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New York Times: Target Letter to Trump Raises Possibility of Obstruction and Fraud Charges



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The New York Times wrote a lengthy piece regarding a so-called ‘target letter’ former President Donald Trump received from federal prosecutors which suggest he could soon be indicted in the investigation into the events that culminated in the January 6th riot.

Trump publicly mentioned the letter on his social media platform Truth Social, but did not detail what criminal charges, if any, the special counsel, Jack Smith, had specified in the letter.

The New York Times gives defense of the reasoning behind its claims of potential charges against Trump:

A person briefed on the matter said the target letter cited three statutes that could be applied in a prosecution of Mr. Trump by the special counsel, Jack Smith, including a potential charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Norman Eisen, who worked for the House Judiciary Committee during Mr. Trump’s first impeachment and contributed to a prosecution memo modeling potential Jan. 6-related charges, said that the target letter suggested the special counsel “has more than enough evidence” to bring a case against the former president.

“By leading the effort to procure fraudulent electoral certificates across the nation, Trump helmed a conspiracy to defraud the U.S.,” Mr. Eisen said. “And by using those false documents to press Mike Pence to disrupt the Jan. 6 meeting of Congress, Trump attempted to obstruct an official proceeding.”

The Times lists ‘some of the charges’ Mr. Trump could face in the Jan. 6 case:

Both the House committee that scrutinized Jan. 6 and a federal judge in California who intervened in its inquiry have said that there is evidence that Mr. Trump tried to corruptly obstruct Congress’s session to certify Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory. Under Section 1512(c) of Title 18 of the United States Code, such a crime would be punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors have already used that law to charge hundreds of ordinary defendants in Jan. 6 cases, and in April, a federal appeals court upheld the viability of applying that charge to the Capitol attack. Still, unlike ordinary rioters, Mr. Trump did not physically participate in the storming of the Capitol…

Both the federal judge in California and the Jan. 6 committee also said there was evidence that Mr. Trump violated Section 371 of Title 18, which makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conspire with another person to defraud the government.

The basis for such a charge would be similar: Mr. Trump’s interactions with various lawyers and aides in his effort to block the certification of Mr. Biden’s electoral victory, even though Mr. Trump was repeatedly told that his allegations of widespread voter fraud were baseless…

A constellation of other potential crimes has also surrounded the Jan. 6 investigation. One is wire fraud. Section 1343 of Title 18makes it a crime, punishable by 20 years in prison, to cause money to be transferred by wire across state lines as part of a scheme to obtain money by means of false or fraudulent representations. A similar fraud statute, Section 1341, covers schemes that use the Postal Service.

Subpoenas issued by Mr. Smith suggest that he has been scrutinizing Mr. Trump’s political action committee, Save America PAC. It raised as much as $250 million, telling donors the money was needed to fight election fraud even as Mr. Trump had been told repeatedly that there was no evidence to back up those claims…


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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare



Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is now acknowledging the unintended consequences of the healthcare legislation, particularly its impact on industry consolidation and rising healthcare prices.

Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of Obamacare, has recently had what the Wall Street Journal reported as an “epiphany” regarding the consequences of the healthcare law. In a letter addressed to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, expressed concerns about vertically-integrated healthcare companies potentially increasing prescription drug costs and evading federal regulations.

According to reports from Fox News, the bipartisan letter highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly bypassing Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR). According to Warren, these insurers, through vertical integration, have manipulated the system, leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”

The senators detailed how conglomerates, like UnitedHealth Group, with ownership across various healthcare sectors, could inflate medical payments to pharmacies and, by realizing those payments on the pharmacy side, appear to comply with MLR requirements while retaining more profits.

Moreover, despite the Democrats’ argument that the MLR would benefit patients, it has incentivized insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This, in turn, has made healthcare spending less transparent, as insurers can allegedly shift profits to their affiliates by increasing reimbursements.

Warren, who has consistently voted against Obamacare repeal efforts, notably advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. Despite her prior support for the healthcare law, Warren’s recent concerns about its unintended consequences have raised questions about the long-term effects of Obamacare and its impact on the healthcare industry.

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