Tag: new york times
'Times' Reporter Finds A Way To 'Both Sides' Impeachment

'Times' Reporter Finds A Way To 'Both Sides' Impeachment

House Republicans are engaging in a completely partisan, evidence-free impeachment inquiry—but Peter Baker of The New York Times wants to talk about how the White House is treating this as a political issue. And just to get this out of the way right off the bat, the paragraph count before Baker acknowledges that Republicans have no evidence against Biden is seven.

In paragraph eight, he gets around to, “The Republican investigation so far has not produced concrete evidence of a crime by the president, as even some Republicans have conceded.” Even there, the implication is that the Republican investigation has produced some evidence, and they just need to make it concrete. In reality, the Republican investigation has produced no evidence that the president has engaged in any misconduct, let alone a crime.

Before the reader gets to that halfhearted admission, though, they’ve had to plow through a great deal of fretting about how the White House is treating this as political:

Forget the weighty legal arguments over the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors or the constitutional history of the removal process. Mr. Biden’s defense team has chosen to take on the Republican threat by convincing Americans that it is nothing more than base partisanship driven by a radical opposition.

How exactly would Baker propose the White House make weighty legal arguments when there is no legal case against Biden? When after months of fruitless investigations into Biden, Republicans have simply decided to go ahead with claiming to have found the things they looked for and didn’t find? What would he have the White House or any other Democrats do in response?

At one point, Baker quotes Julian Epstein, a Clinton-era lawyer for the Democrats of the House Judiciary Committee. “Overall, this has not been handled well by the White House,” Epstein argued. “The team there has violated the cardinal sin of investigations — allowing new information to trickle out continuously and while being stuck in stale Baghdad Bob-like ‘no evidence’ denials.” But if the White House hadn’t allowed new information to come out organically, the Peter Bakers of the world would have said that Biden was suppressing evidence! And how is the White House supposed to characterize the lack of evidence other than to point out that lack?

As always, Democrats are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If Democrats were to cede the political fight and allow Republicans to beat the crap out of Biden while the Democratic Party was busy making “weighty legal arguments over the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors or the constitutional history of the removal process,” it might satisfy Baker for a minute, but it would be a disastrous course of action. As it is, through sheer repetition and relying on lousy media coverage that doesn’t call a lie a lie, Republicans have convinced a substantial fraction of the public that there must be a there there when it comes to Biden and corruption. Imagine if Democrats voluntarily disarmed.

As entries in the Peter Baker oeuvre go, this one is pretty pedestrian and uninspired, nowhere near as creative as the time he wondered at length if it was a problem for Biden that Donald Trump was getting all the attention by being indicted. You didn’t have to beThe New York Times Pitchbot to know that the Times would respond to the White House documenting Republican lies about the basis for impeachment and calling on the media to cover it better by fretting about the White House violating norms. As tired and predictable as it is, though, it’s still harmful to have the Times pretending there’s equivalence between a fraudulent impeachment inquiry and attempts to push back on such an inquiry by pointing out that it is fraudulent.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

George Santos

Now Santos Campaign Bookkeeper Probed For 'Outright Fraud'

As United States Rep. George Santos (R-NY) undergoes several federal and local probes, one of his former campaign staffers has found herself under significant scrutiny from investigators as well.

Nancy Marks, 57, in addition to serving as Santos' treasurer during his 2020 and 2022 campaigns, The New York Times reports she is considered "an unheralded cog in New York politics," who has served "as a campaign bookkeeper to dozens of congressmen, judges and political action committees."

However, Santos' office staff took a major hit when Marks resigned in January after a report "revealing that Santos, or his campaign, amended Federal Election Committee filings to indicate the $700,000 he had claimed to have personally loaned his campaign had not actually come from his personal funds."

The Times reports:

Now, as federal and local prosecutors examine the web of deceitMr. Santos spun on his way to winning a closely contested House seat last November, they appear to be focused on a trail of financial dealings that suggests possible campaign finance violations or outright fraud. Campaign filings listed donations that exceeded the legal limit, hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexplained spending and a strange string of expenses for $199.99 — just pennies below the threshold beyond which receipts are required.

"There are very fundamental errors that no accountant of her experience would make," said Brett G. Kappel, a bipartisan elections lawyer. "If she submitted these knowing they contained false information, there are going to be consequences."

