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George Santos Had ‘Business Relationship’ With Cousin of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch: Report

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Rep. George Santos (R-NY) had a broader relationship than previously known with Andrew Intrater, a businessman who is the cousin of a known Russian oligarch, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

“Andrew Intrater and his wife each gave the maximum $5,800 to Santos’ main campaign committee and tens of thousands more since 2020 to committees linked to him, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission,” reported Isaac Stanley-Becker and Rosalind S. Helderman. However, “The relationship between Santos and Intrater goes beyond campaign contributions, according to a statement made privately by Santos in 2020 and a court filing the following year in a lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against a Florida-based investment firm, Harbor City Capital, where Santos worked for more than a year.”

Santos, who has faced a cascading scandal for lying about every aspect of his personal life on the campaign trail, previously claimed he was never alerted to possible fraud going on at Harbor City Capital, but a now-deleted tweet reveals he in fact was alerted to it two years ago by a prospective client.

“Taken together, the evidence suggests Santos may have had a business relationship with Intrater as Santos was first entering politics in 2020,” said the report. “It also shows, according to the SEC filing, that Intrater put hundreds of thousands of dollars into Santos’ onetime employer, Harbor City, which was accused by regulators of running a Ponzi scheme.”

Intrater’s lavish spending on Santos’ campaign, and committees supporting it, was first reported last December, along with Santos’ boasts at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he had been to Moscow “many times in [his] career.”

Intrater is the cousin of Viktor Vekselberg, a known Russian oligarch who has bragged about his ties to U.S. politics and has been sanctioned for his role in the Russian energy industry. Last April, Vekselberg’s $90 million yacht was seized by Spanish authorities in the port of Palma del Mallorca.

“While Intrater is a U.S. citizen, his company, the investment firm Columbus Nova, has historically had extensive ties to the business interests of his Russian cousin. As recently as 2018, when Vekselberg was sanctioned by the Treasury Department, his conglomerate was Columbus Nova’s largest client, the company confirmed to The Post that year,” said the report. “Intrater’s interactions in 2016 and 2017 with Michael Cohen, who at the time was working as a lawyer for Donald Trump, were probed during special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links between Trump and the Kremlin. Intrater’s company paid the lawyer and self-described Trump fixer to identify deals for his business, and court records show they exchanged hundreds of texts and phone calls.”

READ: Getting lung cancer to own the libs: House Republicans want to make smoking great again

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Extremist Group Targets Florida High School’s Yearbook Over Inclusion of LGBTQ Students Section

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The publication of a Florida high school yearbook that included an LGBTQ section has drawn rebuke from a conservative group, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

Lyman High School’s 256-page yearbook includes two pages that highlight the school’s LGBTQ students and features gender identity terms such as “genderfluid” and “nonbinary.”

The Seminole County Public Schools in response to the criticism is offering to issue refunds or reprint the yearbook without the LGBTQ section that the conservative Seminole County Moms for Liberty claims is offensive.

“They shouldn’t have any sexual definitions in a yearbook,” the group’s chapter chair Jessica Tillmann told The Sentinel.

“This is a yearbook that goes to every student as young as 14.”

The school’s yearbook is stirring controversy for a second straight year after the district in 2022 considered putting stickers over photos of a student walkout protesting the so-called “don’t say gay” law, the report said.

The Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher reports that “An LGBTQ+ section in this year’s yearbook includes a picture of members of the student’s Gay-Straight Alliance, definitions of key LGBTQ+ terms, a passage on the evolution of pronouns and a profile of a student who advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Danielle Pomeranz, the school yearbook’s faculty advisor, isn’t on board with the district’s decision to remove the LGBTQ content.

“They are definitions,” Pomeranz told The Sentinel.

“They are not teaching anything about sex at all. … Nobody is teaching anybody about sex acts. It is ridiculous.”

Pomeranz has since resigned from her position in the district, citing in part the Sunshine State’s political climate and an unsupportive district, the report said.

“We’ve always had the LGBTQ+ spread in there,” she said.

“Our job as journalists and members of the yearbook staff is to provide coverage of the entire school and that includes all of the communities, including the LGBTQ+ community.”

Read the full article here.

