you generally aware of her trip to the United 25 States in \fune?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1311 A. I was. She had trouble getting a visa and 2 the lawyers -- there was some drama over whether 3 she could get a visa. This would have been a 4 recurring issue in the case. You know, our lawyers 5 believed that the \fustice Department was 6 interfering with her visas because they wanted to 7 inhibit her from collaborating with us on the case, 8 but I don't have any independent knowledge of her 9 visa issues. I just remember that was an issue. 10 I remember that at the last minute she got a 11 visa to come to this Appellate Court hearing on 12 \fune 9th in New York, and that was the way that she 13 persuaded them to give her a visa was that she 14 needed to attend a hearing which was on an appeal 15 of a District Court ruling related to the 16 disqualification motion that had been filed by 17 William Browder against Baker Hostetler after he 18 was ordered to give testimony. 19 So that's the history of that court hearing, 20 which was after the Court said he couldn't get out 21 of the subpoena and he had to give testimony, he 22 then triggered a new delay in his testimony by 23 filing a disqualification motion. 24 Q. And that hearing was on \fune 8th; is that 25 correct?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1321 A. I believe it was \fune 9th. 2 Q. Did you have any other information about 3 Ms. Veselnitskaya's itinerary or intended 4 activities on this trip?5 A. No. I mean, I can tell you what I knew. 6 I knew she was coming in I guess on the 8th. I 7 don't have a clear recollection of the dinner, but 8 I know -- I believe we had a dinner. The problem 9 is I had more than one. So I don't have a clear 10 recollection of it. 11 Anyway, I saw her the next day in court at 12 this hearing and I'm sure we exchanged greetings, 13 but, as I say, she speaks Russian and I speak 14 \bnglish. I think she was with Anatoli and she left 15 afterwards. I know she didn't tell me any other 16 plans she had. 17 Q. So you had dinner the 8th, saw her in 18 court on the 9th; is that correct? 19 A. Yes. 20 Q. And dinner again on the 10th?21 A. In D.C.22 Q. Did you see her any other time?23 A. Not that I recall. 24 Q. Did Fusion play any role assisting 25 Ms. Veselnitskaya during that trip?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1331 A. Not that I recall. 2 Q. It has widely been reported 3 Ms. Veselnitskaya and Mr. Akhmetshin and others met 4 with Donald Trump, \funior, Paul Manafort, and \fared 5 Kushner on \fune 9th, 2016. Were you aware of this 6 meeting beforehand?7 A. No. 8 Q. It didn't come up at the dinner the night 9 before? 10 A. No. 11 Q. When did you first become aware of the 12 meeting? 13 A. Around the time it broke in the New York 14 Times. I was stunned. 15 Q. Is it correct that that means it wasn't 16 discussed at the dinner on the 10th?17 A. No, but, again, you know, the dinner on 18 the 10th was I was at one end of the table talking 19 to a woman about her biography on Simon Bolivar and 20 she was at the other end with Rinat and she doesn't 21 really speak much \bnglish. So, you know, 22 fortunately I was not going to do a lot of 23 entertaining. 24 Q. I should clarify, discussed with you.25 A. Yeah. So if she discussed with somebody
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1341 else, I wouldn't --2 Q. Right.3 Do you have any knowledge of the purpose of 4 the meeting other than what you read in the media?5 A. No. No. Well, I mean, I read she wanted 6 to give them some information and I wondered 7 whether it was information from the Prevezon case 8 and I've seen speculation to that effect, but I 9 don't have any knowledge. 10 Q. If we had the specifics of the 11 information, would you be able to clarify whether 12 it had come from Fusion?13 A. I think so. If it's, you know, stuff I 14 worked on I obviously will recognize it, yes. 15 Q. As far as you know, how was this meeting 16 arranged or do you have any information beyond 17 what's in the public --18 A. I don't. 19 Q. Other than recent media reports, do you 20 have any reason to believe that the meeting was an 21 attempt by the Russian government to make contact 22 with the Trump campaign?23 A. I mean, that's kind of an analytical 24 question. I don't have any factual reason to 25 believe that. I don't have possession of any
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1351 information about this that would allow me to say 2 one way or the other. You know, as a sort of 3 question of counterintelligence and just general 4 investigation of Russian methods and that sort of 5 thing, I think that's a reasonable interpretation. 6 Q. Have you had any communications about the 7 meeting at any time with Rinat Akhmetshin?8 A. No. No. 9 Q. Have you had any communications about the 10 meeting, again, at any time with Ms. Veselnitskaya?11 A. No. 12 Q. Have you had any communications about the 13 meeting with anyone you worked with on the Prevezon 14 matter?15 A. Probably. I think we all exchanged mutual 16 expressions of surprise. I think I talked to Paul 17 Levine, a lawyer at Baker Hostetler. I'm sure I 18 discussed it with \bd Baumgartner, Mark Cymrot. You 19 know, if anyone knew about it they certainly didn't 20 confess it to me. 21 Q. Do you know -- I'm going to butcher this 22 name -- Irakle Kaveladze? 23 A. I know who he is. 24 Q. I'll spell it. I-R-A-K-L-\b, last name 25 K-A-V-\b-L-A-D-Z-\b.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1361 A. No, I don't know. 2 Q. Has Fusion ever worked with him?3 A. No, not to my knowledge. 4 Q. To the best of your knowledge, did he have 5 any role in the Prevezon or Magnitsky work?6 A. My knowledge is primarily of the Prevezon 7 case and, to my knowledge, he was not involved in 8 the Prevezon case in any way. 9 Q. Do you have any reason to believe beyond 10 public reporting that he has ties to the Russian 11 government?12 A. I've been told by a source that -- 13 actually, I was told by a source that there was 14 some reason to believe he had ties to the Russian 15 government, and he directed me to a newspaper 16 article which said that he had connections to a guy 17 on the West Coast named Boris Goldstein who has 18 been linked historically to Soviet Russian 19 intelligence. Beyond that I don't have any -- I 20 don't have any information. 21 Q. And who was the source that told you that?22 A. I'm not going to talk about my source. 23 Q. I think you've already addressed this a 24 little bit, but do you know Anatoli Samochornov? 25 A-N-A-T-O-L-I, S-A-M-O-C-H-O-R-N-O-V.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1371 A. I met him in connection with this case. 2 We've never had any kind of social or other 3 relations beyond chatting in courthouses and that 4 sort of thing, sitting in restaurants waiting for a 5 hearing to start. 6 Q. Has Fusion ever worked with him other than 7 on the Prevezon case?8 A. No. 9 Q. And to the best of your knowledge, what 10 was his role in the Prevezon case?11 A. As I understood it, he was recruited off 12 the rack basically as a certified -- a translator 13 who had courtroom experience in New York who was 14 qualified to do sort of technical-legal type 15 translation work. He, to my knowledge, didn't have 16 a pre-existing relationship with Ms. Veselnitskaya 17 or Prevezon. That's my understanding to this day. 18 MR. DAVIS: I think that's the end of our 19 hour. It is 1:04. Let's go off the record. 20 (Whereupon, at 1:05 p.m., the 21 interview was recessed, to 22 reconvene at 1:45 p.m., this 23 same day.)24 AFT\bRNOON S\bSSION25 MS. SAWY\bR: We'll go back on the record.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1381 It's 1:55. 2 \bXAMINATION3 BY MS. SAWY\bR:4 Q. I'm going to return you back to discussing 5 the work at Fusion that Christopher Steele had done 6 during the Presidential election of 2016. It has 7 been widely reported and Mr. Steele has 8 acknowledged that he created 16 memos before the 9 election between the time period of \fune of 2016 10 and October of 2016. Is that accurate?11 A. To the best of my knowledge, that's 12 accurate. 13 Q. And then he also has acknowledged -- 14 Mr. Steele also has acknowledged and it's been 15 reported that there was one additional memo that 16 came after the election in December of 2016. Is 17 that also accurate?18 A. I think what he has said is that -- yeah, 19 that's basically accurate. What he said was that 20 the series of memos that were published by 21 BuzzFeed, that's the package that you're talking 22 about. 23 (\bxhibit 3 was marked for 24 identification.)25 BY MS. SAWY\bR:
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1391 Q. And so I'm going to show you what we will 2 just mark as \bxhibit 3 for identification purposes. 3 So \bxhibit 3 that I've just given you is a document 4 that was produced to the committee by your lawyers, 5 and they had explained to us that this was a 6 document originally posted by BuzzFeed in \fanuary 7 of 2017 and it has Bates numbers down in the 8 right-hand corner. The first one is 9 CLMS-\fC-00041391 and then the last one is number 10 41425. If you could just take a look at that. Is 11 that what we were just discussing as the series of 12 memos posted by BuzzFeed and created by Mr. Steele?13 A. Yes, it is. 14 Q. Can you explain for us just what -- does 15 this represent the 16 memos that would have 16 occurred between \fune and October of 2016 that 17 Mr. Steele created?18 A. These are the memos that he created under 19 the engagement and then this extra one that is 20 appended. I never actually numbered -- totaled 21 them up, but these are the ones I'm familiar 22 with. 23 Q. And does this represent the entire 24 universe of memos that Mr. Steele created as part 25 of this particular engagement for you?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1401 A. To the best of the my knowledge as part of 2 this engagement, this is it. 3 Q. And can you just explain to us so that we 4 understand the document, it has a heading "Company 5 Intelligence Report." I'm just looking at the 6 first page. That one says "Company Intelligence 7 Report 2016/080." What would that have signified?8 A. Company Intelligence Report is just a way 9 of saying it's not a government document. In the 10 event that, you know, someone stole it or it leaked 11 or there was some sort of breach, you know, they're 12 not going to have their own name on it, but they 13 want to make sure that no one mistakes it for a 14 government document. That's my understanding. 15 080 is their internal numbering system for, 16 you know, their production of memoranda, and the 17 reason it jumps from 80 to 86 is -- I never 18 actually asked him, but there aren't five memos in 19 between this. So the interpretation is that it's 20 an internal numbering system for maybe Russia stuff 21 or maybe it's just -- I'm sorry. I don't know what 22 the internal numbering system is, but there isn't 23 five memos in this project between these two. 24 Q. So the company referenced in Company 25 Intelligence Report, your understanding is that
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1411 would be Orbis, not Fusion GPS?2 A. I can't answer that. I think it's, as I 3 said, meant to denote that it's not a government 4 report. 5 Q. Were they producing -- as you noted, the 6 next apparent report 086 would be five, presumably, 7 reports later. Were those other five reports 8 reports that were being generated for Fusion GPS 9 or --10 A. No. 11 MR. L\bVY: I don't think he said that. Go 12 ahead.13 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:14 A. I mean, there aren't five reports that he 15 did for us between these two. This is the first 16 and second. 17 Q. So, again, when we look at that first one 18 that we discussed briefly, 2016/080, it appears to 19 be a three-page memorandum and it's dated 20 \fune 20 2016 and that shows up on the last page. Would you 21 have received it around that time that it's dated, 22 \fune 20, 2016?23 A. Within a couple days, yeah. Yes. 24 Q. And not every single discrete memo has a 25 date, but a number of them do. To the extent they
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1421 had dates, would you have been receiving them 2 around the time they were dated?3 A. Yeah. I believe so, yes. There might be 4 some lag, transition lag. 5 Q. And what was -- what use did you make of 6 these memos?7 A. These memos -- I mean, I guess I'd like to 8 back up a little bit and explain, you know, what 9 led to the memos, which was -- as I said, I mean, 10 you know, we started looking at -- first we started 11 looking at Trump's business affairs generally with 12 some of the emphasis on associations with organized 13 crime and in particular Russian organized crime. 14 As the project progressed towards the end of 2015 15 and into 2016 we became interested in his overseas 16 business dealings particularly because they were so 17 opaque and seemed to involve, you know, to say the 18 least, colorful characters. 19 So as we got into 2016 we were looking 20 broadly at -- one of the things we were looking at, 21 broadly speaking, was Donald Trump's international 22 business dealings and, you know, through the spring 23 of 2016, as I mentioned, we were -- you know, we 24 looked in various places, Latin America. He has 25 worked on projects all over the world, but in
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1431 particular, you know, several in the former Soviet 2 Union, Georgia, Azerbaijan, both former Soviet 3 republics. So over the course of the spring I'd 4 say -- and Russia -- we gradually began to exhaust 5 the public record, the open source about these 6 topics in various places. As you, you know, sort 7 of run short on public record or open source 8 information, you know, you need to get -- if you 9 still want to go deeper you need to get human 10 source. 11 So the purpose of this was to see if we could 12 learn more, generally speaking, about his business 13 dealings in Russia. What came back was something, 14 you know, very different and obviously more 15 alarming, which had to do with -- you know, which 16 outlined a political conspiracy and a much broader 17 set of issues than the ones that we basically went 18 looking for. You know, initially we didn't know 19 what do with this. 20 The main thing we did with it, the use we 21 made of it was as intelligence, which is to 22 understand what's happening. So when this arrived 23 the first indicators were starting to float around 24 that there was something bigger going on, the 25 government of Russia or someone was doing some
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1441 hacking. I don't really remember the precise 2 details. I just remember there were rumblings at 3 that time about whether there had been lot of 4 hacking and there was going to be -- political 5 digital espionage was going to be a component of 6 the campaign. 7 So when this arrived it was also right around 8 the time I think -- Trump had said weird things 9 about the Russians and Putin and things that are 10 very atypical for a Republican and that people 11 found to be odd. So when this arrived, you know, 12 we made no immediate use of it at all in terms of, 13 you know, giving it to anybody. It was essentially 14 used to inform our other researcher, but because it 15 was -- and because it was human source intelligence 16 and some of it was of a personal nature, it was not 17 particularly useful for the kind of things that 18 are, you know, useful in politics, which are things 19 that you can prove, things that you can say, things 20 that people will believe. 21 So we used it as intelligence to try and 22 understand what was going on and, you know, 23 obviously, as we talked about earlier, we tried to 24 analyze this to see if it was credible. You know, 25 I did -- you know, in the initial round of this
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1451 that was the big question, was this credible. 2 Q. Okay. So let me stop you there for a 3 second before we get too far because you've 4 referred a number of times to "this" and you have a 5 35-page document in front of you. So I want to 6 clarify when you said "this," in the context of 7 answering that I assumed you were talking about the 8 first --9 A. The first memo. 10 Q. That's the report 2016/080?11 A. Correct. 12 Q. And that's the one that has the date of 20 13 \fune 2016? 14 A. Correct. To be totally clear, you know, 15 what people call the dossier is not really a 16 dossier. It's a collection of field memoranda, of 17 field interviews, a collection that accumulates 18 over a period of months. You know, they came in 19 intermittently, there was no schedule. You know, 20 he'd reach a point in the reporting where he had 21 enough to send a new memo; so he'd send one. So 22 you won't find any real rhythm or chronological 23 sort of system to the way they came in. 24 MR. MUS\b: \fust for clarification of "this," 25 there are bates numbers I think that could be
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1461 identified here. 2 MS. SAWY\bR: Right. So that first document, 3 the one that we've just been talking about, has 4 Bates Nos. 49391 to 41393. Do we need to go off 5 the record for a moment? Let's go off the record 6 for a moment. 7 (A short break was had.)8 BY MS. SAWY\bR:9 Q. With regard to this document, you 10 characterized this document as representing field 11 interviews, I think you talked about it as human 12 source information. So was Mr. Steele's kind of 13 role with regard to the project primarily 14 conducting these types of interviews, gathering 15 this type of what I think you referred to as human 16 intelligence for Fusion?17 A. Yes. I mean, in other cases we did other 18 things. 19 MR. L\bVY: Don't get into other cases. 20 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:21 A. I can't remember specifically what I had 22 in mind to get from him. This form of reporting 23 was, in fact, the form that the rest of the project 24 took, which was, you know -- I've done other kinds 25 of research in Russia, but something this sensitive
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1471 I don't think I've ever been involved in. So in an 2 ordinary case you would try to gather public 3 records and you would conduct yourself in a much 4 more open fashion. 5 You know, Russia is a dangerous place, it's a 6 kleptocracy and a police state, but it's also a 7 giant bureaucracy and in some ways it's a much more 8 open society, much more open than the Soviet Union 9 ever was. You can pull records for companies and 10 that sort of thing. 11 Anyway, so this was unusual in what we were 12 doing here and it's not what I had in mind when I 13 asked him to begin collecting information on this. 14 My expectation was of something a lot less 15 interesting than this, more along the lines of a 16 typical corruption investigation. 17 Q. You had indicated that when you received 18 it you found it unusual, it was sensitive 19 information. Did you take steps to verify any of 20 the information?21 A. We assessed it for credibility, whether it 22 was credible. The question of the credibility of 23 the information is obviously a big question here, 24 can this be believed. There's other secondary 25 questions that would follow on from that, can it
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1481 somehow be used, does it have any use and that sort 2 of thing, but the threshold question is is it 3 credible information. 4 You know, there were two background factors 5 to that. One was who is it coming from. It's 6 coming from Chris Steele who's a guy that I've 7 worked with for, you know, about eight or nine 8 years and Chris, as I say, has a Sterling 9 reputation as a person who doesn't exaggerate, 10 doesn't make things up, doesn't sell baloney. In 11 my business, I mean, there are a lot of people who 12 make stuff up and sell baloney. So the one thing 13 that you get good at if you do this for a while is 14 finding reliable sources, finding reliable people 15 who have a record of giving it to you straight and 16 not making stuff up and not making mistakes. So 17 from that perspective, you know, this was alarming 18 because Chris is a credible person, he's well 19 respected in his field, and, as I say, everyone I 20 know who's ever dealt with him thinks he's quite 21 good. That would include people from the U.S. 22 government. 23 So the issue is where is it coming from and 24 then the other issue is does it make sense or are 25 there events in there that can be externally, you
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1491 know, reviewed or backed up. On the question of 2 whether it makes sense -- well, let me stay on the 3 question of some of the events that are described. 4 We were aware of some of these trips and we were 5 obviously aware of the hostility toward Hillary 6 Clinton and, you know, there was a lot of general 7 knowledge that we had that fit with this just in 8 terms of dates and places and roles of people in 9 the Kremlin. So on a surface level, you know, it 10 was credible too, but the thing that, you know, 11 most concerned me at this point was my own 12 familiarity with foreign meddling in American 13 elections, which is a subject that I've dealt with 14 for a long time. 15 In the 1990s I was working at the Wall Street 16 \fournal and I wrote some of the very first stories 17 about the Chinese government's interference in the 18 1996 presidential election which triggered a 19 massive national security investigation, numerous 20 prosecutions, lots of business for Bob Muse, and a 21 lot of congressional hearings, congressional 22 inquiries. And in that episode it was eventually 23 dug out by congressional investigations that the 24 fundraisers, the Asian fundraisers were Chinese 25 intelligence assets. So there's ample recent
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1501 historical precedent for a foreign government to 2 interfere in American elections in a really big way 3 and for it to be an intelligence operation. So I 4 knew all of that while reading this and digesting 5 it for the first time. 6 I also knew because I've done a lot of 7 reporting on Russia about the Kremlin's interest in 8 American politics, \buropean politics, disrupting 9 the politics of other countries, and, in fact, one 10 of the last things I did when I was a reporter at 11 the Wall Street \fournal was report on several 12 stories of government investigations, FBI 13 investigations into American politicians who had 14 been corrupted allegedly by the Russians. 15 Sort of my departure point from journalism 16 was a series of stories and conferences I attended 17 where a lot of American and \buropean intelligence 18 officials were expressing great alarm at the 19 resurfacing of Russian intelligence operations in 20 western capitals and the new twist on it which 21 seemed to be that these guys seemed to be getting 22 involved in politics in ways that they hadn't 23 previously. So I knew all that when I read this. 24 Q. Okay. So if I can stop you there. It 25 sounds like the components -- you can tell me if
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1511 there were more -- that you considered in assessing 2 the credibility of this was Mr. Steele, his 3 background, his reputation, overall the fact that 4 you had information and knowledge of Russia 5 meddling in other countries' elections, and then 6 the broader work of Russia to disrupt political 7 systems of other countries?8 A. I covered that. I also would add that the 9 China case was for me in my journalistic career a 10 formative event that took -- you know, consumed 11 years of my reporting and was about, you know, a 12 Chinese intelligence operation to swing the '96 13 election to the Democrats. 14 The only other thing I'd add to all that is, 15 again, in the mid 2000s one of the stories I 16 wrote -- actually, I wrote a couple different 17 stories about a Russian oligarch having a meeting 18 with Senator \fohn McCain shortly before the 2008 19 presidential election and another story or set of 20 stories about Paul Manafort and his involvement 21 with some Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs who were 22 considered to be suspicious or corrupt. 23 So I also knew -- or I formed an opinion or 24 impression that the Russians were interested in 25 making friends with the Republicans and that Paul