Likewise, the Timesreports:

But while the kind of egregious irregularities in Mr. Santos's reports do not appear in other campaigns she worked on, The Times found that Ms. Marks's accounting and business practices repeatedly drew suspicion. Former clients have taken her to court, saying she overpaid herself or failed to pay bills, as have a long line of creditors. Her close business ties with a felon alienated some onetime allies.

Former Long Island GOP congressional candidate Peter Zinno sought assistance from Marks in 2010, and according to the Times, she told him she'd "charge him half of her usual rate because, 'She liked me, apparently,' Zinno said.

However, the former Republican candidate eventually discovered, "Nancy is a hustler, and I got taken," he said.

Zinno later found "during his campaign, Ms. Marks had doubled the monthly rate paid to her company without notice," and even "appeared to bill him twice" some months, which led him to sue in 2013 for $3,800.

The judge did not grant him the requested settlement due to "lack of sufficient evidence," theTimes reports — "in part because he had waited too long to lodge his claim."

According to theTimes, it will be on investigators to decide whether the former Santos staffer "participated in any impropriety," though "a review by The New York Times — including dozens of interviews and scrutiny of hundreds of pages of legal and campaign records — shows that even as her stature grew over two decades, Ms. Marks waded into ethically and legally murky territory."

Santos has attempted to place the responsibility of his financial struggles on Marks, "telling a conservative news outlet that 'the former fiduciary went rogue.'" But the longtime treasurer insists she was fooled by the embattled congressman.

Still, although prosecutors are mostly focused on Santos' wrongdoings, according to theTimes, "campaign finance experts said that Ms. Marks could face her own criminal charges if she willfully misled the F.E.C. or covered up improper behavior."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Rep-Elect George Santos Says He'll Explain Falsehoods In Campaign Bio

Rep-Elect George Santos Says He'll Explain Falsehoods In Campaign Bio

Congressman-elect George Santos (R-NY) has promised to explain all the holes in his personal biography this coming week.

Shortly after making history as the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican candidate elected to Congress,
the New York Times reported the many gaps in his’ life story.

The publication could find nothing to support his claims that he graduated from Baruch College, attended New York University, worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, founded a charity called Friends of Pets, lost four employees in the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, that his Nazi grandparents escaped the Holocaust, that he lives at his registered address in New York City, and that his mother was in the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Documents obtained by The Daily Beast also suggest that he may have been married to a woman until 2019, even though he had previously told USA Today that he had never experienced problems over his gay sexual orientation for the last decade.

Initially, his lawyer blasted the Times‘ report, saying a “shotgun blast of attacks” were “attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations.”

“George Santos represents the kind of progress that the Left is so threatened by – a gay, Latino, first-generation American and Republican who won a Biden district in overwhelming fashion by showing everyday voters that there is a better option than the broken promises and failed policies of the Democratic Party,” his lawyer’s statement said, without denying any of the Times‘ findings.

Now, Santos is saying he will explain all of the questions surrounding his life next week.

On Thursday, Santos published a tweet saying, “I have my story to tell and it will be told next week. I want to assure everyone that I will address your questions and that I remain committed to deliver the results I campaigned on.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.


Trump Wanted To Play 'Superman' On Release From Hospital

This Tuesday, October 4 is the official release date for New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s new book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America. Excerpts from the book have been widely reported, and one of the anecdotes being reported by Axios involves Trump’s desire to display the Superman logo when he was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland in October 2020.

During his 2020 campaign, Trump downplayed the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic — as he feared it would hurt his chances of being reelected. But in October 2020, Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized at Reed.

In “Confidence Man,” Haberman describes Trump’s idea, reporting, “(He) would be wheeled out of Walter Reed in a chair and, once outdoors, he would dramatically stand up, then open his button-down dress shirt to reveal (a) Superman logo beneath it. Trump was so serious about it that he called the campaign headquarters to instruct an aide, Max Miller, to procure the Superman shirts; Miller was sent to a Virginia big-box store.”

According to Haberman, Trump’s idea was inspired by the King of Soul, James Brown, as well as professional wrestling. But Trump ended up abandoning the idea.

After being discharged from Reed, Trump returned to the White House.

COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China in late 2019. According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, the pandemic has since killed more than 6.5 million people worldwide — including over 1 million in the United States.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.