Image via Shutterstock

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Watch Live: President Biden to Deliver Rare Address to the Nation on Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Agreement

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President Joe Biden will make a rare address to the nation Friday evening, to share with the American people the results of successful negotiations with Republicans to avert what could have been not only a national but global economic disaster had the debt ceiling crisis not been averted.

Biden is being credited for smart and savvy negotiations while keeping out of the public eye and allowing Republicans to control the narrative, while steering the agreement to one best for the American people.

Even Speaker Kevin McCarthy “conceded that he had been impressed with Biden’s negotiating team during the talks, calling them ‘very professional, very smart’ and ‘very tough at the same time,'” HuffPost reported Wednesday.

Many extremist House Republicans were hoping for a default, and over the past several weeks they made clear they did not understand what the consequences would have been.

RELATED: ‘Objectively Amazing’: Economists Cheer ‘Extraordinarily Robust’ and ‘Close to Unprecedented’ Jobs Report

Watch President Biden below at 7 PM ET, or at this link.

RELATED: ‘Republicans Got Outsmarted by a President Who Can’t Find His Pants’: GOP Congresswoman Throws Debt Ceiling Tantrum

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FBI Agrees to Brief Top House Oversight Leaders on Unsubstantiated Allegation Against Biden

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Under threat of a contempt of Congress referral against FBI Director Chris Wray, the Bureau has agreed to allow a briefing for the top Republican and top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee on a years-old unsubstantiated allegation, which has been called a second-hand tip, accusing then-Vice President Joe Biden of a supposed wrongful act.

The existence of the lone, unclassified document, called an FD-1023 form, until recently was not even verified by the FBI.

Chairman Jim Comer (R-KY) and Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-MD) “will receive a briefing from the FBI and review the FD-1023 form behind closed doors in a secure SCIF, a sensitive compartmented information facility at the Capitol rather than going to FBI headquarters, as the bureau had initially offered,” CNN on Friday reported.

READ MORE: Classified Pentagon ‘War Plans’ Document Trump Bragged About in Audio Recording Is Missing: Report

“While the document contains the allegations made by an unnamed whistleblower, it doesn’t provide proof that they are true, people briefed on the matter said. The FBI and prosecutors who previously reviewed the information couldn’t corroborate the claims.”

Chairman Comer, who has been accused of using his position on the powerful Oversight Committee aid Donald Trump’s efforts to regain the presidency, late last month appeared to validate that accusation.

The unverified FD-1023 form “has origins in a tranche of documents that Rudy Giuliani provided to the Justice Department in 2020, people briefed on the matter said,” CNN notes.

“According to Comer,” CNN adds, the FD-1023 form, “dated June 30, 2020, says [a] foreign national allegedly paid $5 million to receive a desired policy outcome, based on unclassified and legally protected whistleblower disclosures.”

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has teamed up with Chairman Comer, came under fire for admitting he does not care whether or not the accusations against President Biden are true or not, he wants to pursue them regardless.

READ MORE: Classified Pentagon ‘War Plans’ Document Trump Bragged About in Audio Recording Is Missing: Report

CNN earlier this week reported that even then-Attorney General Bill Barr questioned the validity of the alleged document.

“The allegations of wrongdoing by the then-vice president, many originating from sources in Ukraine, were dubious enough that Attorney General William Barr in early 2020 directed that they be reviewed by a US attorney in Pittsburgh, in part because Barr was concerned that Giuliani’s document tranche could taint the ongoing Hunter Biden investigation overseen by the Delaware US attorney.”

Ranking Member Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, in a statement this week characterized the FD-1023 as containing “unsubstantiated, second-hand claims,” and called it a “tip.”

Raskin has also accused Comer of being determined to send a contempt of Congress referral for Director Wray to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

“It is increasingly clear that Committee Republicans have always planned to hold Director Wray in contempt of Congress to distract from the obvious fact that they do not have evidence to support their unfounded accusations against President Biden. This latest political maneuver underscores Chairman Comer’s determination to use the Committee to help former President Trump’s reelection efforts and pander to extreme MAGA Republicans.”

Last month, The New Republic reported, the “House GOP accused Joe Biden and his family … of engaging in business with foreign entities—but were unable to provide any actual evidence linking the president to any wrongdoing.”

“House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer released a 65-page memo detailing a sprawling investigation into Biden and some of his relatives, particularly his son Hunter Biden. Nowhere in the massive document was there a specific allegation of a crime committed by Biden or any of his relatives.”

 

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