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1521 Manafort, you know, there was this previous episode 2 involving Paul Manafort, \fohn McCain. So all of 3 that was in my head when this came in which, as I 4 say, tended to support the credibility -- the 5 possibility that this information was credible. 6 Q. You mentioned a Russian oligarch who had 7 met with Senator McCain. Who specifically was 8 that? 9 A. Oleg Deripaska, O-L-\b-G, 10 D-\b-R-I-P-A-S-K-A. He's not able to travel to the 11 United States because he's banned for suspicion of 12 ties to organized crime. He's extremely close to 13 the Kremlin, or at least he was, and is -- I broke 14 the story of him being banned from the United 15 States which caused him a lot of embarrassment and 16 trouble with his business and led to him hiring a 17 lobbyist and trying to get involved with getting a 18 visa to the U.S.19 Q. And you had also mentioned your background 20 knowledge of Paul Manafort and his involvement with 21 Russian oligarchs. Can you identify who those 22 individuals were and the basis of that knowledge?23 A. The issue I specifically wrote about I 24 believe was his work for the Party of Regions and 25 Victor Yanukovych, Y-A-N-U-K-O-V-Y-C-H, I think,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1531 and that's the Pro-Russia party or was the 2 Pro-Russia party in Ukraine, and all that work sort 3 of grew out of work I had done about the Kremlin 4 working with the Russian mafia to siphon money off 5 the gas trade between Russia and Ukraine. 6 Q. Was that work you had done while still a 7 reporter with the Wall Street \fournal?8 A. Yes. 9 Q. So any conclusions you had reached from 10 that, would that be material that we would be able 11 to obtain and may already have in your public 12 reporting? 13 MR. L\bVY: We'd have to talk to the Wall 14 Street \fournal about that probably. 15 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:16 A. My articles about this are available on 17 the Internet. 18 MR. L\bVY: Some of them we've produced to you 19 already because it was responsive to your request. 20 MS. SAWY\bR: Understood. 21 BY MS. SAWY\bR:22 Q. And there's potentially additional work 23 product related to the work that you had done on 24 Mr. Manafort?25 A. For the Wall Street \fournal or later?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1541 Q. Let's start with the Wall Street 2 \fournal? 3 A. I collected lots of information on 4 Mr. Manafort during my years at the \fournal. 5 Q. And then we'll get into the work on 6 Mr. Manafort more recently. 7 So this particular memo that we've been 8 talking about, this first one doesn't specifically 9 mention, as far as I can see, any efforts to 10 interfere by Russia. It does talk about 11 potential -- as it's called in here, a dossier of 12 compromising material on Hillary Clinton. Did you 13 take any steps to verify whether that dossier of 14 compromising material existed on Hillary Clinton?15 A. I will answer that, but can I just back 16 you up a little bit. I think your observation it 17 doesn't mention anything about interfering I 18 wouldn't agree with. 19 Q. Okay. 20 A. I mean, one of the key lines here in the 21 second paragraph says "However, he and his inner 22 circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence 23 from the Kremlin, including on his democratic and 24 other political rivals." 25 So the issue with the Trump Tower meeting, as
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1551 I understand it, is that the Trump people were 2 eager to accept intelligence from a foreign 3 government about their political rivals and that 4 is, you know, I would say, a form of interference. 5 If you're getting help from a foreign government 6 and your help is intelligence, then the foreign 7 government's interfering. I mean, you know, I 8 think that also -- of course, in retrospect we now 9 know this was pretty right on target in terms on 10 what it says. So anyway --11 Q. In reference to you think that particular 12 sentence?13 A. I mean, it clearly refers to, you know, 14 them being interested in and willing to -- it 15 depicts them as accepting information. What we 16 have seen to date with the disclosures this year is 17 they were at a minimum super interested in getting 18 information. 19 Q. And when you're referencing the 20 "disclosures this year," could you just be specific 21 about that.22 A. The Trump Tower meeting. 23 Q. So with reference to the \fune 9th Trump 24 Tower meeting?25 A. Yes. Yes.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1561 Q. Okay. 2 A. I will go back to your question, but, 3 again, it says "Source B asserted the Trump 4 operating was both supported and directed by Putin 5 aimed to sew discord within the U.S.," and, you 6 know, basically -- you know, there's a number of 7 different ways that it seems they're trying to 8 intervene in our politics in this memo. 9 What was your question? 10 Q. I appreciate that clarification. You were 11 actually clarifying a statement I made, which I 12 appreciate. 13 So you had testified a little earlier that at 14 the point in time in which you received this first 15 memo you used it a little more as background to 16 inform your thinking on it, but you didn't take 17 discrete steps. Had you -- were you involved in 18 editing this memo in any way?19 A. No. 20 Q. Did you give Mr. Steele any specific 21 direction on, you know, next steps based on this 22 memo?23 A. Not that I can recall, no. 24 Q. So at this point in time was he still 25 operating with the understanding that he was just
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1571 to engage in an open-ended research project?2 A. Actually it wasn't really an open-ended 3 research project -- well, it was open-ended in 4 scope, it wasn't open-ended in time. It was take a 5 few weeks, see if there's anything there that's 6 interesting, notable, important, and if we think 7 there's reason to go on we'll make that decision at 8 that time. So it was a short-term engagement in 9 the beginning. 10 Q. And to the best you can explain to us, did 11 the client that you were working for know that he 12 was engaged in this particular research or what his 13 findings were at that point in time? 14 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that question might 15 implicate privilege or obligations. 16 BY MS. SAWY\bR:17 Q. Did you interfere in any way with 18 Mr. Steele's research, tell him not to pursue any 19 particular avenues?20 A. No. 21 Q. To the best of your knowledge, did anyone 22 else give him that direction, either directly or 23 through you, and tell him not to --24 A. No. 25 Q. If I could just finish.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1581 A. I'm sorry. 2 Q. -- and tell him not to pursue any 3 particular avenues of research? 4 A. No. 5 Q. Do you know -- if we could just move on to 6 kind of the next memo, which begins with Bates 7 No. 41394 and it ends with 41396. It appears to 8 be -- it's three pages and it has a date of 26 \fuly 9 2015 and it has "Company Intelligence Report 10 2016/086." To the best of your recollection, was 11 this the second memo you had received from 12 Mr. Steele?13 A. To the best of my recollection, this is 14 the second memo. 15 Q. And how did you kind of use this 16 information?17 A. Well, I think the context of external 18 events is important here. I believe -- it's my 19 recollection that what prompted this memo was, in 20 fact, the beginning of public reporting on the 21 hack. I think -- what is the date again? Yeah, 22 it's 26 \fuly. So by this time Debbie Wasserman 23 Schultz has been the subject of a very aggressive 24 hacking campaign, weaponized hack, the likes of 25 which, you know, have never really been seen.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1591 We've seen hacking in politics before, but this 2 kind of, you know, mass theft of e-mail and then to 3 dump it all into, you know, the public sphere was 4 extraordinary and it was criminal. 5 So the question by now of whether this was 6 Russia and whether this might have something to do 7 with the other information that we'd received was, 8 you know, the immediate question, and I think this 9 is also -- by the time this memo was written Chris 10 had already met with the FBI about the first memo. 11 So he's -- if I can interpret a little bit here. 12 In his mind this is already a criminal matter, 13 there's already a potential national security 14 matter here. 15 I mean, this is basically about a month later 16 and there's a lot of events that occurred in 17 between. You know, after the first memo, you know, 18 Chris said he was very concerned about whether this 19 represented a national security threat and said he 20 wanted to -- he said he thought we were obligated 21 to tell someone in government, in our government 22 about this information. He thought from his 23 perspective there was an issue -- a security issue 24 about whether a presidential candidate was being 25 blackmailed. From my perspective there was a law
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1601 enforcement issue about whether there was an 2 illegal conspiracy to violate the campaign laws, 3 and then somewhere in this time the whole issue of 4 hacking has also surfaced. 5 So he proposed to -- he said we should tell 6 the FBI, it's a national security issue. I didn't 7 originally agree or disagree, I just put it off and 8 said I needed to think about it. Then he raised it 9 again with me. I don't remember the exact sequence 10 of these events, but my recollection is that I 11 questioned how we would do that because I don't 12 know anyone there that I could report something 13 like this to and be believed and I didn't really 14 think it was necessarily appropriate for me to do 15 that. In any event, he said don't worry about 16 that, I know the perfect person, I have a contact 17 there, they'll listen to me, they know who I am, 18 I'll take care of it. I said okay. You know, I 19 agreed, it's potentially a crime in progress. So, 20 you know, if we can do that in the most appropriate 21 way, I said it was okay for him to do that. 22 Q. Okay. So let me just stop you there and 23 let's just make sure we get the sequencing 24 accurate.25 A. Sure.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1611 Q. So after Mr. Steele had found out the 2 information that he put in the very first of these 3 memos, the one dated \fune 20, 2016, he approached 4 you about taking this information to specifically 5 the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation?6 A. That's my recollection. 7 Q. So to the best of your recollection, that 8 request or idea came directly from Mr. Steele, not 9 anyone else?10 A. That's right. 11 Q. And who was involved in discussions about 12 whether it was appropriate to take either the memo 13 or the information in the memo to the FBI?14 A. It was Chris and me. I mean, that's the 15 only ones I remember, the two of us. The only ones 16 I know of. 17 Q. You said you had asked for some time to 18 think it over. What in particular did he 19 articulate to you was of significant national 20 security concern to indicate that it should be 21 taken to the FBI? 22 A. His concern, which is something that 23 counterintelligence people deal with a lot, is 24 whether or not there was blackmail going on, 25 whether a political candidate was being blackmailed
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1621 or had been compromised. And the whole problem of 2 compromise of western businessmen and politicians 3 by the Russians is an essential part of -- it's 4 like disinformation, it's something they worry 5 about a lot and deal with a lot and are trained to 6 respond to. So, you know, a trained intelligence 7 officer can spot disinformation that you or I might 8 not recognize, certainly that was Chris's skill, 9 and he honed in on this issue of blackmail as being 10 a significant national security issue. 11 Chris is the professional and I'm not. So I 12 didn't agree with that -- it wasn't that I 13 disagreed with it. It was that I didn't feel 14 qualified to be the arbitrar of whether this is a 15 national security expert. He's the pro and I'm the 16 ex-journalist. 17 Q. In that regard when you say he's a 18 professional and you're not, I take that to mean 19 that he was the intelligence expert?20 A. He was -- yes, he was the national 21 security guy. I know a lot about politics, I know 22 a good bit about financial crime, but, you know, my 23 specialty was journalism and his was security. 24 Q. And with specific regard to the issue of 25 blackmail, what was the -- what were the facts that
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1631 he had gathered that made him concerned about the 2 possibility of blackmail and who did he think was 3 going to be blackmailed?4 A. Well, the facts are -- beyond what's here 5 I don't have any additional facts. The alleged 6 incident that's described here is the one that he 7 was referring to. As I say, I don't have really 8 any additional information beyond this except 9 that -- I mean, it's probably in here somewhere 10 actually, but it's well known in intelligence 11 circles that the Russians have cameras in all the 12 luxury hotel rooms and there are memoirs written 13 about this by former Russian intelligence agents I 14 could quote you. So the problem of kompromat and 15 kompromating is just endemic to east-west 16 intelligence work. So that's what I'm referring 17 to. That's what he's referring to. 18 Q. Got it. So that would be in the summary 19 the kind of third dash point down where it 20 mentions --21 A. Yes, that's right. 22 Q. -- that FSB -- what is your understanding 23 of who or what FSB is? 24 A. It's a successor to the KGB. I mean, 25 nominally it's the domestic intelligence agency on
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1641 the domestic side of what was the KGB. In practice 2 it's sort of the preeminent intelligence organ of 3 the Russian state, government. 4 Q. And do you recall when you -- when you and 5 Mr. Steele decided kind of that he could or should 6 take this to the FBI, approximately the time frame 7 of that? 8 A. I believe it was sometime around the turn 9 of the month. It would have been in late \fune or 10 at latest early \fuly. That's my recollection. 11 Q. And Mr. Steele was the one who was then 12 responsible for doing the initial outreach to them 13 and making that contact?14 A. Yes. Well, I mean, let's be clear, this 15 was not considered by me to be part of the work 16 that we were doing. This was -- to me this was 17 like, you know, you're driving to work and you see 18 something happen and you call 911, right. It 19 wasn't part of the -- it wasn't like we were trying 20 to figure out who should do it. He said he was 21 professionally obligated to do it. Like if you're 22 a lawyer and, you know, you find out about a crime, 23 in a lot of countries you must report that. So it 24 was like that. So I just said if that's your 25 obligation, then you should fulfill your
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1651 obligation.2 Q. And were you a part of those conversations 3 with -- that Mr. Steele had with whoever his 4 contact was at the FBI?5 A. No. 6 Q. Do you have any knowledge of when that 7 first conversation actually then took place?8 A. Over the last several months that this has 9 become a public controversy I've learned the 10 general date and I believe it was if first week of 11 \fuly, but I don't believe he told me -- if he told 12 me the time, I don't remember when he told me. 13 Q. And that information about that time, that 14 first week of \fuly, where does that come from?15 A. It comes from news accounts of these 16 events and conversations between Chris and I and 17 some of my -- presumably my business partners too. 18 Generally speaking, we have, as you know, not been 19 eager to discuss any of this in public and there's 20 been a lot of speculation and guessing and stories, 21 many of which are wrong. So when an incorrect 22 story comes out we would, you know, talk about it. 23 So, you know, in the course of those kinds of 24 things I generally obtained a sense of when things 25 occurred that I might otherwise not be able to
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1661 provide you. 2 Q. And do you know who it is that Mr. Steele 3 contacted and talked with at the FBI? 4 A. I did not know at the time. I believe I 5 know now, but I don't have authoritative 6 information on that. I didn't -- yeah. I didn't 7 know who it was in \fuly. 8 Q. And do you now know who that was?9 A. I think I know, but Chris never told me. 10 I figured it out eventually based on other sources 11 and other information, but that was not until 12 December or November. 13 Q. December of -- November or December 2016?14 A. November, December 2016. It was after the 15 election. 16 Q. And what is your understanding from what 17 you've been able to put together of who that would 18 have been? 19 A. My understanding of? 20 Q. Of who Mr. Steele would have talked to at 21 the FBI.22 A. I believe it was a , an official named 24 . 25 Q. And we had talked about that discussion
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1671 that you had with Mr. Steele about potentially 2 going to the FBI. You had indicated that it was 3 just the two of you having those conversations and 4 coming to that decision. Once the decision was 5 made, did you share that decision with anyone, that 6 he was going to go to the FBI with this 7 information?8 A. I think we're not able to answer that. 9 MR. L\bVY: He's going to decline to answer 10 that question.11 BY MS. SAWY\bR:12 Q. Did you seek anyone else's approval for 13 him to go to the FBI? 14 A. No. 15 Q. Did anyone ever encourage you to ask him 16 on to go to the FBI? 17 A. No. 18 Q. Did anyone discourage you from having him 19 go to the FBI?20 A. No. 21 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Steele when he had 22 that first meeting, which you said occurred in the 23 first week of \fuly, do you know whether Mr. Steele 24 actually gave the FBI this document that we've been 25 talking about, the intelligence report 2016/080?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1681 A. I don't know. 2 Q. With regard to providing -- what was the 3 goal -- as you understood it, what was the purpose 4 of the kind of goal in taking this to the FBI from 5 Mr. Steele's perspective? 6 MR. L\bVY: Beyond what he's said already? 7 MS. SAWY\bR: Yes. 8 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:9 A. I mean, for him it was professional 10 obligations. I mean, for both of us it was 11 citizenship. You know, people report crimes all 12 the time. 13 Q. So beyond reporting -- certainly if I'm 14 mischaracterizing please let me know, but beyond 15 reporting what he believed was an issue of national 16 security and a potential crime, I think you had 17 said kind of a potential crime in progress, do you 18 know whether he requested that the FBI open an 19 investigation?20 A. I don't know that. I mean, all he told me 21 in the immediate aftermath was that he filled him 22 in. I can talk generally about the FBI and what 23 happens when you give them information because I 24 know that from years of experience, but generally, 25 you know, you don't ask them to do it. There's no
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1691 ask. 2 Q. But you don't know what concrete steps 3 they may have taken once they got the information 4 from him? 5 A. I do not. Of course we know now that 6 shortly thereafter they got a vice award on one of 7 the people who's dealt with in here. He's not 8 dealt with in this memo, but he's dealt with in the 9 later memos. I don't know there's any connection 10 between these events. I do know in Director 11 Comey's testimony he said -- I'm sorry. Maybe I'm 12 skipping ahead. As far as I know, they didn't -- I 13 don't know what they did. 14 Q. So then with regard to Mr. Steele's 15 ongoing work, I presume that his work then 16 continued after you got this first memo because we 17 have additional memos between \fune?18 A. Yes. 19 Q. Was there a discussion about whether and 20 when he would take information to the FBI?21 A. Not that I recall. After the initial memo 22 he told me that he had briefed him. I don't 23 remember anything specific about the issue arising 24 again other than to say generally that as the 25 summer progressed the situation with the hacking of
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1701 the Democrats and the efforts by the Russians to 2 influence the election and the possibility that the 3 Trump organization was, in fact, doing things to 4 curry favor with the Russians became more and more 5 serious as external developments occurred. 6 So, for instance, they changed the Republican 7 platform, which is addressed in here. Carter Page 8 shows up in Moscow and gives a speech. He's a 9 campaign advisor and he gives a speech about 10 dropping sanctions. Trump continues to say 11 mysterious things about what a great guy Putin is. 12 So I vaguely recall that these external events 13 prompted us to say I wonder what the FBI did, 14 whoops, haven't heard from them. So that was 15 basically the state of things through September16 Q. So do you know whether or not Mr. Steele 17 did have any subsequent conversations with the FBI 18 after that initial conversation in the first week 19 of \fuly 2016?20 A. Yes, I do. He did. 21 Q. So can you explain the next incident where 22 you know that Mr. Steele met with the FBI?23 A. Yes. I guess what I'd like to explain is 24 what I knew at the time and what I know now. It 25 was September and obviously the controversy was
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1711 really front and center now in the election. I 2 can't remember whether the intelligence community 3 had come out with their statement, but, you know, 4 there was a lot of concern in Washington and in the 5 U.S. about whether there was a Kremlin operation to 6 interfere with our election and there was a lot of 7 debate throughout this period about whether they 8 were trying to help Trump or just trying to cause 9 trouble. But there wasn't much debate that they 10 were up to something. 11 So, you know, I'm dealing with Chris on the 12 underlying reporting and by this time my concern, 13 you know, was -- I was very concerned because Chris 14 had delivered a lot of information and by this time 15 we had, you know, stood up a good bit of it. 16 Various things he had written about in his memos 17 corresponded quite closely with other events and I 18 began, you know, to view his reporting in this case 19 as, you know, really serious and really credible. 20 So anyway, we were working on all of that and 21 then he said, hey, I heard back from the FBI and 22 they want me to come talk to them and they said 23 they want everything I have, to which I said okay. 24 He said he had to go to Rome, I said okay. He went 25 to Rome. Then afterwards he came back and said,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1721 you know, I gave them a full briefing. 2 I'll add because I didn't consider this to 3 be -- you know, there was no objective here 4 politically because you can't -- in an ordinary 5 election I know from my decades of dealing with 6 U.S. elections that you can't expect the government 7 or the FBI to be of any use in a campaign because 8 the DO\f has rules against law enforcement getting 9 involved in investigations in the middle of a 10 campaign and this was obviously -- you know, this 11 obviously became a huge issue. 12 Anyway, because it wasn't really part of the 13 project in my mind I didn't really ask a lot of 14 questions about these meetings. I didn't ask who 15 he met with, I didn't ask, you know, much of 16 anything, but he did tell me that he gave --17 Q. Before we get to that, which I do want to 18 hear, I just want to get a sense of the chronology.19 A. Sure. 20 Q. So when did that -- you had said the FBI 21 then came back and contacted Mr. Steele?22 A. That's my understanding. 23 Q. When did that, to the best of your 24 knowledge, take place?25 A. Mid to late September.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1731 Q. So in that intervening time period 2 Mr. Steele continues his research, he also 3 continues to provide you with memos?4 A. Yes. 5 Q. And at no point in that time between 6 \fuly -- the first week of \fuly when he first met 7 with the FBI and then mid to late September did you 8 suggest to him that he should go back to the FBI?9 A. Not that I recall. What I would -- what I 10 believe I may have said was have you heard anything 11 from the FBI because by then it was obvious there 12 was a crime in progress. So I just was curious 13 whether he'd heard back. 14 Q. And when you say it was obvious that there 15 was a crime in progress, what specifically are you 16 referencing? 17 A. \bspionage. They were hacking into the 18 computers of Democrats and think tanks. That's a 19 computer crime. 20 Q. So the thing that was apparent was Russia 21 or somebody had engaged in cyber intrusion and 22 computer crimes? 23 A. Yes. 24 Q. So do you know whether or not Mr. Steele 25 was directed -- you said you did not direct him or
