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  1. #4776
    Thailand Expat
    Troy's Avatar
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    ^ tbh, I've never bothered to read a full spamdreth post.

    Just another c&p merchant with no thoughts of his own.

  2. #4777
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    He's probably got Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

  3. #4778
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    "THE STATE RESTS."

    More later

  4. #4779
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Bellend

  5. #4780
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe 90 View Post
    Bellend
    He's my bitch. I can make the wanker post anytime, anywhere.


  6. #4781
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    still have nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    ^Don’t you have me on ignore?

    ^Got nothing and upset,…………again


  7. #4782
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Looks like spamdeath, the bellend'or, is very much on his morning spam round.

  8. #4783
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Looks like spamdeath, the bellend'or, is very much on his morning spam round.
    It's great fun distracting him, the obsessive wanker can't help himself.


  9. #4784
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    again.....



    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    ^Don’t you have me on ignore?

  10. #4785
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    State lawyers for the New York Attorney General’s Office rested their corruption case Monday against the National Rifle Association and its longtime frontman Wayne LaPierre.

    State lawyer Monica Connell — who delivered opening statements for the attorney general’s office four weeks ago — rested after bringing on the plaintiff's final witness Monday, Eric Hines, their first and only expert, who is a forensic accountant at the management consulting group StoneTurn.

    Guided by a lengthy 99-slide presentation, Hines testified that he found “a number of consistent control violations” when examining the NRA’s finances between 2010 and 2022, the years at issue in the attorney general’s suit.

    Hines studied LaPierre’s relationship with NRA vendor David McKenzie, the NRA’s use of public relations firm Ackerman McQueen, payments to NRA board members and other items called to question in the trial thus far, finding issue with all of them. He said that he found the “presence of fraud risk indicators,” as well as breaches “in NRA policies, procedures and internal controls” in the group’s handling of these various business relationships.

    Hines cited the NRA’s contract with McKenzie, a film producer who frequently brought LaPierre onboard his yachts, as one primary area of concern. He testified that the NRA board approved a TV production contract with McKenzie, only to discover that LaPierre had actually entered into a different contract with him months prior.

    “The control was not followed due to the fact that the contract was executed before it was subject to a board review,” Hines said. “It speaks to the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of a control environment.”

    Hines added that the discrepancies between the two contracts resulted in McKenzie being paid $15.7 million more than if he had been on the contract approved by the board.

    For the attorney general’s office, it was just another example of LaPierre using NRA funds to benefit himself and his inner circle. New York Attorney General Letitia James claims that LaPierre for years used the NRA as his “personal piggy bank,” siphoning the nonprofit’s donations to fund his luxurious lifestyle while failing to disclose conflicts of interest, like his relationship with McKenzie.

    Listed as defendants alongside the NRA and LaPierre is Wilson “Woody” Phillips, the NRA”s longtime finance chief, and John Frazer, the organization’s general counsel. Both are accused of helping LaPierre cover up his personal expenses by bypassing internal controls and shielding the bills from other employees.

    Since early January, the jury heard testimony from a number of former NRA executives and board members, many of whom feel they were retaliated against for blowing the whistle on LaPierre’s errant spending.

    Among them was Christopher Cox, an ex-top lobbyist for the group, and Oliver North, a former NRA president — both of whom claimed they were scapegoated and ousted for a fictional “coup” against LaPierre after they demanded more transparency into his spending.

    After the plaintiffs rested on Monday, each of the defendants’ attorneys pushed for a directed verdict against a handful of the attorney general’s claims. Lawyers for the NRA claimed that the organization’s board had no knowledge of LaPierre and the other individual defendants’ alleged misconduct.

    “Here, there has been no showing of bad faith by the NRA’s board of directors,” the group argued in a Monday court filing. “The NYAG has proven only violations of internal NRA policy by individual defendants and employees — without the knowledge, much less the approval, of the board.”

    Lawyers for the individual defendants took issue with their clients being considered “trustees” of the NRA’s charitable assets under New York State nonprofit law.

    Judge Joel Cohen declined to issue a ruling on the directed verdict requests on Monday. He invited the parties to brief the issue and deferred ruling until then.