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1741 ask him to go back to the FBI -- whether anyone 2 else either directly or indirectly asked him to go 3 to the FBI after his \fuly 5th --4 A. To my knowledge, no one else told him to 5 report this. He may have conferred with his 6 business associates, but I don't know. 7 Q. And you said that meeting with the FBI, 8 you said Mr. Steele said he had to go to Rome for 9 this meeting. Do you otherwise know who he met 10 with? 11 A. This gets into the chronology of what I 12 learned when. At some point I learned that he was 13 meeting with the lead FBI guy from Rome. I don't 14 remember when he told me that. 15 Q. And did you have a name associated with 16 who that was?17 A. Not at that time. 18 Q. You said that he told you of the meeting 19 with the FBI in Rome in mid or late September, that 20 he "gave them a full briefing"?21 A. A debrief I think is what he probably 22 said, they had debriefed him. I don't remember him 23 articulating the specifics of that. You know, my 24 understanding was that they would have gotten into 25 who his sources were, how he knew certain things,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1751 and, you know, other details based on their own 2 intelligence. \bssentially what he told me was they 3 had other intelligence about this matter from an 4 internal Trump campaign source and that -- that 5 they -- my understanding was that they believed 6 Chris at this point -- that they believed Chris's 7 information might be credible because they had 8 other intelligence that indicated the same thing 9 and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human 10 source from inside the Trump organization. 11 Q. And did you have any understanding then or 12 now as to who that human intelligence source from 13 inside the Trump campaign might have been? 14 MR. L\bVY: He's going to decline to answer 15 that question. 16 MS. SAWY\bR: On what basis?17 MR. SIMPSON: Security. 18 MR. L\bVY: Security.19 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:20 A. We had been really careful -- I was really 21 careful throughout this process to not ask a lot of 22 specific sourcing questions. There are some things 23 I know that I just don't feel comfortable sharing 24 because obviously it's been in the news a lot 25 lately that people who get in the way of the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1761 Russians tend to get hurt. 2 MR. L\bVY: And I would just add that there 3 are privileges and obligations that might be 4 implicated in the disclosure of any source related 5 to this matter. 6 BY MS. SAWY\bR:7 Q. Was this individual also a person who had 8 been a source for Mr. Steele, without identifying 9 who that was?10 A. No. 11 Q. So this was someone independent of 12 Mr. Steele's sources who potentially had 13 information also on the same topics?14 A. Yes. I mean, I don't think this 15 implicates any of the issues to say I think it was 16 a voluntary source, someone who was concerned about 17 the same concerns we had. 18 MR. DAVIS: I'm having a hard time hearing 19 you. Please speak up. 20 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:21 A. It was someone like us who decided to pick 22 up the phone and report something.23 Q. And your understanding of this, does that 24 come from Mr. Steele or from a different source? 25 A. That comes from Chris, yes.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1771 Q. And when did he share that information 2 with you?3 A. I don't remember exactly. 4 Q. Do you think it was around the same time 5 that he had met with the FBI, so mid to late 6 September of 2016?7 A. I think more likely early October. 8 Q. Do you know whether when Mr. Steele met 9 with the FBI he provided them with the memos that 10 he would have had at that point in time, which 11 would have been mid to late September of 2016?12 A. I don't know that. He didn't tell me 13 that. He did say they asked him for -- they wanted 14 to know everything he had, but whether that would 15 include getting paper I don't know. 16 Q. And did he indicate that he had cooperated 17 fully and given them whatever information he had 18 available?19 A. Yes. In the course of these, you know, 20 discussions, you know, he indicated to me this was 21 someone he had worked with previously who knew him 22 and that they had a -- they worked together. 23 Q. By that person you're referring to 24 in Rome?25 A. Yes.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1781 Q. Now, with regard to -- just to finish up 2 on the interactions with FBI, do you know were 3 there any additional interactions between 4 Mr. Steele and the FBI?5 A. There was some sort of interaction, I 6 think it was probably telephonic that occurred 7 after Director Comey sent his letter to Congress 8 reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's 9 e-mails. That episode, you know, obviously created 10 some concern that the FBI was intervening in a 11 political campaign in contravention of 12 long-standing \fustice Department regulation. 13 So it made a lot of people, including us, 14 concerned about what the heck was going on at the 15 FBI. So, you know, we began getting questions from 16 the press about, you know, whether they were also 17 investigating Trump and, you know, we encouraged 18 them to ask the FBI that question. You know, I 19 think -- I'm not sure we've covered this fully, 20 but, you know, we just encouraged them to ask the 21 FBI that question. 22 On October 31st the New York Times posed a 23 story saying that the FBI is investigating Trump 24 and found no connections to Russia and, you know, 25 it was a real Halloween special.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1791 Sometime thereafter the FBI -- I understand 2 Chris severed his relationship with the FBI out of 3 concern that he didn't know what was happening 4 inside the FBI and there was a concern that the FBI 5 was being manipulated for political ends by the 6 Trump people and that we didn't really understand 7 what was going on. So he stopped dealing with 8 them. 9 Q. Okay. So I do want to get to the timing 10 on that. I know that I'm getting close to the end 11 of my hour. Can I just ask you a general question 12 on the memos that we were talking about. I had 13 asked you specifically about the first one, if you 14 had in any way -- first of all, with regard to the 15 packet on whole, did you have any input or 16 involvement in the drafting of these or input for 17 the research?18 A. No. 19 Q. And did you edit any of them in any way?20 A. No. 21 Q. So these were documents that you were just 22 receiving from Mr. Steele?23 A. Yes. I mean, the only qualifier I'd add 24 is I'm sure I said things like Paul Manafort was 25 just named campaign manager, what do you know about
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1801 him, that kind of thing. 2 Q. I do want to get into some more specifics 3 about kind of what steps and what items you may 4 also clarify, but I do want to make sure, if I 5 could have your indulgence, just that we -- well, 6 we can finish up the FBI part on our next hour 7 because it sounds like there's a little more to 8 finishing that. So our hour is up. If you'll just 9 give me a moment. 10 Okay. So we'll go ahead and go off the 11 record. It is 2:58. 12 (A short break was had.)13 MR. DAVIS: We'll go back on the record. 14 It's now 3:09. 15 \bXAMINATION16 BY MR. DAVIS:17 Q. Mr. Simpson, do you know \bmin Agalarov, 18 \b-M-I-N, A-G-A-L-A-R-O-V? 19 MR. L\bVY: Personally or just does he know 20 about him?21 MR. DAVIS: Personally. 22 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:23 A. No. 24 Q. Do you know Aras, A-R-A-S, Agalarov? 25 A. No.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1811 Q. Has Fusion ever worked with either of 2 them?3 A. No. 4 Q. To the best of your knowledge, have 5 either of them had any role in the Prevezon work?6 A. Not to my knowledge. 7 Q. Do you know Rob Goldstone?8 A. No. 9 Q. Has Fusion ever worked with him?10 A. No. 11 Q. Paid him or been paid by him?12 A. No. 13 Q. To the best of your knowledge, has 14 Mr. Goldstone had any work in the Prevezon or 15 Magnitsky work?16 A. Not to my knowledge. 17 Q. When you had these dinners in \fune of 2006 18 with Ms. Veselnitskaya, who else attended those 19 dinners? 20 MR. FOST\bR: 2016. 21 MR. DAVIS: 2016. \bxcuse me.22 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:23 A. The Baker lawyers would have attended, did 24 attend. 25 Q. Was Rinat Akhmetshin there?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1821 A. I specifically remember he was at the 2 second dinner on I think it was the 10th. I don't 3 specifically remember if he was at the other 4 dinner. I don't have many memory of the other 5 dinner. 6 Q. Do you recall if he was at the court 7 hearing on the 9th? 8 A. I believe he was. I'm not certain of it. 9 The other person would have been a translator at 10 some of these dinners. I can't remember which 11 ones. 12 Q. Were there any other individuals there 13 involved with HRAGI or Prevezon work beyond the 14 people you've mentioned? 15 MR. L\bVY: When you say "there," you're 16 talking about now? 17 MR. DAVIS: You're right. At the hearing.18 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:19 A. The hearing. Before you were asking about 20 the dinners, right? 21 Q. I was.22 A. Now you're asking about the hearing. I 23 just want to be clear. Well, it was a crowded 24 hearing and there may have been other people 25 involved. I mean, I remember specifically pretty
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1831 much most of the Baker legal team was there, 2 Natalia was there, I believe she -- I believe 3 Anatoli was her translator for that. There was 4 some other people who I think were also from Baker 5 Hostetler who were there. Former Attorney General 6 Mukasey was arguing for Prevezon. So I just 7 remember that there were lawyers -- people who I 8 believed were lawyers who were there to watch the 9 argument and maybe had some connection to the case. 10 There was another associate I think from New York 11 who was there, usually came to some of the Court 12 hearings. That's all I remember. 13 Q. And the first dinner on the 8th were there 14 any other attendees?15 A. I don't remember. I think \fohn Moscow 16 might have been there. 17 Q. And the second dinner on the 10th, were 18 there any other attendees beyond the ones you've 19 already described?20 A. I don't recall. My wife. 21 Q. You mentioned that information Fusion had 22 gathered may have been passed on to the HRAGI 23 people via Baker Hostetler or if they instructed 24 you to that you would have. Did you have any 25 expectation that that would reasonably result in
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1841 them influencing U.S. policy?2 A. I can't say that I would have specifically 3 expected anything from that. I was acting -- 4 lawyers hire me to do research for them, the 5 research is their property or their client's 6 property, it's not mine. So if they want me to 7 provide it to somebody else, it's their 8 information. So I would -- it's a fairly 9 ministerial thing. I'm not sure I would have an 10 expectation of any sort of specific result from 11 that. 12 Q. But you did understand HRAGI to be 13 lobbying on the Hill? 14 A. They were registered to lobby on the Hill. 15 So I believe that's what they were doing, yeah. 16 Q. And did you understand that your actions 17 on behalf of Prevezon or Baker Hostetler would 18 principally benefit the Russian government? Who 19 did you believe the principal beneficiary to be? 20 MR. L\bVY: I'd like to note for the record 21 that Patrick is smiling as he's asking the 22 question. You can answer. 23 MR. MUS\b: He's trying to contain his 24 laughter. 25 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1851 A. We did not believe that was being done on 2 behalf of the Russian government. 3 Q. What do you understand Prevezon's 4 relationship, if any, to be with the Russian 5 government?6 A. Prevezon was introduced to me as the 7 client and Denis Katsyv was the owner of Prevezon. 8 Generally speaking, when we take on a new case, you 9 know, from a respected law firm part of the, you 10 know, discussion is who's the client, and, you 11 know, Mark Cymrot said they've checked out Denis 12 Katsyv and he has -- he's a legitimate businessman. 13 He's got a real estate company, it's a successful 14 company, and he has an explanation for how he makes 15 his money and appears to be legit. To some extent 16 whenever you enter a new case that's part of what 17 you're being hired to determine is whether that 18 initial due diligence stands up, but in any event, 19 he was presented to me as a successful real estate 20 investor. 21 As I say, I worked with Baker Hostetler for a 22 number of years and it's a conservative midwestern 23 law firm with a lot of respected people in it, and 24 part of the obligations of lawyers in this country 25 and now in a lot of other countries is to determine
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1861 where their money comes from and who their clients 2 are and whether their clients are involved in 3 criminal activity. I don't remember the exact 4 specifics of our discussions of these matters, but 5 one of the issues was whether he's a legitimate 6 businessman. 7 Q. Did you ever receive a letter of inquiry 8 from the Department of \fustice regarding the 9 applicability of the Foreign Agent Registration Act 10 to your work on the Prevezon case or Magnitsky 11 matter?12 A. No, I have not. 13 Q. Did you charge any fees to any other 14 entities or people besides Baker Hostetler for work 15 on the Prevezon or Magnitsky matters?16 A. I don't think so, no. I specifically can 17 tell you I wasn't compensated by this foundation or 18 anybody else involved in any of the lobbying. 19 Q. At the time of this \fune -- early \fune 20 trip to New York had you already engaged Mr. Steele 21 to do work on Mr. Trump's involvement with Russia?22 A. I don't specifically remember. As I 23 mentioned, the actual agreements are handled by 24 other people on my staff. 25 Q. Which employees and associates of Fusion
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1871 worked on the project investigating then candidate 2 Donald Trump? 3 MR. L\bVY: We can give you that information 4 at the end of the interview. 5 MR. DAVIS: Why at the end of the interview? 6 MR. L\bVY: I just want to make sure that 7 employees involved in this matter are protected. 8 We've had death threats come to the company. We'll 9 be happy to cooperate with the committee and give 10 the names of those people. I just want to do it 11 outside of this transcript, unless you're going to 12 assure me the transcript is going to be kept 13 confidential.14 MR. FOST\bR: Let's go back to the previous 15 question. What was the previous question? 16 MR. DAVIS: Whether he'd already started 17 working with Mr. Steele during the time of the --18 MR. FOST\bR: During the time of the meetings 19 in early \fune, right? And your answer was? 20 MR. SIMPSON: I don't know. 21 MR. FOST\bR: Do you have -- you said you 22 don't handle those issues at the company. 23 MR. SIMPSON: That's right. 24 MR. FOST\bR: So your company does have 25 records that would establish that fact?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1881 MR. SIMPSON: We keep books and records. We 2 should have records of agreements and things, yeah.3 MR. FOST\bR: So did you not review any of 4 those in preparation for today? 5 MR. L\bVY: What he reviewed is privileged.6 MR. FOST\bR: Have you reviewed them -- I'm 7 not asking if you reviewed them with counsel. Have 8 you reviewed them recently? 9 MR. L\bVY: If he reviewed anything to prepare 10 for this interview it would have been at the 11 direction of counsel and attorney work product. 12 MR. FOST\bR: So you do or don't know whether 13 you have such records that would identify the 14 date -- the precise dates of the engagements? 15 MR. L\bVY: We will --16 MR. FOST\bR: I'm just asking what he knows. 17 MR. L\bVY: I think he's told you. Go ahead.18 MR. SIMPSON: I'll just restate that we run 19 a -- it's a reasonably well-run company, we keep 20 books and records. So, you know, those kinds of 21 things are kept in our corporate files. 22 BY MR. DAVIS:23 Q. Did Baker Hostetler or Prevezon pay for 24 your travel to New York for the meetings in \fune of 25 2016?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1891 MR. L\bVY: The meetings? 2 MR. DAVIS: The dinner after the hearing.3 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:4 A. The purpose of the trip was the hearing. 5 It was routine for me to attend hearings. So I 6 would bill them -- my office would bill them for my 7 train trips and hotels depending on whether there 8 was -- whether it was specifically for the Prevezon 9 case. I don't know if -- I don't know for a fact 10 that we billed them. 11 Q. Did you travel with any other members of 12 the Prevezon team either to or from New York?13 A. I don't think so. 14 Q. So I think you've already stated that \bd 15 Baumgartner worked on both projects, on the 16 Prevezon project and another Trump investigation. 17 To the best of your knowledge, does Mr. Baumgartner 18 know Rinat Akhmetshin?19 A. I don't know. I'd just like to clarify, 20 you know, my recollection is that \bd worked -- the 21 Prevezon thing wound down and I don't think I 22 brought \bd on until it was either ending or had 23 already ended. 24 Q. Can you clarify the time frame for when it 25 was winding down?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1901 MR. L\bVY: Talk about what the "it" was when 2 you say "it."3 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:4 A. The hearing was on \fune 9th, I guess we 5 said, and that was the culmination of a long 6 controversy over whether Browder was going to have 7 to testify and whether, you know, we had to be 8 disqualified and, you know, there was a whole 9 series of media attacks on us during that period 10 from Browder. Then nothing happened after that and 11 that was, you know, sort of the peak of that. It 12 was after that that a lot of the issues involving 13 Russia and the campaign started to heat up. 14 Q. Was there any overlap between the 15 employees from Fusion who were working on the Trump 16 investigation and the Prevezon case?17 A. I think the primary employees did not 18 overlap, but I can't tell you that there was a 19 Chinese wall of separation. Various people 20 specialize in certain things and can contribute 21 ad hoc to something. 22 Q. And you worked on both, correct? 23 A. Yes, I did. 24 Q. You previously mentioned that Fusion had 25 hired subcontractors beyond Mr. Steele to work on
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1911 the Trump project. Was there any overlap of other 2 subcontractors between the Trump investigation and 3 the Prevezon work?4 A. Not to my recollection. 5 Q. And had Fusion worked with Mr. Steele 6 prior to this project regarding Mr. Trump?7 A. Yes. 8 Q. And had you previously paid him or Orbis?9 A. I believe so, yeah. 10 Q. And had Fusion been paid by him or Orbis 11 as well?12 A. Yes, I believe so. 13 Q. And are you aware of any interactions 14 Mr. Steele had with the FBI prior to his work on 15 the investigation of Mr. Trump and his associates? 16 MR. MUS\b: Could you repeat that? 17 MR. DAVIS: Are you aware of any interactions 18 with Mr. Steele with the FBI prior to his work on 19 the investigation of Mr. Trump and his association?20 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:21 A. I was not at the time, but I am now. 22 Q. Did you have reason to believe that in his 23 prior position within British intelligence he would 24 have interacted with the FBI?25 A. Yes, he's told me that.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1921 Q. Do you believe that the FBI generally 2 considers sources more credible if they have 3 previously provided reliable information?4 A. That's my understanding. 5 Q. Was Mr. Steele's reportedly successful 6 history in working with the FBI a factor in 7 deciding to hire Orbis for the Trump project? 8 A. No. 9 Q. Do you know Christopher Burrows?10 A. Yes. 11 Q. Do you know if he worked on the Trump- 12 Russia project with Orbis?13 A. I do not. 14 Q. Do you know Sir Andrew Wood?15 A. No. 16 Q. Are you aware he's an associate of Orbis 17 Business Intelligence?18 A. I am aware of that as of now. I didn't 19 know it -- I don't know when I learned of it, but I 20 didn't know it last year, much of last year. 21 Q. Did Fusion ask Orbis to undertake other 22 actions beyond preparing the memoranda containing 23 the allegations regarding Mr. Trump and his 24 associates?25 A. Not that I specifically -- I'm sorry. In
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1931 connection with that engagement? 2 Q. In connection with that engagement.3 A. Not that I specifically recall.4 Q. Did you communicate with Mr. Steele other 5 than through these memos? Did you have phone calls 6 and e-mails with him?7 A. Mostly we spoke by phone. 8 MR. FOST\bR: You did also e-mail with him?9 MR. SIMPSON: Nothing -- I don't believe I 10 had anything substantive. \b-mail security is a 11 major problem. So, generally speaking, we would 12 try to communicate telephonically on an encrypted 13 line. 14 MR. FOST\bR: Did you have another method of 15 communicating with him via text. 16 MR. SIMPSON: I mean, we used encrypted 17 methods of communicating. Part of the security 18 concern we have involve there's been a lot of 19 attempts to break into our systems. So I prefer 20 not to get into a lot of that, but suffice to say 21 we use secured encrypted systems. 22 MR. FOST\bR: Regardless of the details of how 23 you did, do you retain copies of written 24 communications that you may have engaged with him 25 through some other secure method?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1941 MR. SIMPSON: Generally not. 2 MR. FOST\bR: You have not retained?3 MR. SIMPSON: Generally we use things that 4 can't be stolen because they no longer exist. 5 MR. FOST\bR: Disappearing messages, auto 6 deleting messages? Is that correct?7 MR. SIMPSON: That sort of thing, yes, that's 8 correct. 9 MR. FOST\bR: I just needed a verbal answer. 10 MR. SIMPSON: Yeah. Sorry.11 BY MR. DAVIS:12 Q. You previously mentioned the relationship 13 with Mr. Steele was more collaborative than a 14 manager-employee and I think you referenced 15 mentioning as an example Paul Manafort's been named 16 campaign chairman, what do you know about him. Did 17 you collaborate with Mr. Steele on the content of 18 the memos even if he did the drafting?19 A. No, generally speaking. I was managing a 20 much bigger project and he's a reliable provider. 21 So I did very little tasking. 22 Q. You mentioned other subcontractors were 23 focusing on other regions in which the Trump 24 organization has business. Were those other 25 subcontractors retained until the election or how
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1951 long did their engagements last?2 A. It was ad hoc. So as things came we said 3 can we find someone in Latin America, give them an 4 assignment, they'd complete the assignment. If 5 there's no more to do, stop. So it's hard to 6 generalize. 7 Q. One point I'd like to clarify from 8 Ms. Sawyer's questioning. I believe you said that 9 Mr. Steele had told you that the FBI had a source 10 from inside the Trump organization and I believe 11 she referred to a source from inside the Trump 12 campaign. Do you know which is the accurate --13 MR. L\bVY: He's not going to get into the 14 details of that source. 15 MR. DAVIS: I'm not asking for any particular 16 details. It was characterized differently by you 17 and by counsel. I just wanted to make sure.18 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:19 A. I don't know. 20 MR. FOST\bR: So you don't know whether it was 21 the organization or the campaign, in other words?22 MR. SIMPSON: That's correct. 23 MR. FOST\bR: Meaning the business versus the 24 campaign. 25 BY MR. DAVIS:
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1961 Q. And did Mr. Steele tell you that the FBI 2 had relayed this information to him?3 A. He didn't specifically say that. 4 Q. I'm going to have you take a look at one 5 of the filings --6 MR. FOST\bR: I thought you said earlier that 7 he did say the FBI told him. 8 MR. SIMPSON: I think I was saying we did not 9 have the detailed conversations where he would 10 debrief me on his discussions with the FBI. He 11 would say very generic things like I saw them, they 12 asked me a lot of questions, sounds like they have 13 another source or they have another source. He 14 wouldn't put words in their mouth. 15 (\bxhibit 4 was marked for 16 identification.)17 BY MR. DAVIS:18 Q. I'm going to have you take a look at one 19 of the filings by Mr. Steele's attorneys in the 20 lawsuit against him and Orbis in the United 21 Kingdom. This will be \bxhibit 4. If you could 22 please turn to page 2 and read paragraph No. 8. 23 That paragraph states "At all material times Fusion 24 was subject to an obligation not to disclose to 25 third parties confidential intelligence material
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1971 provided to it by the Defendants in the course of 2 that working relationship without the agreement of 3 the Defendants." Is that a correct description of 4 your understanding of how the material was to be 5 treated? 6 MR. MUS\b: There's also a context to that who 7 the Defendants are in other such matters. 8 MR. DAVIS: Sure. The Defendants are Orbis 9 Business Intelligence Limited and Christopher 10 Steele.11 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:12 A. What's the question? 13 Q. Is that an accurate description of what 14 you understood the obligations to be with that 15 material?16 A. I mean, that's hard for me to answer. 17 There's a mutual expectation of confidentiality, 18 and if that's what you read that as saying, then 19 yes, there's a mutual expectation of 20 confidentiality. 21 Q. Was that expectation established by 22 contract? 23 MR. L\bVY: We're not going to talk about 24 contracts with clients. 25 BY MR. DAVIS:
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1981 Q. Was it established by practice?2 A. I guess I'll just reiterate we do 3 confidential work together and we treat all matters 4 as confidential. He's pretty good at sticking to 5 that and so am I. 6 Q. Was any of the information included in the 7 memoranda Orbis prepared during the Trump 8 investigation not considered "confidential 9 intelligence" under this understanding such that 10 Fusion was not required to obtain Orbis's 11 permission in order to disclose it?12 A. I don't really understand the question. 13 Q. I'm saying if the understanding is that 14 you weren't to disclose confidential intelligence 15 material, were the memos confidential intelligence 16 material, the dossier memos?17 A. They're confidential, yes. 18 MR. MUS\b: Hold on one second. Here's the 19 mischief that's created by that. Someone else is 20 sending this and you're asking what they mean. 21 There may be direct answers to those questions if 22 you ask direct questions, but to do it in the frame 23 of reference of someone else putting forth a piece 24 of evidence, which this is, it inevitably creates 25 confusion. The reference to the document adds
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 1991 nothing to his knowledge. It's just simply a point 2 of reference by you, but it doesn't add anything to 3 what he might be saying. So I think the better way 4 to get at it is simply to ask direct questions. 5 MR. DAVIS: There are two parties to this, at 6 least, and we've got one's description. I'd like 7 to know if he agrees with that description. 8 MR. MUS\b: But even within what do they mean 9 by this is the question. I mean, what do they mean 10 by this sort of paragraph. You're asking him for 11 an interpretation. He can answer questions about 12 the relationship. 13 MR. DAVIS: I'm asking him to give an 14 interpretation of their agreement in terms of what 15 he did. 16 MR. MUS\b: And therein lies the problem. 17 MR. DAVIS: But if it's an agreement to which 18 he's a party, there's a basis for that 19 understanding. 20 MR. MUS\b: I don't think that's the way the 21 rule works. 22 MR. FOST\bR: Well, I think the bigger 23 mischief from my point of view is the fact that 24 we're trying to get an understanding of what the 25 contractual relationship was. You're telling us
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2001 you're not going to provide us with details about 2 that contractual relationship, you're not going to 3 provide us with copies of any nondisclosure 4 agreements, contracts we've asked for and we don't 5 have. So we're asking him for his understanding of 6 what obligations he had. 7 MR. L\bVY: And that's outside the scope of 8 this interview. Go ahead. 9 MS. SAWY\bR: Can I in general ask that you 10 guys all speak up a little bit because we're right 11 under the blower. 12 MR. L\bVY: Will do. 13 MR. FOST\bR: The record will reflect we are 14 not raising our voices. 15 To be clear, you're instructing him not to 16 answer that question because you think it's outside 17 the scope of what he agreed to come here to talk 18 about voluntarily? 19 MR. L\bVY: That's not what I said. You had 20 made a comment about contracts, and I just wanted 21 to make sure that obviously the Chair and the 22 Ranking Member have agreed those questions are not 23 part of the scope of this interview. That said, 24 I've now forgotten what the pending question was. 25 So if Patrick wants to restate it he can and we can
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2011 evaluate it. 2 MR. DAVIS: Sure. In general we're asking 3 questions about distribution of the material within 4 the dossier which was the scope of the agreement. 5 If you look at page 4 of that same exhibit, 6 paragraph 30, Steele's attorneys state "The 7 Defendants" -- and again, that's Orbis Business 8 Intelligence and Christopher Steele -- "did not 9 however provide any of the pre-election memoranda 10 to any of the media or journalists, nor did they 11 authorize anyone to do so, nor did they provide the 12 confidential December memorandum to media 13 organizations or journalists, nor did they 14 authorize anyone to do so." 15 To the best of your knowledge, did Orbis ever 16 authorize Fusion to make any disclosures of the 17 memoranda to the media? 18 MR. L\bVY: \fust before we get into this 19 question, this paragraph began with a sentence you 20 did not read and it says "In the first sentence of 21 subparagraph 8.2.5 as noted." I don't know what 22 they're referring to. Maybe you do. Can you show 23 us that? 24 MR. DAVIS: I don't have that with me at the 25 moment, but I'll see if we can find it. Regardless,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2021 did Orbis ever authorize you to share the memoranda 2 with the media?3 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:4 A. I'm not sure I can answer this in -- I'm 5 not sure I know the answer to this. 6 MR. L\bVY: If you don't know, then...7 MR. SIMPSON: It's a little confusing.8 MR. FOST\bR: You don't know whether or not 9 Orbis or Mr. Steele authorized you to distribute 10 the memos to the media?11 MR. SIMPSON: I think what I would like to 12 say is that we had discussions about, you know, 13 information as opposed to memos and, you know, at 14 various times in talking to reporters about the 15 Trump-Russia connection, you know, things -- those 16 discussions would be informed by what's in the 17 memos.18 MR. FOST\bR: So are you saying that you may 19 have provided information from the memos to the 20 media without discussing whether or not -- without 21 getting permission specifically From Mr. Steele or 22 Orbis?23 MR. SIMPSON: What I'm saying is we discussed 24 that. No. I'm saying we discussed generally the 25 wisdom of answering questions from reporters about
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2031 different matters, what we could say and what we 2 couldn't say.3 MR. FOST\bR: And in those discussions did he 4 ever authorize you to discuss the information 5 contained in the memoranda with the media?6 MR. SIMPSON: As I've stated before, this is 7 not a master-servant relationship. We worked 8 together. Sometimes he's working for my clients, 9 sometimes I'm working for his. So we might jointly 10 make a decision, but it's not a sort of can I do 11 this, yes you can do that kind of relationship. So 12 if they -- so I hope that's responsive.13 MR. FOST\bR: So did you ever share either the 14 memos or the content of the memos with the media 15 independently of him without having discussed it 16 with him?17 MR. SIMPSON: I think what I said was I had 18 spoken with reporters over the course of the summer 19 and through the fall about the investigations by 20 the government and the controversy over connections 21 between -- alleged connections between the Trump 22 campaign and the Russians. Some of what we 23 discussed was informed by Chris's reporting. So 24 whether that was -- I don't think there's any sense 25 that that was an unauthorized thing to do.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2041 MR. DAVIS: On page 5 --2 MR. FOST\bR: Is it something that you 3 discussed with him that you were doing?4 MR. SIMPSON: We would discuss inquiries that 5 we had received from reporters, yes. 6 MR. FOST\bR: And that you were answering?7 MR. SIMPSON: To the best of our ability. I 8 mean, we obviously didn't tell people about the 9 existence of these things for a long time. 10 BY MR. DAVIS:11 Q. On page 5 of that same exhibit, paragraph 12 32 there's a portion of the sentence -- and I'll 13 just read this for background before we move on to 14 another segment. I think this is relevant for 15 context. There's a portion here in which Steele's 16 attorneys state that he gave -- that the Defendants 17 gave "Off-the-record briefings to a small number of 18 journalists about the pre-election memoranda in 19 late summer/autumn 2016." I'd like to provide 20 \bxhibit 5 which is the second filing by 21 Mr. Steele's attorneys. 22 MS. SAWY\bR: Patrick, you've represented this 23 one as the second filing. Are we sure these are --24 MR. DAVIS: Second for the purpose of this 25 interview, second one we're referencing.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2051 MS. SAWY\bR: Were these documents that were 2 requested or obtained from a third party in the 3 course of the investigation? 4 MR. DAVIS: These were documents that were 5 published in the media. I believe the second one 6 was published by McClatchy. 7 MS. SAWY\bR: And what about the first? 8 MR. DAVIS: That was the one published by the 9 Washington Times. 10 (\bxhibit 5 was marked for 11 identification.)12 BY MR. DAVIS:13 Q. So with the second one on page 8 of 14 \bxhibit 5, under the response to 18 Steele's 15 attorneys state "The journalists initially briefed 16 at the end of September 2016 by the second 17 Defendant and Fusion at Fusion's instruction were 18 from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo 19 News, the New Yorker, and CNN. The second 20 Defendant" -- that would be Mr. Steele -- 21 "subsequently participated in further meetings at 22 Fusion's instruction with Fusion and the New York 23 Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News which 24 took place in mid-October 2016. In each of those 25 cases the briefing was conducted verbally in
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2061 person. In addition, and again at Fusion's 2 instruction, in late October 2016 the second 3 Defendant briefed the journalist from Mother \fones 4 by Skype. No copies of the pre-election memoranda 5 were ever shown or provided to any journalist by or 6 with the authorization of the Defendants. The 7 briefings involved the disclosure of limited 8 intelligence regarding indications of Russian 9 interference in the U.S. election process and the 10 possible coordination of members of Trump's 11 campaign team and Russian government officials." 12 To the best of your knowledge, is that a full 13 and accurate account of all the news organizations 14 with which Fusion and Mr. Steele shared information 15 from the memoranda. 16 A. I'd say it's largely right. 17 Q. Are there any that have been omitted?18 A. Maybe, yeah. 19 MR. L\bVY: \fust say what you know or recall.20 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:21 A. Yeah. I think there's at least one thing 22 misidentified. There might have been another. I 23 can't specifically think of it, but I think this is 24 incomplete, that maybe one of the broadcast 25 networks is misidentified. I just don't have a
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2071 tally of this. It's mostly right. 2 Q. By broadcast network I assume you mean CNN 3 is incorrect, it was a different network?4 A. I think so. 5 Q. Do you recall which network it was? 6 A. I think it was ABC. 7 Q. Did you attend these meetings with 8 Mr. Steele?9 A. Yeah. Yes. 10 Q. Did any other Fusion associates attend?11 A. Possibly, yes. 12 Q. Can you identify them? 13 MR. L\bVY: We can give that to you 14 afterwards. 15 BY MR. DAVIS:16 Q. Do you recall the specific dates of these 17 meetings?18 A. No. 19 Q. I believe the filing says end of September 20 2016. Does that comport with your recollection?21 A. Yes. 22 Q. Was this, as far as you know, before or 23 after Mr. Steele had had his second meeting with 24 the FBI?25 A. I don't remember. Sorry.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2081 Q. Did Mr. Steele ever indicate to you 2 whether the FBI had asked him not to speak with the 3 media?4 A. I remember Chris saying at some point that 5 they were upset with media coverage of some of the 6 issues that he had discussed with him. 7 Q. Sorry. I didn't hear.8 A. He never said they told him he couldn't 9 talk to them. 10 Q. Do you recall which journalists you spoke 11 to at each of these organizations and what 12 information from the memoranda was revealed to 13 each?14 A. I remember some of them and I remember 15 some of the names, yeah, some of the people I 16 talked to and some of these discussions. 17 Q. Can you tell us what those were?18 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that question goes 19 to confidential conversations that's been declined 20 to answer. 21 MR. FOST\bR: Sorry. Confidential what? 22 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that question might 23 implicate privilege and other obligations we've 24 already set forth and he's not going to answer the 25 question.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2091 MR. FOST\bR: What's the privilege? 2 MR. L\bVY: First amendment, confidentiality. 3 MR. FOST\bR: Confidentiality agreement, 4 contractual obligation, is that what you're talking 5 about? 6 MR. L\bVY: No. \fust talking to confidential 7 sources, First Amendment issue. We can discuss it 8 later after the interview. 9 BY MR. DAVIS:10 Q. Mr. Steele's filing indicates that these 11 meetings occurred at Fusion's instruction. Is that 12 correct, did you initiate these meetings and 13 instruct Mr. Steele to participate in them?14 A. I'd just reiterate the nature of our 15 relationship was that we would -- I might propose 16 something and he might agree to do it, but it was 17 not a -- it was not a military style relationship 18 where I gave the orders and he carried them out. 19 Q. Was part of the purpose of your 20 investigation to share information with 21 journalists?22 A. I think that's a fair statement. To the 23 extent -- I mean, I'm sorry. Could you be clear. 24 You mean the project overall? 25 Q. Yes, investigating Mr. Trump and his
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2101 associates.2 A. As I said earlier, in any project, and 3 that would include this one, the objective is to 4 gather relevant information, and some of that 5 information was gathered for other purposes and 6 some of it was gathered for the possibility that it 7 might be useful to the press. 8 Q. Did your client instruct you to have these 9 meetings? 10 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that question might 11 implicate privilege or obligations that we've set 12 forth. 13 BY MR. DAVIS:14 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that 15 Mr. Steele passed any information on to journalists 16 without Fusion?17 A. Without me -- you mean without me 18 participating, without me authorizing it? Can you 19 be more specific? 20 Q. Sure. Let's start without you 21 participating. The filing references meetings that 22 both you and Fusion jointly had with journalists. 23 Do you believe he had any meetings with journalists 24 without you present? 25 MR. L\bVY: Without Mr. Simpson physically
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2111 present? 2 MR. DAVIS: For physical meetings or via 3 Skype, without him aware of them contemporaneously.4 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:5 A. That's a difficult question to answer 6 because I don't know what I don't know, but I don't 7 have any reason to believe that he did anything 8 that I didn't authorize or approve. 9 Q. \fason may have already touched on this, 10 but did Fusion disclose hard copies of the 11 memoranda to any journalists? 12 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that question might 13 implicate privilege or obligations. So he's going 14 to decline to answer that question. 15 MR. FOST\bR: Doesn't the filing say that they 16 did not? 17 MR. L\bVY: While our letter to the committee 18 has said that neither Mr. Simpson nor Fusion GPS 19 provided the dossier to BuzzFeed, Mr. Simpson's 20 going to decline to answer your question 21 respectfully. He's given you a lot of information 22 today. He's not going to answer that question. 23 BY MR. DAVIS:24 Q. Still with \bxhibit 5 on page 2, the 25 responses to 4 and 6. Here the attorneys for Orbis
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2121 and Mr. Steele --2 MR. L\bVY: Where are you again? 3 BY MR. DAVIS:4 Q. Page 2, the response to 4 and to 6. Here 5 the attorneys for Orbis and Mr. Steele state "The 6 duty not to disclose intelligence to third parties 7 without the prior agreement of the Defendants" -- 8 again, that's Orbis and Mr. Steele -- "do not 9 extend to disclosure by Fusion to its clients, 10 although the Defendants understand that copies of 11 the memoranda were not disclosed by Fusion."12 A. Where are you? You're on page 2 -- okay. 13 I see it now. 14 Q. -- "do not extend to disclosure by Fusion 15 to its clients, although the Defendants understand 16 that copies of the memoranda were not disclosed by 17 Fusion to its clients." 18 Further down on that same page in response to 19 a question about whether Fusion's clients, insofar 20 as disclosure to them, was permitted, could 21 themselves disclose the intelligence from Orbis, 22 the filing responds "Defendants understood that the 23 arrangement between Fusion and its clients was that 24 intelligence would not be disclosed." 25 Is that a correct statement of the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2131 relationship between you and the client, did Fusion 2 not disclose the memoranda or information contained 3 there in to its clients? 4 MR. L\bVY: He's not going to get into 5 discussion with the client because of privileges 6 and obligations that might be implicated by the 7 answer to that question. 8 BY MR. DAVIS:9 Q. Do you believe this filing is accurate in 10 those paragraphs? 11 MR. L\bVY: Again, to comment on that he would 12 have to talk about client communications that are 13 privileged and might implicate privilege or 14 obligation were he to answer your question. 15 BY MR. DAVIS:16 Q. Mr. Simpson, do you believe that any 17 confidentiality obligations regarding the memos did 18 not extend to law enforcement and intelligence 19 services?20 A. Yes. I mean, I -- well, in general I 21 think that in the course of any sort of 22 confidential business lawyers or other 23 professionals engage in if they come across 24 information about a possible terrorist attack or a 25 mafia operation they should report it, yes, and
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2141 that that is, in fact, not covered by ordinary 2 confidentiality. 3 Q. Was Fusion aware of the reports that the 4 FBI considered -- let me rephrase. Was Fusion 5 aware that the FBI considered paying Mr. Steele to 6 investigate Mr. Trump and his associates?7 A. When? 8 Q. At any time. 9 MR. L\bVY: When you say "paying," what do you 10 mean by that? 11 MR. DAVIS: Providing money. 12 MR. L\bVY: For a fee? Are you talking about 13 reimbursements? 14 MR. DAVIS: Fees or reimbursements in this 15 context.16 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:17 A. We've learned that. We know that now. In 18 fact, it was --19 MR. L\bVY: Learned what?20 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:21 A. Well, we learned -- sometime after the 22 election we learned that Chris had discussed 23 working for the FBI on these matters after the 24 election and that that didn't happen. 25 Q. Did Mr. Steele discuss that with you at
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2151 the time?2 A. He didn't discuss it -- I don't remember 3 exactly when he mentioned this to me, but he 4 mentioned to me at some point I think after the 5 election that he had discussed this with them.6 MR. FOST\bR: So prior to news reports to that 7 effect? In other words, you learned it from him 8 not from the news; is that right? 9 MR. L\bVY: Wait. You asked two different 10 questions. I'm trying to figure out which one you 11 want him to answer. 12 MR. FOST\bR: The last one. 13 MR. L\bVY: What was the last one? 14 MR. FOST\bR: You learned it from the news and 15 not from him? Are you saying you learned it from 16 him? 17 MR. L\bVY: Learned what from him?18 MR. FOST\bR: That he discussed with the FBI 19 having the FBI pay Mr. Steele.20 MR. SIMPSON: I don't remember. 21 MR. L\bVY: The witness is yawning. Let's 22 take a break. 23 MR. MUS\b: We will attribute that to fatigue 24 as opposed to the questions.25 MR. FOST\bR: Let's go off the record. It is
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2161 3:55. 2 (A short break was had.)3 MR. DAVIS: We'll go back on the record. 4 It's now 4:05. We'll continue with the questions. 5 BY MR. DAVIS:6 Q. Mr. Simpson, did anyone from Fusion ever 7 communicate with the FBI regarding information in 8 the memoranda or other allegations regarding 9 Mr. Trump and his associates?10 A. From Fusion, did anyone from Fusion 11 communicate with the FBI? No, no one from Fusion 12 ever spoke with the FBI, to the best of my 13 knowledge. 14 Q. Did you ever exchange any e-mails with 15 them?16 A. We did not communicate with them by e-mail 17 either. 18 Q. Do you know any current or former FBI 19 personnel? 20 MR. L\bVY: As a general matter? 21 MR. DAVIS: Yeah, as a general matter.22 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:23 A. As a general matter I'm sure I do. I know 24 current and former law enforcement officials. I go 25 to a lot of crime conferences and things like