    The defense then called its first witness on Monday: former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr, a Republican from Georgia who currently serves as the First Vice President of the NRA. Barr delivered a brief but glowing testimony on behalf of the NRA and its former CEO in LaPierre. He rebuked the “wrong” claims that the organization was overspending on legal aid.

    “Facing the threats that the NRA’s facing and the litigation, it would be irresponsible … not to have the most competent and highly respected lawyers handling our cases,” Barr said.

    Barr lauded LaPierre as a man who has “dedicated a lifetime” to bettering not just the NRA, but the United States as a whole. He conceded that “as have all of us, he’s made mistakes.”

    LaPierre could owe the NRA millions for those mistakes, should the Manhattan jury rule against him. The six-week trial entered its penultimate week on Monday; closing arguments are slated for Feb. 15.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  11. #4786
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Well that will rattle a few cages hopefully. Mind you, the parents are remarkably stupid and probably shouldn't even have bred.

    The mother of a school shooter who killed four students at a school in the US has been convicted in a landmark case.
    Jennifer Crumbley, 45, was found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter and faces 15 years in prison for each charge.

    Her son Ethan was 15 when he opened fire at Oxford High School, in Michigan in November 2021, killing 14-year-old Hana St Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, and 17-year-old Justin Shilling and injuring seven other people.

    The first-of-its-kind case against Jennifer Crumbley was brought by prosecutors who said she had a duty to prevent her son from harming others.


    She was, they said, grossly negligent and could have foreseen the violence.


    Ms Crumbley was also accused of failing to secure a gun and ammunition at her home and failing to get help for her son's mental health issues.


    James Crumbley, 47,
    bought their son the gun, a 9mm handgun, he used in the shooting, prosecutors said, even though he was too young to own his own gun under state law.

    The weapon was purchased four days earlier - apparently as a Christmas present - and was "freely available" to the teenager.

    He brought the weapon to school on the day of the shooting, though no one checked his rucksack.

    Ethan is said to have posted images of the gun used in the shooting on social media, writing: "Just got my new beauty today" and adding a heart emoji, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said during the trial.

    Mrs Crumbley posted the next day that they were "testing out his new Christmas present".


    They were also guilty of ignoring
    warning signs before their son's rampage, such as concerning drawings found at his school desk, prosecutors said.


    On the day of the shooting, a teacher had found a note on Ethan's desk with a drawing of a gun pointing at the words "the thoughts won't stop. Help me."


    They took a photo of the note, which also included a drawing of a person who had been shot twice with the words "blood everywhere", "my life is useless" and "the world is dead" on it.


    Mr and Mrs Crumbley were called in to the school at 10am and, when they left, Ethan went back to class, carrying the weapon in a backpack, investigators said.


    The shooting happened around 1pm.

    His parents were charged a few days later, after police found them, they said, "hiding in a building in Detroit".

    In December last year, Ethan Crumbley was jailed for life without parole after pleading guilty to murder, terrorism and other charges.


    At his sentencing, he told a judge that he was a "really bad person" who could not stop himself.


    James Crumbley is scheduled to go on trial in March on the same charges as his wife.

    https://news.sky.com/story/michigan-...-case-13065596


  12. #4787
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    NRA Trial Day 19: “Did Wayne LaPierre Make Mistakes? Yes, He Did.”

    TODAY IN COURT

    On Tuesday, February 6th, NRA expert witness, economist Ryan Sullivan, concluded his testimony. The NRA then called longtime-NRA board member Tom King, and current NRA CFO Sonya Rowling.

    SUMMARY OF TODAY’S TESTIMONY



    • Sullivan testified that his primary finding was that the NRA’s course correction has been effective.
      • Sullivan testified that he believed the NRA’s “course correction” started in 2017.
      • As an economist, Sullivan acknowledged that his background is not in forensic accounting (like the NYAG’s expert Eric Hines) and that he is not an expert on internal controls.
      • On cross examination, Sullivan acknowledged that he was also hired as an expert for the NRA in the D.C. Attorney General’s litigation against the NRA, but that the court found him not qualified to testify in that case.
      • The parties disputed the relevance of some of Sullivan’s testimony, with the NYAG objecting to certain testimony as outside of the scope of his expert report. More broadly, the NYAG repeatedly raised that the state does not believe that post-hoc corrections cure previous violations of law.