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2171 that. 2 Q. Were any of them consulted as part of this 3 investigation?4 A. Not to my recollection. 5 Q. Was the amount of Fusion's compensation in 6 the Trump investigation dependent on the FBI 7 initiating an investigation of Mr. Trump or his 8 associates?9 A. No. 10 Q. Was the amount of Orbis's compensation 11 dependent on the FBI initiating an investigation of 12 Mr. Trump and his associates?13 A. No. 14 Q. Other than Senator McCain, who we'll 15 discuss later, did Fusion or Orbis disclose any of 16 the memoranda information contained therein or 17 related information from Mr. Steele with any 18 elected officials or staff in Congress?19 A. I don't recall having done so, no. 20 Q. If we could turn briefly back to \bxhibits 21 4 and 5. I just want to reference two things. 22 MR. L\bVY: I also want to clarify in the 23 premise of that question there were factual 24 assertions made that may or may not be true to 25 which the witness did not respond.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2181 MR. DAVIS: Sure. Understood. To be clear, 2 we obviously were not referencing any disclosures 3 to this committee as part of the committee's 4 inquiry. 5 BY MR. DAVIS:6 Q. So on \bxhibit 4, page 3, paragraph 21A, 7 Mr. Steele's attorneys state that the post-election 8 dossier memoranda was provided to a senior United 9 Kingdom government national security official 10 acting in his official capacity. In \bxhibit 5 on 11 page 2 -- I'm sorry -- page 5, the response to 13 12 similarly references disclosing that memoranda to 13 the UK national security official. 14 Mr. Simpson, to the best of your knowledge, 15 were the memoranda or information contained therein 16 disclosed to foreign governments?17 A. I have no knowledge of this beyond what 18 you're showing me. I can tell you about, you know, 19 what I know about Chris's encounter with David 20 Kramer and how all that came about. If Chris 21 specifically said something to me about showing 22 this to one of his government officials I don't 23 remember it. So...24 MR. L\bVY: Why don't you walk them through.25 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2191 A. If you want to know the rest of the story, 2 I'm happy to walk you through it. 3 Q. Sure, we can do that.4 A. So after the election obviously we were as 5 surprised as everyone else and Chris and I were 6 mutually concerned about whether the United States 7 had just elected someone who was compromised by a 8 hostile foreign power, more in my case whether the 9 election had been tainted by an intervention by the 10 Russian intelligence services, and we were, you 11 know, unsure what to do. Initially we didn't do 12 anything other than to discuss our concerns, but we 13 were gravely concerned. 14 At some point a few weeks after the election 15 Chris called me and said that he had received an 16 inquiry from David Kramer, who was a long-time 17 advisor to Senator McCain, and that according to -- 18 Kramer told Chris that he had run into Sir Andrew 19 Wood at a security conference in Halifax, 20 Nova Scotia and that Kramer was accompanying 21 Senator McCain to this conference and that the 22 three of them had had an unscheduled or unplanned 23 encounter where the issue of this research was 24 discussed and the essence of it, I guess, was 25 conveyed to Senator McCain and to David Kramer from
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2201 Andrew Wood. I don't remember whether Andrew 2 Wood's name was specifically given to me by 3 Christopher Steele at that time. It was later 4 given to me. It later became an accepted fact that 5 Chris had mentioned him to me. I believe he 6 probably mentioned it. 7 But anyway, he did say someone that he worked 8 with in the past who was a former UK government 9 official with experience in Russia had had this 10 conversation with David Kramer and \fohn McCain and 11 that Senator McCain had followed up on it as to 12 what more there was to know about these 13 allegations, this information. 14 So Chris asked me do you know David Kramer, 15 and I said yes, I've known David Kramer for a long 16 time. David Kramer is part of a small group of 17 people that I'm sort of loosely affiliated with. 18 We've all worked on Russia and are very concerned 19 about kleptocracy and human rights and the police 20 state that Russia has become, in particular the 21 efforts of the Russians to corrupt and mess with 22 our political system. So we shared this concern 23 going back to when I was at the Wall Street \fournal 24 and that's how I met David. He was working at the 25 State Department as assistant secretary for human
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2211 rights, and I was reporting on human rights and 2 corruption in Russia. 3 So I told Chris he's legit. David is someone 4 I've known for a long time and he knows a lot about 5 these issues and he's very concerned about Putin 6 and the Kremlin and the rise of the new Russia and 7 criminality and kleptocracy. So he said, well, can 8 we trust him? And I said yes, I think we can trust 9 him. He says he wants information to give to 10 Senator McCain so that Senator McCain can ask 11 questions about it at the FBI, with the leadership 12 of the FBI. That was essentially -- all we sort of 13 wanted was for the government to do its job and we 14 were concerned about whether the information that 15 we provided previously had ever, you know, risen to 16 the leadership level of the FBI. We simply just 17 didn't know. It was our belief that Director Comey 18 if he was aware -- if he was made aware of this 19 information would treat it seriously. 20 Again, at this time, you know, while we 21 believed that we had very credible reporting here, 22 you know, what we really -- we just wanted people 23 in official positions to ascertain whether it was 24 accurate or not. You know, we just felt that was 25 our obligation. So I said to Chris I think we can
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2221 trust him, and he said okay. Well, he was here, I 2 met with him, and I told him what happened. Now 3 he's back in Washington and, you know, I'm going to 4 hand him to you. 5 I don't remember whether I called David or 6 David called me, I just don't remember, but we got 7 in touch and he, you know, asked me -- we met. 8 Q. And after you met how did he -- did you 9 provide the memoranda to --10 MR. L\bVY: Sorry. Finish your question. 11 BY MR. DAVIS:12 Q. -- did you provide the memoranda to him? 13 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that question might 14 implicate privilege and other obligations. So he's 15 going to decline to answer the question. 16 BY MR. DAVIS:17 Q. Did Mr. Steele represent to you that Orbis 18 or Mr. Wood had initiated this contact with 19 Mr. Kramer and Mr. McCain to share the dossier 20 information?21 A. Well, that has two parts on that question. 22 I think I can answer the first part which I think 23 answers the second. Anyway, he did not describe 24 this as having been initiated by Orbis. He 25 described this as a chance encounter at a security
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2231 conference where, you know, someone who had some 2 knowledge of these matters shared it with Senator 3 McCain and David Kramer and that caused David 4 Kramer to follow up with Chris and that it was 5 passive. In other words, it was initiated by 6 Mr. Kramer. 7 Q. Did Mr. Steele describe anyone else being 8 involved at the Halifax international security 9 conference in this discussion?10 A. Not that I can recall. 11 Q. According to the official attendee list 12 for that conference, Mr. Akhmetshin was also there. 13 To the best of your knowledge, was he involved in 14 any capacity in the effort to discuss the dossier 15 information with Mr. Kramer and Mr. McCain?16 A. That's the first time I've received that 17 information. So I don't have any knowledge. 18 Q. And you haven't spoken with Mr. Akhmetshin 19 about that, I assume?20 A. No. 21 Q. In addition to the disclosures we have 22 already discussed, to whom did Fusion GPS provide 23 the memoranda, information contained therein, or 24 related information from Orbis? 25 MR. L\bVY: Beyond what you've discussed?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2241 MR. DAVIS: Anyone we've left out. 2 MR. L\bVY: The answer to that might implicate 3 privilege or other obligations. So he's going to 4 decline to answer the question. 5 BY MR. DAVIS:6 Q. To the extent there's any portion of the 7 answer to that question that would not implicate 8 those privileges, I would ask that you reveal 9 those.10 A. I'm not sure I see how I could answer that 11 question without getting into privileged areas. 12 MR. FOST\bR: Again, what privilege? 13 MR. L\bVY: We can discuss it at the end. 14 It's a voluntary interview. He's declining to 15 answer that. 16 BY MR. DAVIS:17 Q. Did any Fusion employees communicate with 18 any foreign governments or foreign intelligence 19 agencies about the memoranda or the information 20 contained therein?21 A. I don't believe so, certainly not 22 knowingly. 23 Q. Did you and Mr. Steele ever discuss any 24 communications he had with foreign government 25 officials about the information in the memoranda?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2251 A. It would be difficult -- nothing specific 2 that I recall. There are parts of the memos that 3 talk about information that foreign government 4 officials provided in the course of their research, 5 but beyond what's in the memos I don't really have 6 any recollection. 7 Q. Do you know who paid for Mr. Steele's trip 8 to Rome to meet with the FBI?9 A. I have read recently that -- I think in a 10 letter from Senator Grassley that the FBI 11 reimbursed the expense, but to be clear, I mean, 12 that's it. He was, to my knowledge, not been 13 compensated for that work or any other work during 14 this time. 15 MR. FOST\bR: I'm sorry. You're saying that 16 Fusion did not pay for the trip? 17 MR. L\bVY: Go ahead and answer the question. 18 MR. SIMPSON: I don't think we did. I have 19 no information that we paid for it. Again, this 20 sort of emphasizes, you know, the point I was 21 making earlier which was this was something that I 22 considered to be something that Chris took on on 23 his own based on his professional obligations and 24 not something that was part of my project. So it 25 makes sense to me that he was reimbursed by them,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2261 not us. 2 BY MR. DAVIS:3 Q. To clarify, you were saying his 4 interactions with the FBI were not part of your 5 project?6 A. They obviously grew out of the project, 7 but as he explained it to me, you know, when you 8 learn things in your daily life that raise national 9 security considerations you're obligated to report 10 them. So that wouldn't have anything to do with my 11 client's goals or project. 12 Q. But in your briefings with journalists you 13 did reference his interactions -- Mr. Steele's 14 interactions with the FBI, correct?15 A. At some point that occurred, but I don't 16 believe it occurred until very late in the 17 process. 18 Q. Can you estimate when in the process?19 A. It was probably the last few days before 20 the election or immediately thereafter. 21 Q. So the meetings in September that you 22 referenced, you didn't reveal Mr. Steele passing on 23 information to the FBI? 24 MR. L\bVY: Can you repeat the question. 25 Sorry.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2271 MR. DAVIS: So in your meetings with 2 journalists in September you didn't reference 3 Mr. Steele's interactions with the FBI or passing 4 on of information to them?5 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:6 A. I don't recall. 7 MR. DAVIS: I think my hour is up. 8 MR. FOST\bR: Off the record at 4:21. 9 (A short break was had.)10 MS. SAWY\bR: We'll go back on the record. 11 It's 4:30. 12 \bXAMINATION13 BY MS. SAWY\bR:14 Q. I wanted to return to our conversation 15 about interactions that Mr. Steele had with the 16 FBI. We had been talking about a second time he 17 met in Rome. Besides that meeting and the first 18 meeting in early \fuly, are you aware of any other 19 meetings or conversations that Mr. Steele had with 20 the FBI?21 A. I think I was just recounting that he 22 vaguely said that he had broken off with them over 23 this concern that we didn't really know what was 24 going on. I'm sorry to be vague, but we just 25 didn't understand what was going on and he said he
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2281 had broken off with them. 2 Q. When you say "we" did not understand what 3 was going on, who are you referring to as the "we"?4 A. Chris and I, mostly just the two of us. 5 There was a lot of public controversy over the 6 conduct of the FBI. I remember discussing it with 7 many people, but this conversation was between the 8 two of us. 9 Q. And what was the time frame of when Steele 10 said he had broken off with the FBI?11 A. I can -- I don't know exactly, but it 12 would have been between October 31st and election 13 day.14 MS. QUINT: October 31st was when you said 15 there was an article --16 MR. SIMPSON: In the New York Times. There 17 was an article in the New York Times on 18 October 31st that created concern about what was 19 going on at the FBI.20 MS. QUINT: Because it wasn't consistent with 21 your understanding of the investigation?22 MR. SIMPSON: \bxactly. 23 BY MS. SAWY\bR:24 Q. And I think, just to be clear, this was an 25 article you had talked about that both revealed
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2291 that Director Comey had alerted Congress to 2 something about the Clinton e-mail investigation?3 A. No. That happened a few days previous. I 4 don't know the exact date that he sent the letter 5 to Congress, but this was an article specifically 6 about -- it was disclosing the existence of an FBI 7 investigation of Trump's ties to Russia, which, to 8 my recollection, was the first time that anyone 9 reported that the FBI was looking at whether the 10 Trump campaign had ties to the Kremlin but at the 11 same time saying that they had investigated this 12 and not found anything, which threw cold water on 13 the whole question through the election. 14 Q. And was that -- just to tie it together 15 when you were talking previously, was that in 16 connection with your conversation with journalists 17 where you directed them to ask the FBI as to 18 whether there was an investigation going on?19 A. I'm not going to get into specific news 20 organizations or reporters or stories, but I would 21 restate that this was during the period when we 22 were encouraging the media to ask questions about 23 whether the FBI was, in fact, investigating these 24 matters. 25 I'll add that, you know, a lot of what we
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2301 were talking to the media about were things in the 2 public record, specifically Carter Page, Paul 3 Manafort had resigned over allegations of illicit 4 relationships with Russian oligarchs and Ukrainian 5 oligarchs. So there was, you know, a lot of open 6 source public information pointing towards the 7 possibility that the Russians had infiltrated the 8 Trump campaign. So we spoke broadly to reporters 9 and encouraged them to look into this. 10 Q. And did you ever come to find out who the 11 journalists had spoken with at the FBI about the 12 existence of an investigation into Russian 13 interference and possible ties to the Trump 14 campaign?15 A. No. 16 Q. So you had indicated that Mr. Steele said 17 he had -- I think your phrase was "broken off" with 18 the FBI. What did you understand that to mean?19 A. That Chris was confused and somewhat 20 disturbed and didn't think he understood the 21 landscape and I think both of us felt like things 22 were happening that we didn't understand and that 23 we must not know everything about, and therefore, 24 you know, in a situation like that the smart thing 25 to do is stand down.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2311 Q. And had he been reaching out affirmatively 2 to the FBI and providing them with information or 3 were they reaching out to him and he was simply 4 responding to their requests?5 A. The first contact was initiated by Chris 6 to someone that he said he knew. 7 Q. And now you're just going back to the \fuly 8 contact?9 A. Yes. The September briefing or debriefing 10 in Rome I believe I understood -- to this day I 11 understand that to have been initiated by the FBI. 12 Subsequent contacts during this period I just don't 13 know. 14 Q. Do you know if there were any contacts 15 after that second meeting in Rome between then and 16 the point in time which occurred sometime between 17 October 31st and the election day when he stopped 18 communicating with the FBI, do you know if there 19 actually were any conversations or meetings between 20 Mr. Steele and the FBI?21 A. He didn't literally tell me about specific 22 contacts. I just recall that there was -- that he 23 broke off, which implies that he told him he didn't 24 want to have anything more to do with them. I 25 believe he also mentioned that they didn't like
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2321 media coverage, that there was media coverage of, 2 you know, FBI interest in Donald Trump. I don't 3 know what it was that they didn't like. 4 Q. And I think you've already answered this 5 question, but to the best of your knowledge, did 6 Mr. Steele ever obtain payment from the FBI for 7 actual research that he was doing on Russian 8 interference or on possible ties between the Trump 9 campaign and Russia?10 A. He told me he did not, and I have no 11 independent information other than what he told me. 12 I don't believe he ever received compensation for 13 working on anything related to Trump and Russia. 14 Q. I'm going to direct your attention back to 15 what we marked as \bxhibit 3, which is the series of 16 memos that you had received from Mr. Steele in the 17 course of his work. We talked about the first memo 18 and we also talked about the second memo to some 19 degree. You were explaining to me why you believed 20 the second memo, which starts at page 41394, came 21 about, why he had generated that report or done 22 that research, and you had indicated that there was 23 much more public reporting on the hacking. I think 24 you had mentioned -- that's when you mentioned 25 Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2331 So with regard to that memo, were there any 2 particular things that you independently verified?3 A. I just need to review it here for a 4 second. 5 Q. Sure. 6 (Reviewing document.)7 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:8 A. Most of this I did not seek to 9 independently verify and was relatively new 10 information. I was aware at the time of 11 connections between Russian intelligence and cyber 12 criminals, and I was aware at the time that the 13 Russian mafia and Russian cyber crime was a 14 subcontractor to the Russian intelligence services. 15 So this comported with my general knowledge of 16 these matters, but a lot of the specifics was new 17 information to me. 18 The only things in here that I specifically 19 recognize from other work or from other research 20 was that the -- the allegation that the telegram 21 encrypted messaging system, which is an app, had 22 been compromised by Russian intelligence and that 23 someone else in the business of cyber security had 24 told me that too who was in a position to know. I 25 don't remember who that was, but I was told that by
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2341 an American. And issues of Russian criminal 2 operations with names like Booktrap and Maddel 3 (phonetic) rings a bell to me or did ring a bell to 4 me at the time. There's been a great deal -- there 5 had been a great deal at this time even of U.S. law 6 enforcement activity against organized Russian 7 cyber crime operations. 8 Q. And this memo which is dated 26 \fuly -- it 9 actually bears the date 2015.10 A. I noticed that. 11 Q. Is that just, as far as you understand it, 12 a typo or mistake? Was it actually 2016?13 A. Yes. 14 Q. Then similarly with what I have -- and I'm 15 just doing it in the order that it was Bates- 16 stamped and appeared on BuzzFeed -- there's a 17 two-page report and it bears the Bates Nos. 41397 18 and 41398 and it has a company report number 19 2016/095. This one has the title "Russia/U.S. 20 Presidential \blection, Further Indications of 21 \bxtensive Conspiracy Between Trump's Campaign Team 22 and the Kremlin." 23 Did you do any independent verification of 24 these facts? 25 A. I did some work on aspects of this. We
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2351 were separately -- you know, my team and myself 2 were separately investigating various things in 3 here. So I can't talk about this as a 4 verification, but I was analyzing this. 5 MR. FOST\bR: Speak up, please. 6 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:7 A. I analyzed this information in the same 8 manner I analyzed the other stuff. 9 Q. So based on the work that you were doing, 10 did any of that independent work that you did alter 11 the content of this?12 A. No. 13 Q. So it was in addition to whatever was 14 provided in this memo, this two-page memo?15 A. Yes, that's right. 16 Q. And to the best that you can recall, can 17 you tell us what you were learning at the same time 18 about the topics covered in this memo? 19 A. Yes. Could I just clarify something? I 20 assume this is exactly how it was published and 21 someone mixed up the sequence of the memos. So the 22 next memo's numbered 94 and is dated \fuly 19th and 23 this one is 95 and is not dated, I don't believe. 24 Maybe that's why they got mixed up. 25 But in any event, what I would loosely call
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2361 the Carter Page memo came before this conspiracy 2 memo. So with that caveat I can say we were 3 investigating just based on open sources and, you 4 know, other methods, more public information Carter 5 Page's trip to Russia. We watched tapes of it, we 6 did background work on Carter Page, I did research 7 on his business dealings, and in the course of 8 trying to analyze -- you know, this is some new 9 detail here about how the operation is working in 10 the Kremlin and how they are trying to use 11 influence and it comports with my knowledge and 12 Chris's knowledge of how the Kremlin does this, 13 which is they offer people business deals as a way 14 to compromise them. And, in fact, you know, to my 15 knowledge, this is a much bigger issue than 16 personal indiscretions when it comes to the way the 17 Kremlin operates and is something I know a fair bit 18 about. 19 So we looked into Carter Page and we also 20 looked into Igor Sechin and whether Sergei Ivanov 21 was in a position to be managing the election 22 operation, which is what 94 talks about, and we 23 determined that he was. I, you know, independently 24 verified he does have a deputy who's very obscure 25 named Igor Divyekin. It's spelled two different
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2371 ways here. I believe the correct spelling is 2 D-I-V-Y-\b-K-I-N. 3 MR. MUS\b: Can you give the Bates number of 4 the document you're looking at. 5 MR. SIMPSON: This one is 41399. 6 BY MS. SAWY\bR:7 Q. And just for the record, it's a two-page 8 document, 41399 to 41400, and it has the date, I 9 think you indicated before, 19 \fuly 2016. Is this 10 the memo that you said you referred to as the 11 Carter Page memo?12 A. Yes. 13 Q. And you were explaining that in the 14 sequencing this one came before the document that 15 actually in terms of Bates numbers --16 A. Right. 17 Q. -- comes before it which we had talked 18 about which had the company report No. 095. So 94 19 came to you before 095 -- report No. 095; is that 20 correct?21 A. That's my recollection. 22 Q. So with regard to the research you were 23 also doing, is it also just true that whatever 24 independent research you were doing did not then 25 get incorporated into document company report