    • The NRA next called Tom King, a member of the NRA board for over 15 years.



    • King testified that the board is elected by NRA life members and that prospective board members campaign for the positions. As with other NRA witnesses, King was highly complimentary of the NRA board and its operations.
    • King testified that it was upon his recommendation that the NRA hired the Brewer firm, and it was due to what he perceived as a “coming storm” against the NRA.
    • King testified that he has long been a stalwart supporter of LaPierre and that he voted for LaPierre’s candidacy as Executive Vice President through the last election. When asked if he would support LaPierre in the future, King testified that LaPierre’s “time had passed” and that it was “time for a new NRA.”
    • King testified that he was not aware of LaPierre’s extensive charter jet travel before 2019. When asked if King ever questioned LaPierre about the various allegations against him, King responded “not directly.”
      • King testified that he is now aware that LaPierre’s family flew on NRA-paid private jets. Similar to prior testimony from Bob Barr, King testified that he believed that LaPierre apologized and made restitution for those expenses. King testified that he did not know how much NRA-money was spent on private planes for LaPierre’s family.

    • On cross-examination, the NYAG entered into evidence a text thread among several NRA officers regarding a social media page entitled “NRA For Accountability,” which mentioned NRA Board Member Johnny Nugent, Jr. In the thread, NRA President Charles Cotton texted the group that they “need to reconsider Nugent’s committee assignments.” Among the responses, King replied: “Actions will be taken very soon to neutralize some of these people. Please forward any FB names to me.”
    • At the same time, King told the jury that LaPierre came to the board in 2017 or 2018 and admitted mistakes and told the board that the NRA needed to course correct. King further testified, “Did Wayne LaPierre make mistakes? Yes, he did.”



    • On cross-examination, the NYAG asked King if he considered a $1,600 tip to a landscaper to be an appropriate use of NRA money, and King testified that it would not be appropriate. Counsel for LaPierre later characterized the tip as an alleged security charge.



    • After the conclusion of King’s testimony, the NRA called current-CFO Sonya Rowling, who testified earlier in the trial.



    • Rowling testified that she drafted a memorandum calculating LaPierre’s excess benefits over a multi-year period. Rowling also stated that the NRA will again be including an excess benefit disclosure for LaPierre on its upcoming 2023 990 filing.


    ANALYSIS


    The Sullivan testimony – about the NRA’s purported “course correction” – underscores a primary difference in how the two sides see the framework for the case. The course correction is a focus on the NRA’s presentation to the jury. Yet, the NYAG seems to give the course correction the back of its hand, essentially saying you don’t get forgiveness for previous violations of the law by simply starting to follow the law once you’ve been caught. It may be the NRA’s emphasis on these facts has less to do with disputing its liability, but instead, it may be geared towards influencing the penalties and remediation phase of the case.

    WHAT’S NEXT?

    The NRA will continue its defense with testimony from current NRA CFO Sonya Rowling tomorrow morning at 9:30am.

  13. #4788
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    TODAY IN COURT

    On Wednesday, February 7th, NRA CFO Sonya Rowling concluded her testimony. Rowling was followed by NRA expert witnesses Matthew Lerner, Stacey Cullen, and Greg Plotts.

    SUMMARY OF TODAY’S TESTIMONY


    • Current NRA CFO Sonya Rowling continued her testimony today.
      • The NRA elicited testimony from Rowling that she headed up a 2021 review of unprocessed expense reimbursement requests from NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. Rowling testified that about $12,000 was reimbursed, but approximately $200,000 in reimbursement requests were not paid out to LaPierre either because they were late or determined to be improper.
      • Rowling also testified about reviewing the NRA credit card statements of former NRA Chief of Staff Josh Powell. She found what she described as “inappropriate” expenses, which included black car service and first class air travel. She testified that when Powell refused to pay these expenses back, he was fired.
      • On cross examination, the NYAG appeared to poke holes in the notion that the “tone at the top” had improved at the NRA, getting Rowling to acknowledge many of the people currently in charge of the organization had been there for decades (namely new CEO Andrew Arulanandam, President Charles Cotton, General Counsel John Frazer, and herself as CFO).
      • Rowling acknowledged that memoranda she prepared for the NRA Audit Committee concerning excess benefits for LaPierre and credit card charges for Tyler Schropp were drafted in December 2023 – three years after the NYAG’s complaint was filed, and 1 month before the trial began. These memoranda are available on the docket and can be found here and here.
      • With respect to calculation of LaPierre’s excess benefits and how she knew certain trips had a business purpose, Rowling testified “I have to take Mr. LaPierre’s word for it.” She later testified that “Mr. LaPierre made a valiant effort” to piece together old travel records during this process.
      • Rowling testified that Schropp has not repaid anything to the NRA to date. She further said she planned to meet with him tomorrow on this issue.
      • Rowling defended the speed in which change was made at the NRA, saying to get the “Titanic turned around it takes time.”

    • Counsel for John Frazer continued his emphasis, in questioning Rowling, about an August 2016 Audit Committee meeting where related party transactions were considered for certain NRA board members.
    • Out of the presence of the jury, Judge Cohen – who was asking questions for the purposes of fashioning jury instructions – got counsel to acknowledge that this meeting was a retroactive approval of contracts and payments the NRA had already made.
    • NRA Watch was not able to observe testimony today in the afternoon, and thus does not have a summary of testimony with respect to expert witnesses Matthew Lerner, Stacey Cullen, and Greg Plotts.


    ANALYSIS

    Judge Cohen has directed the parties to divide up trial time equally between the NYAG and defense. The NYAG has used the lionshare of its allotted time and today in court, counsel from the NRA estimated that the NYAG only had 3.5 hours remaining. The bulk of this remaining time will presumably be held in abeyance for closing arguments. This creates a dynamic in the final days of fact testimony where the defense will offer witness after witness, with very little cross examination. While this may sound promising for the NRA and individual defendants, there is also the opposite risk: that the jury gets bored of just hearing direct testimony after direct testimony. The parade of accounting witnesses today speaks to this possibility.

    WHAT’S NEXT?

    The NRA will continue its defense tomorrow morning at 9:30am. There will be no testimony on Friday.

  14. #4789
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    TODAY IN COURT

    On Thursday, February 8th, the NRA called two additional experts (adding to the multiple experts that have already testified). First, the jury heard testimony from Amish Mehta, an accountant and auditor. Mehta was followed by accountant and consultant Bruce Blacker. After the conclusion of Blacker’s testimony, the NRA called NRA Director of Finance Michael Erstling back to the stand. Erstling’s testimony was followed by testimony from NRA board member and former president, Sandra Froman.

    SUMMARY OF TODAY’S TESTIMONY


    • The NRA offered an additional expert witness, Amish Mehta, to start testimony today. He was on the stand for approximately an hour. Mehta is a CPA and auditor that specializes in non-profit organizations.
      • The NRA elicited fairly narrow testimony from the witness concerning his views of NRA policies – and Mehta only reviewed NRA policies in effect in 2019 and 2020.
      • Mehta testified that he believes that the NRA’s whistleblower policies were “robust” compared to other nonprofits. He said the NRA had established protocols to handle whistleblowing that encourage individuals with good faith concerns to come forward and report.
      • He further offered his opinion that the NRA had demonstrated a commitment to corporate governance and strong internal controls. When asked by counsel for the NRA to rank where the NRA’s controls rank among the experts other clients in his practice, he indicated that the NRA was in the top 10% of his clients in 2020.
      • On a brief cross examination, the NYAG established Mehta (1) was offering no opinions on the policies and controls in place at the NRA prior to 2019; (2) performed no testing to see if the NRA’s IRS 990s were accurate; (3) never attended an audit committee meeting, and in his 2022 deposition could not name a single member of the audit committee; and (4) was not offering an opinion as to whether any NRA policies were actually violated.
      • In Mehta’s opinion, the NYAG expert witness erred in not sufficiently considering materiality when reaching various conclusions. On cross, Mehta acknowledged that he was not saying diverting charitable assets is okay if it’s below a certain dollar amount.