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2381 2016/94, the Carter Page memo?2 A. That's correct. We essentially segregated 3 this reporting from other things we were doing for 4 reasons we discussed earlier. A lot of this is 5 human intelligence, it's not the kind of thing that 6 you would share with almost anyone basically. A 7 lot of the work that we do is public record 8 research. Generally speaking, most of this 9 information is useful for making decisions and 10 trying to understand what's going on, but it's 11 not -- doesn't have much use beyond that unless you 12 can independently verify it. So our reports are 13 full of footnotes and appendices and court records 14 and that sort of thing. 15 Q. So is it fair to characterize the research 16 that you were doing as kind of a separate track of 17 research on the same topic sometimes?18 A. I think so. I wouldn't say it was 19 completely separate because, for instance, on some 20 subjects I knew more than Chris. So when it comes 21 to Paul Manafort, he's a long-time U.S. political 22 figure about whom I know a lot. But his 23 reporting -- you know, so there may have been some 24 bleed between things I told him about someone like 25 Manafort, but most of these characters neither of
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2391 us know much about and it's really just he's 2 faithfully reporting information to him that's 3 being reported to him by his network. 4 In British intelligence the methodology's a 5 little different from American intelligence. 6 There's a practice of being faithful to what people 7 are saying. So these are relatively 8 straightforward recitations of things that people 9 have said. Obviously as we talked about before, 10 you know, disinformation is an issue that Chris 11 wrestles with, has wrestled with his entire life. 12 So if he believed any of this was disinformation, 13 he would have told us. 14 Q. And did he ever tell you that information 15 in any of these memos, that he had concerns that 16 any of it was disinformation?17 A. No. What he said was disinformation is an 18 issue in my profession, that is a central concern 19 and that we are trained to spot disinformation, and 20 if I believed this was disinformation or I had 21 concerns about that I would tell you that and I'm 22 not telling you that. I'm telling you that I don't 23 believe this is disinformation. 24 Q. And then on the memo, the Carter Page 25 memo, which is company report 2016/94, you said
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2401 that you had done -- you, Fusion -- you, Glenn 2 Simpson had done some research into Carter Page, 3 including Mr. Page's business dealings?4 A. Yes. 5 Q. Is that information that you still have?6 A. I don't know. I haven't looked for it. I 7 don't know. 8 Q. You also specifically mentioned Igor 9 Sechin and maybe work that you had done research 10 into Sechin. Is that work that you would also 11 still have?12 A. I don't know if I have anything specific 13 on Sechin. Sechin is a well-known character. I 14 collect, you know, research on various people who 15 are oligarchs or mafia figures. I don't think I 16 have any specific reports on Sechin, but I know a 17 lot about him. He's, you know, sort of Putin's 18 No. 1 compadre in the kleptocracy. 19 Q. And with regard to Carter Page, did you 20 reach any findings, conclusions about his business 21 dealings, about him, about his connections in 22 particular to, you know, Russia? 23 A. Yes. 24 Q. And can you share what those were? 25 A. Carter Page seemed to us to be a typical
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2411 person who the Russians would attempt to co-opt or 2 compromise or manipulate. He was on the younger 3 side, a little bit -- considered to be a striver 4 who was ambitious and not terribly savvy, and those 5 are the kind of people that the Russians tend to 6 compromise. That was the general sense we had. He 7 was also, you know, from early on described as 8 somewhat eccentric. 9 There was a -- I remember quite clearly there 10 was a bit of a -- when we were talking to reporters 11 about him because he was all over the news for this 12 trip to Russia and we had done -- there was a fair 13 amount of open source on his consulting firm, his 14 complaint that he'd lost money on Russian 15 investments and he owned stock in Gazprom and he 16 was really mad about the sanctions and he went over 17 there in this hastily-arranged trip to speak to 18 this school and that was all pretty unusual, but 19 there's a lot of skepticism in the press about 20 whether he could be linked between the Kremlin and 21 the Trump campaign because he seemed like a zero, a 22 lightweight. 23 I remember sort of not being able to kind of 24 explain to people that's exactly why he would end 25 up as someone who they would try to co-opt. Of
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2421 course, you know, when we talk about things in the 2 dossier that are confirmed, this is one of the 3 things that I think really stands out as notable, 4 which is that Chris identified Carter Page as 5 someone who had -- seemed to be in the middle of 6 the campaign, between the Trump campaign and the 7 Kremlin, and he later turned out to be an espionage 8 suspect who was, in fact, someone that the FBI had 9 been investigating for years. 10 Q. So beyond what is in the dossier, did you 11 kind of find any evidence that he had actually been 12 compromised? Now I'm speaking of Carter Page.13 A. Well, the definition of compromised is 14 someone who has been influenced sometimes without 15 even their knowledge. We had reason to believe 16 that he had, in fact, been offered business deals 17 that were -- that would tend to influence him, 18 business arrangements. 19 Q. And do you have the records of those 20 business deals that you had collected?21 A. Yeah. I don't think so. Most of that 22 was, in fact, reporting that we did with other 23 people who knew him from the business world.24 Q. And then just the next memo that we had 25 touched on, 2016/95, it has Bates numbers 41397 to
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2431 398, it does not bear a date on it. Do you recall 2 roughly when you received this particular report?3 A. Sometime in midsummer. 4 Q. The next report, which is 2016/097 which 5 is two pages, has the date of 30 \fuly 2016. \fust 6 by the numbers it would appear to maybe have come 7 between those two. Does it seem logical that it 8 came sometime between \fuly 19th and \fuly 30th?9 A. That seems logical. 10 Q. And then just in general, with regard to 11 this particular memo did you do any research to 12 verify this information that was in this memo? 13 MR. L\bVY: Beyond what he said as a general 14 matter? 15 MR. MUS\b: I'm sorry. You were going back 16 and forth. Which one in particular? 17 MS. SAWY\bR: This is memo No. -- it has 18 Company Intelligence Report 2016/095, it's Bates 19 numbers 41397 and 41398. 20 MR. MUS\b: Thank you. 21 BY MS. SAWY\bR:22 Q. Was there particular information in this 23 memo that you did verify?24 A. One of the things I did, which is pretty 25 typical of how I would sort of analyze things, was
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2441 I looked at the Russian pension system to determine 2 if, in fact, the Russian government was 3 distributing lots of pension payments to Russian 4 immigrants in the United States, and I found some 5 reports from the Social Security Administration and 6 other places describing this system. 7 Basically because everyone in Russia, you 8 know, more or less works for the government, 9 there's a lot of -- there's a large number of 10 Russian emigres in the United States who receive 11 pension payments that are paid through the 12 embassies and various people, Russian lawyers and 13 others who we became interested in in the course of 14 this investigation seem to be involved in that 15 process. I'm not saying they did anything illegal. 16 I'm just saying, you know, we looked at this 17 system, and as someone who does a lot of money 18 laundering work this was an interesting thing that 19 I hadn't heard about. 20 There's all this money flowing in the United 21 States from Russia, it probably flows in under some 22 sort of diplomatic status. So if there's sanctions 23 on Russia and the Russians can't move money in the 24 United States for most things, this would, in fact, 25 be an ideal mechanism for moving money into the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2451 United States for whatever purpose, for some kind 2 of illicit purpose. I think that's a pretty good 3 example of the kind of general work I would do to 4 determine whether there's some base level of 5 credibility to the things we're getting. 6 Q. And in answering that you said that some 7 of the officials that you had identified as 8 involved in this effort seemed to come up with 9 regard to the pension disbursements. Who 10 specifically are you referring to?11 A. We identified a lawyer in Sunny Isles 12 Beach, Florida who said she previously worked for 13 Gazprom and just had on her professional Website or 14 someplace that she was -- she had some kind of 15 relationship with the Russian embassy in dealing 16 with these pension issues. 17 Q. And do you recall that lawyer's name?18 A. I don't. 19 Q. Anyone else besides that individual?20 A. If I could look at this for a second. 21 Q. Sure. 22 (Reviewing document.)23 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:24 A. I don't have a clear recollection of this. 25 I'm sorry. I thought there was another name in
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2461 here that we had looked at, but I don't see it in 2 this memo. 3 Q. To the extent you have records about this 4 and the individual in Sunny Isles, would you at 5 least look for them and let us know whether you 6 would be willing to provide them to the committee? 7 MR. L\bVY: Counsel has the request. 8 BY MS. SAWY\bR:9 Q. \fust moving on to the next memo, which is 10 Company Intelligence Report 2016/097, it bears the 11 Bates Nos. 401 and 41402, it's a two-page memo 12 dated 30 \fuly 2016. Again, when you take a look at 13 that, was there anything that you independently 14 verified that comes out of this memo? 15 (Reviewing document.)16 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:17 A. I don't think so. 18 Q. Okay. Then Company Intelligence Report 19 2016/100, was there any information there that you 20 either independently verified or had independent 21 research on any of the individuals mentioned in 22 there? It mentions Sergei Ivanov, Dmitry Peskov. 23 MR. MUS\b: If I may, some clarification. 24 When you say is there anything that you 25 independently verified that comes out of the memo,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2471 are you talking -- it's a little confusing because 2 the memo comes in, he already knows some 3 information, but I think he's generally said that 4 he's not doing a draft of the memo beforehand and 5 yet your question seems to permit that possibility. 6 MS. SAWY\bR: No. I appreciate the 7 clarification. 8 BY MS. SAWY\bR:9 Q. \fust to be clear, I'm not trying to -- 10 what we're trying to determine is is there 11 information that either you had in your possession 12 that corroborated and verified this or even went 13 beyond what was in this and amplified information 14 on any of these individuals relevant to Russia's 15 interference or possible ties with the Trump 16 campaign?17 A. Yes. I'm trying to be as helpful as I 18 can. The thing that we worked on with regard to 19 Sergei Ivanov, who was the head of what's called 20 the head of administration which we confirmed from 21 open sources is kind of an internal Kremlin 22 intelligence operation, and that Ivanov according 23 to experts on Russia, the Russian military, Russian 24 intelligence, does, in fact, run this internal 25 Kremlin intelligence operation that sort of sits
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2481 atop the FSB and the SVR, the GRU, which are the 2 other agencies specifically tasked with areas of 3 intelligence, military for the GRU, foreign for the 4 SVR, domestic for the FSB. 5 Before I got this memo I didn't know about 6 this internal Kremlin structure. It was either 7 this one or the previous one. So in the course of 8 saying who is this Ivanov guy, you know, we looked 9 at Ivanov and found journal articles and other 10 public information about his long history of 11 intelligence. He's a veteran of the FSB, his long 12 history with Vladimir Putin, and his role atop this 13 internal operation. 14 In particular I remember reading a paper by a 15 superb academic expert whose name is Mark Galeotti, 16 G-A-L-\b-O-T-T-I, who's done a lot of work on the 17 Kremlin's black operations and written quite widely 18 on the subject and is very learned. So that would 19 have given me comfort that whoever Chris is talking 20 to they know what they're talking about. 21 Q. With regard to that just in general, I did 22 want to ask you not to identify based on the 23 particular sources, but did Mr. Steele ever share 24 with you who his sources were? 25 MR. L\bVY: That conversation, if it occurred,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2491 would implicate obligations and he's going to 2 decline to answer that question. 3 MS. SAWY\bR: And is that based just on the -- 4 can you just articulate the obligations so we can 5 understand them. 6 MR. L\bVY: It's a very sensitive security 7 issue and I just don't -- in a transcript where 8 there's no assurance of confidentiality it's not a 9 discussion we want to have here. 10 BY MS. SAWY\bR:11 Q. And do you know whether he shared his 12 sources with the FBI?13 A. I don't. I don't know. 14 MR. FOST\bR: What was the answer?15 MR. SIMPSON: Sorry. I don't know whether he 16 shared his sourcing with the FBI. 17 MS. SAWY\bR: Can we just take a minute. We 18 can go off the record for a minute. 19 (A short break was had.)20 MS. SAWY\bR: \fust with sensitivity toward the 21 lateness of the day and in the interest of time it 22 would just be helpful -- and I'll give you as much 23 time as you need to take a few minutes and, if you 24 could, look through the remaining memos and let us 25 know if anything kind of stood out to you, if there
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2501 were things that either did not ring true at the 2 time and that you were concerned about or things in 3 particular that in addition to what's in here you 4 had independent research about that you could share 5 with the committee in the context of our 6 investigation. Is that a clear request? 7 MR. MUS\b: Heather, may I make a suggestion? 8 MS. SAWY\bR: Sure. 9 MR. MUS\b: Why don't we break for a few 10 minutes so he can look at it, but here's a bigger 11 problem and I don't mean this as criticism 12 particularly with regard to the sensitivity as to 13 time. The difficulty is in summary questions 14 there's sometimes the problem that is created when 15 you try to sort of do a wholesale commentary, 16 particularly after it's been sort of more 17 focused --18 MS. SAWY\bR: I understand where you're going. 19 So yeah. I don't want to put us in a position 20 where --21 MR. L\bVY: Let's just take some time for the 22 witness to review the document. 23 MS. SAWY\bR: Why don't you take a little bit 24 of time. 25 MR. MUS\b: In that spirit maybe you could
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2511 look in case you have a more focused inquiry too. 2 MS. SAWY\bR: We can certainly do that. Why 3 don't we take a five-minute break and I'll ask 4 whatever remaining questions we have on the 5 dossier. 6 MR. FOST\bR: We'll go off the record at 5:11. 7 (A short break was had.)8 MS. SAWY\bR: We're back on the record at 9 5:20. 10 BY MS. SAWY\bR:11 Q. We appreciate you are walking through some 12 of these and we understand your general practice 13 and I want to make sure I'm characterizing this 14 accurately. When you would get the memos you 15 would -- from Mr. Steele you would review them, you 16 would see if they resonated with information that 17 you already knew and other research you may already 18 have done. I think you already told me that you 19 don't recall at the time anything jumping out at 20 you as patently inaccurate; is that fair to say?21 A. Yes, that's fair to say. 22 Q. And I had just asked you to review and I 23 appreciate you taking the time to review the 24 additional memos which would just run from Bates 25 No. 41405 to 41425 to just try to determine for the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2521 committee if research that you had been doing on 2 the separate track on some of these topics in 3 particular amplified the work in the dossier. 4 MR. L\bVY: When you say "amplified the work 5 in the dossier," what do you mean? 6 MS. SAWY\bR: Both kind of verified and maybe 7 gave you some additional information and insights 8 on either the factual allegations in them or 9 whether or not the key players identified had also 10 engaged in either similar or related behavior on 11 Russian -- you know, related to Russian 12 interference.13 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:14 A. I'd say that's generally right. I read a 15 lot of books and studies on Russia and organized 16 crime. So over the years I just have a lot of 17 residual knowledge of some of the people and 18 subjects that are covered in the memos. 19 Q. Okay. So nothing certainly jumped out at 20 you and then as --21 A. Nothing jumped out at me --22 Q. -- as inconsistent with information that 23 you had gained from other sources?24 A. That's correct. 25 Q. And did you have any reason to believe
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2531 either then or now that Mr. Steele would have kind 2 of fabricated any of the information that he 3 included in any of these memos?4 A. No. 5 Q. I do want to return to a few of the topics 6 and a few of the specifics, but I think I'll hold 7 that until the next round because I have a few 8 other just follow-up questions for you. 9 It had come up in the last round that there 10 was a meeting and some information was provided to 11 Mr. Kramer. Were you still -- at the time that 12 occurred were you, Fusion GPS, still working on 13 behalf of a client who had engaged you to do 14 research as part of the presidential election 15 campaign or did that occur after that engagement 16 ended?17 A. It occurred after the engagement had 18 ended. 19 Q. And besides Mr. Steele, did you discuss 20 sharing information with Mr. Kramer with anyone 21 else?22 A. Not that I recall. 23 Q. My colleagues had also asked you about 24 meetings and particularly that occurred between 25 \fune 8th and \fune 10th of 2016 and some of the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2541 individuals involved in those meetings. As a 2 general matter, did you discuss the work you were 3 doing related to the presidential election campaign 4 with -- did you ever discuss that with Natalia 5 Veselnitskaya?6 A. I don't believe I ever discussed it with 7 her. I'd just add that she doesn't speak much 8 \bnglish. So the possibilities are almost none. I 9 didn't discuss it with her. 10 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that she 11 knew that you were doing work -- opposition 12 research work on then Candidate Trump? 13 A. No. 14 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that she 15 knew that Christopher Steele was doing work for you 16 as part of that project, the opposition research on 17 Candidate Trump?18 A. No. 19 Q. What about Rinat Akhmetshin, did you ever 20 talk with Rinat Akhmetshin about the fact that you 21 were doing opposition research on Candidate Trump?22 A. Not that I recall, no. 23 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that 24 Christopher Steele ever spoke with Rinat Akhmetshin 25 about the fact that Christopher Steele had been
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2551 engaged by you to do work -- related to the 2 opposition work on then Candidate Trump?3 A. Do I have any reason to believe that he 4 spoke? No, I have no reason to believe he did. 5 Q. Do you know if he did or not?6 A. It's never -- we've never discussed it, 7 but I have no reason to think he would have. 8 Q. And if he had discussed it, would that 9 have been consistent with the nondisclosure 10 agreement that you indicated you would have had 11 with Mr. Steele?12 A. That would -- if he discussed it with 13 someone like that without my knowledge, it would 14 not have been consistent with our agreement. 15 Q. And then given that, would it surprise you 16 if Mr. Steele had talked with Rinat Akhmetshin 17 about the work he was doing related to then 18 Candidate Trump?19 A. Yes, that would surprise me. 20 Q. Did you discuss the fact that you were 21 doing opposition research on Candidate Trump with 22 anyone at Prevezon Holdings?23 A. Not that I recall, no. 24 Q. And if you had done so, would that have 25 been consistent with your confidentiality
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2561 obligations to that client?2 A. No, it wouldn't have been consistent. 3 Q. Did you speak with anyone at Baker 4 Hostetler about the work that you had been engaged 5 to do on then Candidate Trump?6 A. Not that I recall. 7 Q. So the point in time at which you were in 8 meetings that included -- the meetings that you had 9 related to the Court hearing at Prevezon that 10 you've already discussed, the dinner, the Court 11 hearing, and then a subsequent dinner, they occur 12 right around the same time that Natalia 13 Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin and the 14 individual you described as a translator, Anatoli 15 Samochornov, met -- or it has been reported met 16 with individuals in the Trump campaign. Did that 17 topic just never come up during those three days?18 A. It never came up. I don't know what else 19 to say. It never came up. 20 Q. So you at the time had no idea that they 21 were meeting with or met -- and actually, in fact, 22 met with members of the Trump campaign?23 A. I didn't have any idea about that meeting 24 until quite recently. 25 Q. So in an August 1, 2017 news briefing
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2571 White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders 2 said "The Democrat linked firm Fusion GPS actually 3 took money from the Russian government while it 4 created the phoney dossier that's been the basis 5 for all of the Russia scandal fake news." What is 6 your response to that statement?7 A. It's not true? 8 Q. And what in particular is not true about 9 it?10 A. Well, it's a false allegation leveled by 11 William Browder before this committee and in other 12 places for the purpose of his advantage. She's 13 repeating an allegation that was aired before this 14 committee and in other places that we were working 15 for the Russian government and it's not true. 16 Most importantly the allegation that we were 17 working for the Russian government then or ever is 18 simply not true. I don't know what to say. It's 19 political rhetoric to call the dossier phoney. The 20 memos are field reports of real interviews that 21 Chris's network conducted and there's nothing 22 phoney about it. We can argue about what's prudent 23 and what's not, but it's not a fabrication. 24 Q. And I think you've already answered you 25 contend that you were not taking money from the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2581 Russian government and that was in relation to the 2 litigation work you had done with Baker Hostetler, 3 correct?4 A. Yes. They are a well-regarded law firm 5 that has obligations to determine the sources of 6 funds when they take a client and, to my knowledge, 7 they did so and the money was not coming from the 8 Russian government. 9 Q. So that was for the Prevezon work for 10 Baker Hostetler. Did you take money in any way, 11 shape, or form that could be attributed to the 12 Russian government for the work that you were 13 doing -- the opposition research work that you were 14 doing on then Candidate Trump?15 A. No. 16 Q. Did, to the best of your knowledge, 17 Mr. Steele take money in any way, shape, or form 18 that could be attributed to the Russian government 19 for the work that he did on the memos as part of 20 the opposition research on Candidate Trump?21 A. No. 22 I'll add one more thing to the response to 23 Sarah Huckabee Sanders, which is her assertion that 24 we are a Democrat linked opposition research firm. 25 I think I addressed this earlier, but to be clear,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2591 we don't have a business of -- we're not an 2 appendage to the Democratic party. We run a 3 commercial business, we're all ex-journalists. We 4 take clients from both sides of the aisle. We have 5 a long history of that, I'm proud of that. I'm 6 happy to say I have lots of Republican clients and 7 friends. 8 Q. To the extent there have been allegations 9 or indications that the work that Mr. Steele did, 10 his research into Russian interference in the 2016 11 election, or your work could have been influenced 12 by Rinat Akhmetshin, do you believe that is true 13 and if -- do you believe it's true?14 A. No. 15 Q. Do you believe that the work that 16 Mr. Steele did on Russian interference and possible 17 ties to the Trump campaign or your work could have 18 been influenced by Natalia Veselnitskaya?19 A. No. 20 MS. SAWY\bR: I think my time is up for this 21 round. So I appreciate your patience and we'll 22 take a break. 23 MR. FOST\bR: It's 5:34. 24 (A short break was had.)25 MR. DAVIS: We'll go back on the record.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2601 It's 5:43 p.m.2 \bXAMINATION3 BY MR. DAVIS:4 Q. Mr. Simpson, could you walk us through 5 your itinerary to the best you remember it from 6 \fune 8th through 10th of 2016, especially any 7 interactions you had with Prevezon team members 8 during those three days? 9 MR. L\bVY: Beyond what he's discussed today? 10 MR. DAVIS: Yes.11 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:12 A. I took the train to New York. I don't 13 recall, but I may have had other business. I don't 14 remember. I think there was a dinner. I went back 15 to my hotel, went to bed. Got up the next morning. 16 I don't remember the sequence, but I remember 17 meeting with Weber Shandwick, the PR firm, about 18 preparations for -- I think we expected there was 19 going to be a trial. I think that's what it was 20 about. It might have been about the press coverage 21 of the hearing. I just don't remember. I went to 22 the hearing and I think -- if I remember the 23 sequence correctly, I went to the hearing, then I 24 had the meeting with those guys, the Weber 25 Shandwick guys, and then I hightailed it home. My