    • The NRA then offered expert testimony from Bruce Blacker. He is a CPA at the firm Secretariat.
    • Blacker testified that the existence of fraud risk indicators, such as noted by the NYAG’s expert Eric Hines, is not the same as a finding that fraud actually occurred.
    • Blacker also criticized Hines’ analysis for not considering whether the NRA received value from some of the vendor relationships at question in the case.
    • On cross examination, Blacker also acknowledged that he did not make judgments on the accuracy of any allegations in the case, and that his firm was hired by the Brewer law firm.
    • Counsel for the NRA elicited testimony from Erstling regarding the differences between defendant Woody Phillips and Craig Spray, two recent CFOs and treasurers at the NRA.
      • Erstling testified that when Spray began to work for the NRA in 2018, it was “180 degree turn” from his experience with Phillips.
      • When asked about what changed, Erstling stated that Spray was “much more engaged” and began to hold monthly meetings; whereas, Erstling had not seen Phillips in years.
      • Around the time Spray was hired, Erstling felt frustrated after seeing “large invoices. . . with very little detail.” He described seeing invoices for $300,000 and $500,000 that contained little information as to their purpose.
      • Erstling further testified that at these monthly meetings, the group realized that there were “significant problems” at the NRA and that the “scope was getting larger every time we met.”

    • Counsel from the NRA reviewed the so-called Top Concerns Memo with Erstling, which was drafted by individuals in the Finance Department of the NRA in 2018. Erstling previously testified about this document at some length.
    • Throughout this portion of Erstling’s testimony, NRA counsel repeatedly elicited testimony that it was LaPierre and Phillips who: (1) overrode internal controls with respect to payment of invoices; (2) overrode internal controls with respect to travel expenses; and (3) subordinated their judgment to that of NRA vendors.
    • Erstling testified with respect to the Top Concerns Memo, that “when you look at the totality of what was happening, it was bad.”
    • Froman testified that she voted to place NRA board members on committees based on who she thought were the best candidates, not based on who Wayne LaPierre supported. During the NYAG’s cross examination, Froman was shown a text exchange she had with one of LaPierre’s closest aides in which Froman noted that “no one has given me a ‘cheat sheet’ list for the nominating committee election.” The aide responded with a list of nine names. Minutes from the committee hearing showed that the entire list of nine names sent by LaPierre’s aide in response were then nominated.
    • Froman claimed that LaPierre’s compensation was in the middle of the range for similarly-sized nonprofits.
    • Froman also testified regarding the compensation she received from the NRA while serving on the board, which she stated was negotiated with LaPierre and had no written agreement. Froman claimed that under current policy, a contract would be required. Froman claimed that this compensation was for “expenses” even though she received a flat annual fee.
    • The NRA then called long-time NRA employee and current Director of Finance, Michael Erstling. Erstling was previously called by NYAG earlier in the trial.
    • NRA board member and former president Sandra Froman testified next. Froman discussed her history at the NRA and the roles and responsibilities of NRA board members.


    ANALYSIS

    The NRA’s direct examination of Michael Erstling was the largest fracture at the defense table to date, with the NRA eliciting testimony directly pointing the finger at individual defendants LaPierre and Phillips. With LaPierre apparently poised to take the stand again next week, it will be interesting to see if the NRA’s lawyers go hard at him on cross-examination. As it relates to the parade of expert witnesses the NRA has put on, NRA Watch would like to directly quote a reporter in the courthouse: “Too many experts. I’m beginning to feel unwell.” It is a lot to ask the jury to sit through hours of testimony about the principles of accounting, especially when the scope of these purported experts is incredibly narrow. In many cases, their testimony amounts to, in essence, “the rules the NRA eventually put in place were solid, but I don’t know – and didn’t look – if they followed them.” Of course, there is extensive evidence in the trial record of massive overrides of internal controls, conflicts of interest, and inappropriate vendor arrangements. And the trial record seems to support the notion that the board of directors of the NRA either was asleep at the switch, or simply deferred to management on these transactions.

    WHAT’S NEXT?

    There will be no testimony on Friday, February 9 or Monday, February 12. The NRA will continue its defense Tuesday morning at 9:30am, with closing arguments from all parties currently scheduled for Thursday, February 15. Of note, counsel today indicated that they expected former NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre to be back on the stand on Tuesday.

  15. #4790
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ANALYSIS

    Wayne LaPierre spent decades as the head of the NRA when the organization was a main force for coarsening American political discourse, constantly injecting the threat of violence into our politics through the embrace of a “guns anywhere” agenda and extremist rhetoric, like the lie that the Second Amendment guarantees the right for individuals to overthrow the government. Now on the stand in the trial, it is astounding to hear LaPierre complaining that, in the past, “people didn’t all hate each other” in politics and that “it was civil,” unlike today. Meanwhile, not even a month ago, the NRA published LaPierre’s (presumably) final monthly column in NRA publications, in which he wrote, in part, “The radical fringe of our country—led by President Joe Biden and his allies in Congress—is feverishly working to destroy the very foundations of our nation.”

    __________



    The National Rifle Association’s longtime frontman Wayne LaPierre claimed Tuesday that his role as chief executive came with a number of security risks, which forced him to take extra NRA-funded precautions like private flights and car services.

    “I think the first time we understood there was a threat level was back during the Unabomber,” LaPierre said. “The FBI briefed us that we were a target. They advised me to register for hotels under a different name.”

    LaPierre took the witness stand for his defense case Tuesday morning, where he tried to justify some of his scrutinized personal spending while at the NRA’s helm. New York Attorney General Letitia James claims that LaPierre siphoned millions of dollars from the NRA to fund luxury trips, private flights and other purchases.

    But LaPierre claimed that much of these purchases were actually for the betterment of the organization, or in direct response to security risks. He told the jury that his personal image vastly grew while leading the NRA, which made him a prime target for threats from the public.

    “As the issue got more controversial, I gave up my anonymity,” LaPierre said. “People recognized me everywhere.”

    Under questioning from his lawyer Kent Correll, LaPierre walked the court through his childhood in Schenectady, New York, where he would unload banana boats at the Port of Albany to scrape cash together over summers. It wasn’t cushy work, LaPierre said.

    “You’d be down in the hull of the ship lifting pallets,” he added.

    After college, LaPierre got into lobbying, where his political stock began to rise. He joined the NRA’s lobbying team in 1978, eventually serving as the head of the group’s lobbying arm until he was promoted to NRA chief executive in 1991.

    Throughout his testimony, LaPierre claimed that he never wanted to be the group’s frontman — he was more comfortable in a lobbying role.

    “It really wasn’t my background,” LaPierre said of the CEO position. “It really wasn’t what I loved doing, to tell you the truth.”

    When he took the job, LaPierre became the national face of gun rights. He told the jury that he “changed the job description” to make it more geared towards public relations and activism, an ode to his lobbying background.

    “I felt that if we were gonna be successful in growing the organization, I needed to be out there in front of America,” LaPierre said. “I needed to be out there giving speeches all over the country, I needed to be out there speaking to donors … I always felt that the way the NRA would lose would be if it fell to the fringe.”

    LaPierre told the court of his friendships with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris, as well as his TV appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and other high-profile programs. All of this raised the NRA’s profile, LaPierre said, but also opened himself up to security concerns.

    Earlier in the trial, LaPierre’s lawyer claimed that he was told he “must fly private” as a result of these worries. The attorney general’s office accuses LaPierre of spending more than $11 million of NRA funds on flights and luxury travel.

    Other witnesses have since doubted the necessity of LaPierre’s private travel, and even LaPierre himself said that billing the NRA for the trips was “not the right thing to do.”

    Still, the crux of LaPierre’s Tuesday testimony was that this spending was necessary for both his safety and the NRA’s mission. He claimed a trip to Italy was to meet with the Beretta firearm family, while a trip to Hungary was to discuss an exhibit exchange with a Budapest gun museum.