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2611 son's junior prom was that night or senior prom and 2 I was under some pressure to go home and be a dad. 3 Q. And then on the 10th, that first day back 4 in D.C.?5 A. I don't think that was my first day back. 6 I was back the evening of the 9th. 7 Q. Sorry. The first full day.8 A. I think it was a weekend. So I don't know 9 what I was doing. Probably just relaxing. I went 10 to the dinner, it was at a restaurant called 11 Barcelona up on Wisconsin Avenue, it was a social 12 occasion. I brought my wife, other people brought 13 their wives. We talked about books and other other 14 nongermane topics. It was just a social 15 occasion. 16 (\bxhibit 6 was marked for 17 identification.)18 BY MR. DAVIS:19 Q. I'm going to show you an exhibit. I think 20 we're on 6. We understand these are meeting notes. 21 Do these phrases about -- including Mr. Browder 22 mean anything to you or relate to any of the 23 research that you conducted or otherwise aware of 24 regarding Mr. Browder? 25 MR. L\bVY: When say "meetings notes," meeting
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2621 notes about what meeting? 2 MR. DAVIS: These are the meeting notes from 3 the \fune 9th meeting at Trump Tower. These are 4 Mr. Manafort's notes or they're contemporaneous.5 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:6 A. I could tell -- obviously you know who 7 Bill Browder is. Cyprus Offshore, Bill Browder's 8 structure, you know, investment -- Hermitage 9 Capital, his hedge fund, set up numerous companies 10 in Cyprus to engage in inward investment into 11 Russia, which is a common structure, both partially 12 for tax reasons but also to have entities outside 13 of Russia, you know, managing specific investments. 14 I can only tell you I assume that's what that 15 references. I don't know what the 133 million --16 MR. FOST\bR: Can I interrupt? And you know 17 that from research that you did and provided to --18 MR. SIMPSON: Yes. 19 MR. L\bVY: Let him finish. 20 MR. FOST\bR: -- research that you did and 21 provided to Baker Hostetler and their client?22 MR. SIMPSON: Yes. There was a -- I can 23 elaborate a little bit. As part of the research 24 into how Hermitage Capital worked we looked at 25 various things, their banking relationships, the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2631 way they structured their investments in Russia. I 2 don't remember how many, but there was a large 3 number of shell companies in Cyprus that were used 4 to hold the investments of individual clients of 5 Hermitage. So one of the things we discovered from 6 that was the likely identities of some of 7 Hermitage's clients. 8 BY MR. DAVIS:9 Q. Do any of the other entries in here mean 10 anything to you in light of the research you've 11 conducted or what you otherwise know about 12 Mr. Browder?13 A. I'm going to -- I can only speculate about 14 some of these things. I mean, sometimes --15 MR. L\bVY: Don't speculate. 16 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:17 A. \fust would be guesses. 18 Q. Okay.19 A. I can skip down a couple. So "Value in 20 Cyprus as inter," I don't know what that means. 21 "Illici," I don't know what that means. "Active 22 sponsors of RNC," I don't know what that means. 23 "Browder hired \foanna Glover" is a mistaken 24 reference to \fuliana Glover, who was Dick Cheney's 25 press secretary during the Iraq war and associated
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2641 with another foreign policy controversy. "Russian 2 adoptions by American families" I assume is a 3 reference to the adoption issue. 4 Q. And by "adoption issue" do you mean Russia 5 prohibiting U.S. families from adopting Russian 6 babies as a measure in response to the Magnitsky 7 act?8 A. I assume so. 9 Q. The information here, is this generally 10 consistent with the type of information you or 11 Baker Hostetler were providing about Mr. Browder 12 and his activities? 13 MR. L\bVY: Can you repeat that question. 14 MR. DAVIS: Is the information here, to the 15 best you can decipher it, consistent with the 16 information that you and Baker Hostetler and HRAGI 17 were relaying to other parties about Mr. Browder's 18 activities? 19 MR. L\bVY: He's just told you that a lot of 20 what's here he doesn't know what it means, he 21 doesn't have knowledge or recollection as to these 22 terms. 23 MR. DAVIS: The parts you do recognize.24 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:25 A. Couple of the items touch on things that I
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2651 worked on, Cyprus, Bill Browder. 2 Q. I'm going to jump back to the Russia 3 investigation. You'd mentioned before you've had 4 some subcontractors that you've worked with long 5 enough that you call them super subs; is that 6 correct? 7 A. Yes. 8 Q. Orbis or Mr. Steele, is that one such 9 super sub in your opinion?10 A. It's a loose term. We don't have a list 11 of super subs. 12 MR. FOST\bR: Is he one of them?13 MR. SIMPSON: There is no list. So I can't 14 tell you if he's one of them. He's a reliable 15 subcontractor who's worked with us in the past and 16 we've been very satisfied with the quality of his 17 work. 18 MR. L\bVY: \fust to reiterate, I think as you 19 described these super subs earlier loosely, even 20 with some of these super subs Mr. Simpson said that 21 he would talk about clients only on a need-to-know 22 basis even with the super subs, so-called. 23 BY MR. DAVIS:24 Q. Beyond the memoranda prepared by 25 Mr. Steele, did Fusion create any other work
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2661 product relating to this investigation? 2 MR. L\bVY: Which investigation? 3 MR. DAVIS: The investigation into Mr. Trump 4 and his associates. 5 MR. L\bVY: In addition to what? 6 MR. DAVIS: Sorry. The investigation into 7 Mr. Trump and his associates. 8 MR. L\bVY: I'm sorry. \fust repeat the whole 9 question. 10 MR. DAVIS: Sure. In addition to the 11 memoranda compiled by Mr. Steele, did Fusion itself 12 create any other work product as part of this 13 investigation? 14 MR. L\bVY: I just want to make sure there's 15 no confusion. It wasn't Fusion that created the 16 memoranda. 17 MR. DAVIS: Right, but it was a subcontractor 18 giving it back to Fusion. 19 MR. L\bVY: That's correct. 20 BY MR. DAVIS:21 Q. With that understanding, did Fusion create 22 any work product of its own?23 A. Yes. 24 Q. And can you describe what type of work 25 product that was?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2671 A. I believe I described it before. We do a 2 lot of public records research, things that are in 3 the news, things that are in court documents. We 4 summarize those things and try to document, you 5 know, and attach them to the underlying source 6 material. 7 Q. So you create sort of summary memoranda of 8 those documents?9 A. Yes. 10 Q. Okay. And to whom is that distributed? 11 MR. L\bVY: As a general matter? 12 MR. DAVIS: Well, within the course of this 13 investigation. 14 MR. L\bVY: Inasmuch as that answer calls for 15 client communications the answer might be 16 privileged, might touch on obligations Mr. Simpson 17 has. So he's not going to answer that question. 18 MR. FOST\bR: Did you provide work product to 19 your client? 20 MR. L\bVY: Again, the answer to that question 21 might implicate privilege or his obligations. 22 BY MR. DAVIS:23 Q. Is the version of the Steele memoranda 24 that was published by BuzzFeed identical to the 25 version that Orbis provided Fusion?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2681 A. To my knowledge, yes. 2 Q. The version published by BuzzFeed contains 3 several redactions, not merely the ones by 4 Mr. Gubarev, G-U-B-A-R-\b-V, that were later added. 5 Were those redactions in the versions Mr. Steele 6 provided to you? 7 MR. L\bVY: So wait. You're asking about the 8 version in \bxhibit 3? 9 MR. DAVIS: Right. 10 MR. L\bVY: And you're asking if the 11 redactions that appear here were delivered to 12 Fusion? 13 MR. DAVIS: Right.14 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:15 A. No. 16 Q. Do you know who added those redactions?17 A. No. 18 Q. Did any version of the memoranda list 19 source and subsource names rather than referring to 20 sources anonymously? 21 A. I'm not sure I understand the question. 22 Q. In the version that we have as an exhibit 23 obviously it doesn't give identifying information 24 for sources, it says source A, subsources, things 25 like that. Was there ever a version that listed
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2691 the actual source names rather than substituting 2 them?3 A. These are the versions that we received. 4 Q. They're what?5 A. These are the memos that we received. 6 Q. Those are the memos you received. Okay. 7 MR. FOST\bR: But he's asking if you received 8 any other memos that listed the sources? 9 MR. L\bVY: He did not -- what I think he said 10 is that he did not receive any versions of these 11 memos that listed the sources. 12 MR. FOST\bR: Okay. Did you receive any other 13 documentation from Mr. Steele that listed the 14 sources?15 MR. SIMPSON: I don't want to get into source 16 information. 17 BY MR. DAVIS:18 Q. Again, I don't want to repeat questions 19 that have been asked, but I don't want to 20 unintentionally omit anything. Did the version 21 provided to the FBI include all source names?22 A. I don't know that there was a version 23 provided to the FBI. 24 Q. When Mr. Steele first met with the FBI in 25 the summer of 2016 do you know if he provided the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2701 first memoranda that he created? 2 MR. L\bVY: He's already answered that 3 question. 4 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:5 A. No, I don't know. 6 Q. Do you know if he provided any other 7 memoranda to the FBI on a rolling basis at all at 8 any point? 9 MR. L\bVY: He's answered that question too. 10 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:11 A. I don't know. 12 Q. So I'd like to go back to \bxhibit 4, I 13 believe. On page 3, paragraph 18 Mr. Steele's 14 attorneys are describing the December memoranda and 15 they state "The Defendants" -- again, that's 16 Mr. Steele and Orbis -- "continued to receive 17 unsolicited intelligence on the matters covered by 18 the pre-election memoranda after the U.S. 19 presidential election and the conclusion of the 20 assignment for Fusion." 21 They reiterate this point on \bxhibit 5 on 22 page 4. Request 11 asks "Please state whether such 23 intelligence was actively sought by the 24 Defendant" --25 A. Where are you at?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2711 Q. Page 4, request 11. It states "Please 2 state whether such intelligence was actively sought 3 by the second Defendant or merely received as 4 presently pleaded." The response they say is "Such 5 intelligence was not actively sought, it was merely 6 received." 7 Did anyone -- are you aware of who sent this 8 unsolicited intelligence to Mr. Steele?9 A. No. 10 Q. Could you describe his methods of 11 compiling the dossier a little more? I think 12 before you described field interviews. He seems to 13 be talking about unsolicited information coming to 14 him rather than information he sought out?15 A. I can try. When you're doing field 16 information gathering you have a network of people, 17 sources. It's not like a light switch that you 18 turn on and off, these are people you work with. 19 So they call you and tell you stuff. You know, you 20 don't close the window and stop answering phone 21 calls, you know, when the engagement ends. So I 22 assume this is stuff that came in straggle, 23 whatever you call it. 24 Q. To the best of your knowledge, did 25 Mr. Steele pay any of his sources or subsources in
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2721 the memoranda for information?2 A. I don't know. I think there's been a 3 little bit of confusion I would like to clear up. 4 Some people were saying that he was paying people 5 for information. I don't know whether he does or 6 not, but that's not basically how I understand 7 field operations to work. You commission people to 8 gather information for you rather than sort of 9 paying someone for a document or to sit for an 10 interview or something like that. That's not how I 11 understand it works. 12 Q. To make sure I understand, are you saying 13 you don't pay for particular information, you would 14 have an established financial arrangement with 15 someone?16 A. If he did at all, but I did not ask and he 17 did not share that information. He did not invoice 18 me for any such. 19 Q. Did Mr. Steele ever discuss his opinion of 20 Mr. Trump with you?21 A. We didn't discuss our political views of 22 Mr. Trump, I don't think, at least not that I 23 specifically remember, if that's what you mean. 24 Q. That is. 25 If I recall correctly, you said earlier that
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2731 once Fusion had exhausted public documentary 2 sources you turned to Mr. Steele and some other 3 subcontractors for human intelligence; is that 4 correct?5 A. Yeah, field intelligence. 6 Q. Would your engagement with your client 7 have ended had you not turned to human 8 intelligence?9 A. I have no idea. I mean, I can't 10 speculate. 11 Q. Well, to clarify, when say you had 12 exhausted the public documentation, are you saying 13 you reached the end of your work or was there still 14 more?15 A. No. It's a broad project, there's lots of 16 things going on. We're pulling legal filings and 17 bankruptcies and all sorts of other stuff on all 18 kinds of issues. I was talking about specific 19 lines of inquiry. 20 Q. To the best of your knowledge, do Rinat 21 Akhmetshin and Christopher Steele know each 22 other? 23 A. I don't know. 24 Q. To the best of your knowledge, has 25 Mr. Akhmetshin ever worked with Orbis?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2741 A. Not to my knowledge. 2 MR. FOST\bR: If Mr. Akhmetshin were one of 3 the sources in the dossier, would you know that?4 MR. SIMPSON: I believe he would have told me 5 that by now given the public controversy over this 6 matter, but he hasn't. 7 BY MR. DAVIS:8 Q. I'm sorry. Is the "he" --9 A. Chris Steele. 10 Q. How often would you say you interacted 11 with Mr. Akhmetshin during the 2016 elections 12 season?13 A. Infrequently, intermittently. 14 Q. When was the last time you spoke with him?15 A. I don't remember, but I don't think it 16 was -- I just don't remember. 17 Q. To the best of your knowledge, was \bd 18 Lieberman aware of your Trump research project?19 A. Not to the best of my knowledge. 20 MR. FOST\bR: Could you just tell us generally 21 who else other than your client was aware of the 22 Trump research project as it was going on. So 23 excluding your client and excluding your 24 subcontractors, who else knew that you were doing 25 it?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2751 MR. SIMPSON: \fournalists. 2 MR. FOST\bR: In the summer of 2016?3 MR. SIMPSON: Yes. 4 MR. FOST\bR: And they knew that because you 5 were telling them about it?6 MR. SIMPSON: We get calls from journalists 7 who are working on stories about all kinds of 8 subjects and some things we can answer questions on 9 and others we don't. I'm a former journalist, as I 10 think you know, and we do lots of different kinds 11 of research and people who are working on a story 12 will call us and say what do you know about, you 13 know, Carter Page and we'll say, well, here's the 14 things that we know. 15 MR. FOST\bR: And they're aware you're being 16 paid to do that research for a client?17 MR. SIMPSON: I don't know. Generally that's 18 not an issue. 19 MR. FOST\bR: So my question was who knew that 20 you were doing the research, the Trump-Russia 21 research at the time? 22 MR. L\bVY: He answered the question. He told 23 you he spoke with journalists and told them what he 24 had found. 25 MR. FOST\bR: Right. I was trying to clarify.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2761 My question was whether or not they knew you were 2 being paid to do that research. 3 MR. L\bVY: He answered that question too and 4 he said he did not explain that to the journalists.5 MR. SIMPSON: It's hard to generalize. I run 6 a business, it's a research business. Reporters 7 know we have clients who pay us to do research. 8 So, you know, I don't remember any specific queries 9 about whether we were being paid or not, but I 10 think most journalists would assume that someone 11 had paid us to do research. 12 MR. FOST\bR: They knew you were doing a Trump 13 oppo research project as opposed to a Hillary 14 Clinton oppo research project? 15 MR. L\bVY: From 2015 through the end of the 16 election? 17 MR. FOST\bR: Can you let the witness answer, 18 please. 19 MR. SIMPSON: The word "they" is extremely 20 broad. \fournalists would call and ask questions 21 about specific things and from that they might 22 conclude that we were doing a Trump oppo project. 23 It's just worth pointing out that in a 24 political season all kinds of people are doing 25 research on all kinds of things. Some people are
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2771 interested in trade, other people are interested in 2 guns. So you wouldn't necessarily intuit exactly 3 what we were doing. Most people are interested in, 4 you know -- they're interested in the story they're 5 working on. So some people will say, hey, I'm 6 interested in whether Donald Trump gets his ties 7 from third-world countries and they wouldn't ask 8 about anything else. 9 BY MR. DAVIS:10 Q. You mentioned before, if I recall 11 correctly, that Fusion was having issues with 12 persons attempting to hack it? 13 A. That's a current concern, yes. 14 Q. When did that concern -- when did you 15 first become aware of that concern?16 A. Relatively recently. 17 Q. So after the election?18 A. Yes. 19 MR. FOST\bR: Did you tell journalists that 20 you had engaged Mr. Steele in the summer of 2016?21 MR. SIMPSON: I don't specifically remember 22 doing that until the fall. 23 MR. FOST\bR: After the election or before?24 MR. SIMPSON: Before the election. 25 MR. FOST\bR: Can you remember the context in
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2781 which you told them that?2 MR. SIMPSON: Yes. 3 MR. FOST\bR: Can you describe it for us, 4 please.5 MR. SIMPSON: Sure. \bssentially there was -- 6 at some point the controversy over the Trump 7 campaign's possible relationship with the Kremlin 8 became, you know, one of the main -- major issues 9 in the campaign and there were things that Chris 10 knew and understood to be the case that only he 11 could really explain in a credible way, and I 12 thought that -- we thought that he should be the 13 one that explains them, you know. So we sat down 14 with a small group of reporters who were involved 15 in investigative journalism of national security 16 issues and we thought were in a position to make 17 use of him as a resource. 18 MR. FOST\bR: Do you recall whether that was 19 before or after he ended his relationship with the 20 FBI?21 MR. SIMPSON: Before. 22 BY MR. DAVIS:23 Q. Do you recall what the first published 24 article -- when the first published article came 25 out that referenced material from the memoranda?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2791 A. Not specifically. 2 MR. FOST\bR: \barlier you talked about 3 evaluating the credibility of the information in 4 the memoranda that you were being provided by 5 Mr. Steele and, by way of summary, you talked about 6 your belief that he was credible and that you had 7 worked with him before and the information he had 8 provided you had been reliable in the past. Did 9 you take any steps to try to assess the credibility 10 of his sources, his unnamed sources in the material 11 that he was providing to you?12 MR. SIMPSON: Yes, but I'm not going to get 13 into sourcing information. 14 MR. FOST\bR: So without getting into naming 15 the sources or anything like that, what steps did 16 you take to try to verify their credibility?17 MR. SIMPSON: I'm going to decline to answer 18 that. 19 MR. FOST\bR: Why? 20 MR. L\bVY: It's a voluntary interview, and in 21 addition to that he wants to be very careful to 22 protect his sources. Somebody's already been 23 killed as a result of the publication of this 24 dossier and no harm should come to anybody related 25 to this honest work.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2801 MR. FOST\bR: I'm not asking him to identify 2 the sources. I'm just asking what steps he took to 3 try to verify or validate the information. 4 MR. L\bVY: He's given you --5 MR. FOST\bR: If he can answer generally 6 without identifying the sources, I'd ask him to 7 answer. 8 MR. L\bVY: He's given you over nine hours of 9 information and he's going to decline to answer 10 this one question. 11 MR. FOST\bR: And several others. 12 MR. L\bVY: Not many. 13 BY MR. DAVIS:14 Q. I think you mentioned that you were in 15 London when you first heard that someone was 16 interested in hiring Fusion to work on the Trump 17 research; is that correct? 18 MR. L\bVY: Repeat the question. 19 MR. DAVIS: If I recall correctly, 20 Mr. Simpson said that he was in London when he 21 first heard that somebody was interested in hiring 22 Fusion to do Trump research?23 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:24 A. That's my recollection. 25 Q. Were either of the clients on this project
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2811 not American citizens?2 A. Were either of the clients on this --3 MR. L\bVY: Clients on which project? 4 BY MR. DAVIS:5 Q. Were any clients on the Trump research not 6 American citizens?7 A. I don't mind answering that if that's 8 okay. They're domestic clients. 9 MR. FOST\bR: You said earlier that the 10 information that you gather in your work is owned 11 by the client, it's not owned by you, and so 12 therefore you also referenced your nondisclosure 13 agreements and that you felt like if you had 14 information that related to national security or 15 law enforcement that the nondisclosure agreement 16 did not prevent you from disclosing that 17 information to third parties. Is that a fair 18 summary? 19 MR. L\bVY: Wait. You said a lot there. 20 Which third parties are you talking about? 21 MR. FOST\bR: Well, to law enforcement. 22 MR. L\bVY: I think he's answered this 23 already. You're asking him whether it was 24 permittable under his contractual obligations to 25 report a crime to the national security community,
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2821 and he said yes, it's fine for him to do that. 2 MR. FOST\bR: Right. I'm trying to summarize 3 the previous answer as a premise to my next 4 question. Is that an accurate summary of what you 5 said before? 6 MR. L\bVY: Summarizing testimony is dangerous 7 after he's given nine hours of it. If you want to 8 ask him a question, ask him a question. 9 MR. FOST\bR: Is there a specific provision in 10 your NDA that provides an exception for disclosure 11 to law enforcement or intelligence agencies? 12 MR. L\bVY: I think he earlier didn't talk 13 about the contract, but if you want to talk about 14 it as a matter of practice what your understanding 15 is, go ahead. 16 MR. SIMPSON: I don't know. 17 MR. FOST\bR: My colleague Ms. Sawyer asked 18 you earlier about public reports that the initial 19 client on the Trump work was a Republican and that 20 it's also been publicly reported that later there 21 was another client who was a supporter of Hillary 22 Clinton. Are you the source for any of those 23 public reports? 24 MR. L\bVY: A hundred percent of what you were 25 saying was referring to news articles, right.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2831 MR. SIMPSON: I've been asked about this by 2 various journals as to what I've heard, whether 3 they can report things that they've heard 4 elsewhere, and I have not -- I don't know if you'd 5 classify that as being a source, but I've been 6 asked those questions and I've avoiding getting 7 into specifics. But I have -- if people have 8 accurate information of a general nature like that, 9 I generally would not -- I would confirm things. 10 MR. FOST\bR: Sorry. I didn't understand your 11 answer. 12 MR. MUS\b: It's quite clear.13 MR. SIMPSON: Depends on what you say a 14 source is. If someone calls me and say I hear 15 client No. 1 was a Republican, then I'd say I don't 16 have any problem with you writing that. That's not 17 quite the same thing. 18 MR. FOST\bR: So you confirm the accuracy of 19 information? 20 MR. L\bVY: He didn't say that.21 MR. SIMPSON: There are certain things that 22 I've chosen not to deny. You know, generally 23 speaking, I deal with a lot of journalists. I'm 24 not going to mislead people. 25 BY MR. DAVIS:
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2841 Q. To the extent you can clarify, is it that 2 there were two sets of clients, one of whom was 3 Republican and one of which was a Clinton 4 supporter, or was it one person's whose views 5 changed? 6 MR. L\bVY: We're not going to get into the 7 identity of clients. As you know, we've agreed to 8 an interview about questions 5 through 13 of the 9 March 24 request. Questions 1 through 4 talk about 10 the identities of the clients. The Chair and the 11 Ranking Member agreed with counsel for Mr. Simpson 12 about the scope of this interview and that question 13 is outside of it. In addition, the answer to that 14 question would implicate privilege and obligations. 15 He's talked to you for nine hours, he's given you a 16 lot of information, and he's not going to answer 17 questions about identities of clients. 18 MR. DAVIS: You've asserted attorney-client 19 work product privilege --20 MR. L\bVY: There is no such privilege. I've 21 asserted the attorney work product privilege, we've 22 asserted privileges under the First Amendment, 23 we've asserted the attorney-client privilege, and 24 we've asserted privileges of confidentiality. It's 25 a voluntary interview and he's declining to answer
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2851 the question. 2 MR. DAVIS: I understand that. 3 BY MR. DAVIS:4 Q. So with the Prevezon matter, then, is it 5 correct the law firm involved was Baker Hostetler 6 and the ultimate client was Prevezon, is that 7 right, while you were working there?8 A. Yes. 9 Q. So any attorney-client privileges within 10 the context of that information would be -- the 11 holder of that privilege is Prevezon; is that 12 correct? 13 MR. L\bVY: That's a legal conclusion that 14 he's not qualified to draw. 15 MR. DAVIS: You don't feel that you can speak 16 to it without their permission? 17 MR. L\bVY: Speak to what? 18 MR. DAVIS: To questions that would be 19 covered by attorney-client privilege. 20 MR. L\bVY: I'm not sure he's qualified to 21 answer that question. 22 BY MR. DAVIS:23 Q. Did you work with any law firms in 24 relation to the Trump investigation? 25 MR. L\bVY: Again, we're not getting into the
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2861 identity of any clients --2 MR. DAVIS: I didn't say client. 3 MR. L\bVY: I understand. Or their lawyers. 4 MR. FOST\bR: I think the issue we're trying 5 to deal with is in order to assess your claims of 6 privilege the committee needs to understand at 7 least as much about the context of the dossier work 8 as it does about the Prevezon work in terms of who 9 was involved. So if there's a law firm involved or 10 if he was reporting to a law firm or acting under 11 the direction of a law firm, then we need to be 12 able to assess whether or not that was in 13 anticipation of litigation, whether he was doing it 14 by the direction of a law firm in order to assess 15 your assertions of privilege. 16 MR. L\bVY: I understand. We've identified 17 our position. We've been talking -- Mr. Simpson 18 has been answering your questions since 9:30 this 19 morning, it's now 6:15. He's been fully 20 cooperative and he's here because the Chair and the 21 Ranking Member agreed to a limited scope. The 22 questions you're asking are outside of that scope 23 and this is part of why appearing at a hearing was 24 going to be impossible. Through this agreement 25 we're here. He's given you a ton of information.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2871 If you want to discuss the privilege with counsel 2 after the interview, you may do so. He's answered 3 a ton of questions today and he's going to decline 4 to answer this last one. 5 MR. FOST\bR: The last one was did you work 6 with a law firm on the Trump matter? 7 MR. L\bVY: He's declining to answer. 8 MR. FOST\bR: There were several points in the 9 interview where you made a point of saying your 10 firm is not a Democratic linked firm in reference 11 to the Sarah Huckabee Sanders quote. It's been 12 publicly reported that you did opposition research 13 for a client targeting Mr. Romney in the 2012 14 election. Obviously we've been talking about the 15 Trump opposition research. Have you ever done 16 opposition research regarding Mr. Obama? 17 MR. L\bVY: We're not going to get into 18 specific client matters that are outside the scope 19 of this interview. He's told you he's represented 20 clients on the right and left, but he's not going 21 to get into other matters beyond Prevezon and what 22 he did in the 2016 election. 23 MR. SIMPSON: I did investigate Senator 24 Obama's campaign in 2008 when I was working for the 25 Wall Street \fournal and wrote an article that
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2881 caused his campaign chair to resign. The record is 2 replete -- or the public report of my work is 3 replete with examples of investigations I've done 4 of Democrats that resulted in them losing their 5 elections and being prosecuted. 6 MR. L\bVY: At the Wall Street \fournal?7 MR. SIMPSON: Yes. 8 BY MR. DAVIS:9 Q. Are you party to a joint defense agreement 10 related to your Prevezon work? 11 MR. L\bVY: He's not going to talk about 12 privileged discussions or agreements, and he's 13 probably not qualified to answer anyway. 14 BY MR. DAVIS:15 Q. Is Fusion GPS paying Cunningham Levy for 16 the firm's representation of you or as a third 17 party? 18 MR. L\bVY: That's privileged also. He's not 19 getting into payments to his lawyers and it's 20 beyond the scope of this interview which has now 21 gone on for almost nine hours. 22 BY MR. DAVIS:23 Q. Has Fusion GPS ever offered directly or 24 indirectly to pay journalists to publish 25 information?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2891 A. No. 2 Q. Are you aware of any Fusion clients 3 offering directly or indirectly to pay journalists 4 to publish information from Fusion? 5 MR. L\bVY: While working for Fusion on a 6 Fusion matter or as a general matter? 7 MR. FOST\bR: Can you let the witness answer. 8 MR. L\bVY: Well, if the question's clear he 9 can answer any question --10 MR. FOST\bR: I think the question was clear.11 MR. L\bVY: -- within the scope of the 12 interview --13 MR. DAVIS: Are there any of Fusion's 14 clients offering --15 TH\b R\bPORT\bR: Guys.16 BY MR. DAVIS:17 Q. I'll repeat the question. Are you aware 18 of any of Fusion's clients offering directly or 19 indirectly to pay journalists to publish 20 information from Fusion?21 A. Not to my knowledge or recollection, no. 22 MR. FOST\bR: What was the end date of the 23 Trump engagement? 24 MR. L\bVY: He told you he didn't recall 25 exactly.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2901 MR. SIMPSON: That's not correct. The 2 election was the end date. I assume you're asking 3 about the general election? The election date 4 would have been the end. 5 MR. FOST\bR: So you didn't do any work on the 6 Trump matter after the election date, that was the 7 end of your work?8 MR. SIMPSON: I had no client after the 9 election. 10 MR. FOST\bR: It's 6:21. Let's go off the 11 record for a minute. 12 (A short break was had.)13 MS. SAWY\bR: We'll go back on the record. 14 It's 6:30. 15 \bXAMINATION16 BY MS. SAWY\bR:17 Q. We appreciate your time today, your 18 patience in answering our questions. 19 You've been asked a number of questions just 20 about -- well, strike that. 21 Were any of the particular factual findings 22 or conclusions that you reached with regard to the 23 research that was being done related to Russian 24 interference in the 2016 election including 25 possible ties to the Trump campaign, were any of
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2911 the factual findings or conclusions influenced in 2 any way by the identity of the client for whom you 3 were doing that work?4 A. All the questions you've asked I guess 5 this one I've not given a lot of thought to. 6 Offhand, not that I can think of. 7 Q. So you weren't trying to reach a 8 particular conclusion based on the identity had 9 they asked you to find -- well, strike that. 10 I think what I'm trying to get some sense of 11 comfort around is to the extent there might be 12 concerns that the work being done was driven in a 13 direction designed to reach a particular conclusion 14 for a client or because of the client's identity 15 was that the case?16 A. I think it's safe to say that, you know, 17 at some point probably early in 2016 I had reached 18 a conclusion about Donald Trump as a businessman 19 and his character and I was opposed to Donald 20 Trump. I'm not going to pretend that that wouldn't 21 have entered into my thinking. You know, again, I 22 was a journalist my whole life. So we were, you 23 know, trained not to take sides and practiced in 24 not taking sides. 25 So most of what I do as a research person is
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2921 we try to avoid getting into situations where one's 2 etiology or political views would cloud your work 3 because it's a known hazard, but, you know, I 4 reached an opinion about Donald Trump and his 5 suitability to be president of the United States 6 and I was concerned about whether he was the best 7 person for the job. 8 Q. And given that you had been trained not to 9 allow etiology to cloud your work, it sounds like 10 you reached a conclusion and had concerns about 11 Candidate Trump. What steps did you take to then 12 ensure that your conclusion didn't cloud the work 13 that was being done?14 A. Well, to be clear, my concerns were in the 15 category of character and competence rather than -- 16 I didn't have any specific concerns for much of the 17 time about his views, which I don't share, but that 18 wasn't really the issue. Most of what we do has to 19 do with do people have integrity and whether 20 they've been involved in illicit activity. So 21 those were the things I focused on. 22 Q. So the conclusion that you reached, was it 23 informed by the research that you were -- your 24 personal conclusion, was it informed by the 25 research that you were conducting?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2931 A. Yes. We deal in factual information and 2 over the course of this project we gathered lots of 3 facts about Donald Trump. 4 Q. You mentioned that earlier and I think you 5 made clear a number of times in the course of the 6 day that the specific work on Russian interference 7 and possible ties to the campaign that Mr. Steele 8 was doing was one part of that bigger picture, and 9 I did want to ask you about some of that bigger 10 picture of the work and get a sense from you, if I 11 could, you know, some of the background and 12 findings. In particular one of the things you had 13 mentioned -- well, you just mentioned right now as 14 we were speaking the term "illicit activity." 15 What, if any, research did you conduct that gave 16 you any concerns about then Candidate Trump and 17 potential illicit activity?18 A. I think the thing I cited to you was his 19 relationship with organized crime figures, and that 20 was a concern. 21 Q. And what can you share with us about the 22 findings, your findings?23 A. Well, I've tried to share as much as I 24 could think of over the course of today. As I say, 25 there were various allegations of fraudulent
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2941 business practices or dishonest business practices 2 or connections with organized crime figures. In 3 fact, you know, there was numerous others that I 4 can't remember the names of. It was a long history 5 of associations with people accused of involvement 6 in criminal activity. 7 You know, just to reiterate, the facts of 8 these investigations are the facts and we don't try 9 to drive an investigation to any particular 10 conclusion, certainly not based on our political 11 views. So I think it would be, you know, not 12 believable for me to tell you I didn't reach, you 13 know, views about Donald Trump's integrity, but, 14 you know, those were -- those didn't influence the 15 research in terms of the findings. Those were the 16 findings. 17 Q. You mentioned specifically and I think 18 with regard to organized crime particularly ties to 19 Felix Sater is one. You indicated a connection to 20 Yudkovich Mogilebich, I think it is.21 A. Mogilebich. 22 Q. Mogilebich, which we can spell for you. 23 Tell me if I have this correct. 24 M-O-G-I-L-\b-B-I-C-H. 25 A. Yes.
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2951 TH\b R\bPORT\bR: What's the first name?2 MR. SIMPSON: Semyon, S-\b-M-Y-O-N. 3 BY MS. SAWY\bR:4 Q. Yudkovich, did I get that --5 A. I believe I was probably talking fast and 6 I think I might have made a reference to 7 Yanukovych, which is the former president of the 8 Ukraine. 9 Q. With regard to any of that work, did you 10 create work product based on that work?11 A. I don't specifically recall what we would 12 have created. 13 Q. And with regard to that work, did you 14 share any of that information with law enforcement 15 agencies?16 A. No. I mean, just to reiterate, the only 17 contact that, you know, occurred during this 18 engagement was -- at least to my knowledge, was 19 Chris's dealing with the FBI. Other than that, I 20 don't remember having any dealings with the FBI. 21 Q. You had also mentioned earlier in the day 22 work -- that there was an investigation about money 23 from Kazakhstan?24 A. Yes. 25 Q. And could you tell me about that and what
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2961 you investigated and what you learned.2 A. There was some parallel litigation in 3 New York involving attempts by the government of 4 Kazakhstan to recover money that had been allegedly 5 stolen from Kazakhstan, billions of dollars in a 6 colossal bank failure. The name of the bank was 7 BTA Bank. It's been well established in various 8 courts that the government's allegations are 9 basically true, which is that large amounts of 10 money were illicitly removed from this bank, 11 laundered across \burope and into the United States 12 apparently. Allegedly. 13 So there was a civil case, at least one civil 14 case in New York involving -- filed by the city of 15 Almaty, A-L-M-A-T-Y, against some alleged Kazakh 16 money launderers. I don't remember exactly how, 17 but we learned that -- it wasn't from Chris. We 18 learned that Felix Sater had some connections with 19 these people, and it's been more recently in the 20 media that he's helping the government of 21 Kazakhstan to recover this money. There's been 22 media reports that the money went into the Trump 23 Soho or it went into the company that built the 24 Trump Soho. I can't remember the name. 25 Q. So the connection in that instance was to
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2971 Felix Sater and through Felix Sater to -- 2 potentially to Donald Trump?3 A. Yes. It was a company that Felix Sater 4 and Donald Trump were involved in together. 5 Q. And the research you did on that project, 6 was that public source research? Did you have any 7 other -- did you have human intelligence sources on 8 that project?9 A. I think I probably did have some human 10 sources. That's my answer. 11 Q. And did you use subcontractors at all on 12 that work?13 A. I can't say specifically whether it was -- 14 I remember commissioning some public record-type 15 research on Felix Sater and his history in 16 New York. 17 Q. Did you feel in the course of that that 18 you had uncovered evidence of any criminal activity 19 by Donald Trump?20 A. In the course of that I don't think so. I 21 think my concern was the associations with known 22 organized crime figures. 23 Q. And that included Felix Sater?24 A. Yes. 25 Q. Anyone else in particular?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2981 A. There were others. 2 MR. L\bVY: Beyond what we've discussed today? 3 MS. SAWY\bR: Yes, beyond what we've already 4 discussed.5 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:6 A. Another figure involved in the Trump Soho 7 project was a central Asian person named Arif, 8 A-R-I-F, is the last name. The first name is 9 generally spelled Tevfik, it's T-\b-V-F-I-K. If you 10 search under a different transiteration of that 11 name you can find open source reporting alleging 12 that he's an organized crime figure from Central 13 Asia and he had an arrest for involvement in child 14 prostitution. 15 Q. You mentioned as well that you had 16 reviewed tax bills. Were these specifically Donald 17 Trump's tax bills?18 A. They were Trump properties and I believe 19 we may have reviewed some public information about 20 estate taxes and things like that. We didn't have 21 access to his tax returns. 22 Q. Did you reach any conclusions based on 23 your review of his tax bills? I think you 24 mentioned that in connection with trying to assess 25 either financial connections or his financial
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 2991 standing. Did you reach any conclusions with 2 regard to either of those?3 A. Yes. I concluded -- we concluded that his 4 statements about what individual properties were 5 worth were greatly exaggerated and at odds with the 6 information that he'd supplied, you know, in legal 7 filings with tax authorities and other records, 8 corporate records. 9 Q. Did any of that indicate anything that 10 showed a connection to Russia or the Russian 11 government or Russian officials or Russian 12 oligarchs?13 A. Not that I can recall. 14 Q. You mentioned as well, you brought up 15 Trump golf courses. What in particular were you 16 looking into with regard to Donald Trump's golf 17 courses?18 A. The original inquiry was into the value of 19 the courses, whether he had to borrow money to buy 20 them, whether they were encumbered with debt, how 21 much money they brought in, what valuations he put 22 on them, and property tax filings.23 Q. And in general can you share what findings 24 and conclusions you reached? 25 MR. L\bVY: With regard to?
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 3001 MS. SAWY\bR: To the work on the golf 2 properties.3 BY TH\b WITN\bSS:4 A. A number of them don't make any money. 5 His valuations of the properties are questionable. 6 I guess those would be the main findings. 7 Q. You just mentioned broadly but didn't 8 describe it, you mentioned research on Scotland. I 9 don't know if it was particular properties or 10 something with regard to Scotland. Can you just 11 describe what that research was.12 A. Sure. He has golf courses in Scotland and 13 Ireland and one of the facets of UK or anglo 14 company law is that private companies have to file 15 financial statements, public financial statements. 16 So when you're looking at a guy like Donald Trump 17 who doesn't like to share information about his 18 company, it's useful to find a jurisdiction where 19 he's required to share that information with the 20 local government. 21 So we went and ordered the records -- the 22 financial statements of the golf courses. There's 23 also a long-running land use controversy -- I think 24 there's multiple long-running land use 25 controversies over those properties. We haven't
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 3011 really touched on this at all, but there were also 2 environmental issues that were part of the 3 research. 4 Q. With regard to the public financial 5 statements, did you reach any conclusions based on 6 that?7 A. That they were not profitable entities. I 8 don't specifically recall. I just remember that 9 these were not doing very well and that he'd sunk a 10 lot of money into them and he hadn't gotten a lot 11 of money back yet. 12 MS. QUINT: You mentioned a couple of times, 13 Mr. Simpson, that you had particular familiarity 14 with Mr. Manafort and even that you were more 15 familiar with him in particular than Chris Steele 16 was. In general and it might not be easy to be 17 general about it, but what was your focus when you 18 had looked into Manafort? What main areas were you 19 familiar with?20 MR. SIMPSON: Over the years, originally at 21 the Wall Street \fournal we learned of his 22 relationship with Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs. 23 So it was generally continued in that vein. He was 24 subject of some litigation over his business 25 dealings in New York. There was a lawsuit filed by
Glenn Sim\bsonAugust 22, 2017Washington, DC1-800-FOR-DEPO www.aldersonre\borting.\AcomAlderson Court Re\borti\AngPage 3021 the opposition politician from Ukraine accusing him 2 of involvement in corruption in Ukraine. So as 3 just a -- not for any particular client, but just 4 because these matters are something I follow I had 5 collected those documents. I think there's 6 probably some other litigation that I collected 7 that was in a similar vein. 8 MS. QUINT: And it was all documentary or did 9 you have human sources for your Manafort research?10 MR. SIMPSON: I don't think -- for the most 11 part it was just what you call gathering string, 12 just accumulating files on people or subjects that 13 are of interest. 14 BY MS. SAWY\bR:15 Q. The committee, certain members of the 16 committee, the Chairman and Ranking Member along 17 with Senators Graham and Whitehouse had sent a 18 request for documents and information on \fuly 19. 19 I understand your efforts to identify that 20 information are ongoing and I know that in response 21 to one of my questions about Mr. Page your attorney 22 has already said that the request for information 23 is pending and being reviewed. I just wanted to 24 ask you a couple of questions about some of the 25 other individuals that we had identified in that