    LaPierre will return to the witness stand on Wednesday to complete his defense testimony. Similar to his first time on the stand last month, his testimony will be fragmented to accommodate the 74-year-old’s health concerns.

    With closing arguments are slated for Thursday, the six-week trial is coming to an end. Afterwards, a jury will decide on the corruption claims against LaPierre, the NRA and two of its longtime executives.

  16. #4791
    Thailand Expat
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    Fuck off spamdeath...there's Americans being killed out there...

    Kansas City shooting: One dead and 21 injured near Super Bowl parade
    One person has died and 21 people were wounded in a shooting in Missouri at the end of the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade.

    Officials said they treated eight victims who were in immediately life-threatening condition, as well as seven others who had suffered injuries that could prove life-threatening.

    An area hospital confirmed that nine children were among the wounded.

    Police said they have arrested three suspects in connection to the shooting.

    The shots were fired west of Union Station, the train station in downtown Kansas City, which was close to thousands of fans who had gathered for the victory parade on Wednesday.

    The parade ended outside Union Station around 14:00 local time (20:00 GMT), and local reports said Kansas City Chiefs players were still on a stage when shots were first fired.

    etc...

    Kansas City shooting: One dead and 21 injured near Super Bowl parade - BBC News

    When will they learn eh...

  17. #4792
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    Fucking seppos, what can you do. And they have the cheek to call HAMAS a terrorist organisation.

  18. #4793
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    NRA Trial Day 23: “I couldn’t believe it, but when you add it all up, it’s over $1 million.”

    ANALYSIS

    From thank you “notes” (more like a form letter) from Oprah, to pictures at NASCAR events, to Time Magazine’s list of influential people, the direct examination of Wayne LaPierre was quite a trip down memory lane for LaPierre. NRA Watch is skeptical how much this helped LaPierre with the jury. Moreover, the decision to have LaPierre painstakingly go through every reimbursement check he wrote the NRA to repay benefits improperly granted to him and his family was a curious one, as it seemed to re-emphasize the duration and magnitude of his misconduct.

    In its questioning, the NRA further tried to separate itself from LaPierre, its former longtime leader, and his preferred vendors. The NRA appears to be hanging its hat on the jury making a distinction between the NRA and LaPierre in its deliberations, which seems like a tricky notion when, as its current CFO has testified, LaPierre really was the NRA for nearly three decades. Testimony has all borne out a “Wayne says” culture at the NRA where his word was the final word. It may be the NRA’s best and only strategy at this point – but it’s dubious at best.

    WHAT’S NEXT?

    Closing arguments will start tomorrow morning at 9:15 AM.

    __________




    Wayne LaPierre took the witness stand one last time in New York’s corruption case against him on Wednesday, when he told a Manhattan jury that he paid back the National Rifle Association for a slew of donor-funded personal expenses.

    The longtime NRA chief executive told the court he wrote a series of checks between 2020 and 2023 that amounted to more than $1 million — the figure he determined he owed the organization for private flights, black car service, clothing and more.

    “I was confident that we had covered anything that could possibly be an issue,” LaPierre said Wednesday. “And I could look in the mirror and face God and say I've done everything I can to make this right and square.”

    The New York attorney general’s office accuses LaPierre of using the NRA as his “personal piggy bank” by spending donor funds on luxury travel and goods, which it claims did nothing to further the goals of the organization. LaPierre and his co-defendants have long countered that he repaid the organization for those buys.

    But his Wednesday testimony walked a familiar tightrope. LaPierre had previously claimed that his spending was always NRA-related, while simultaneously asserting he paid back any charges that raised “doubts.”

    “I wanted to completely do the right thing,” he said Wednesday. “I wanted to be completely squared up, so if there was any doubt, I was overinclusive. I erred on the NRA’s side.”

    LaPierre had claimed earlier in the trial that his method of billing the NRA — which included running the expenses through the organization’s public relations firm to mask the spending — was “not the right thing to do.”

    Still, the attorney general argues, the $1 million LaPierre claimed to repay was a drop in the bucket. The NRA paid roughly $13 million for LaPierre’s private flights between 2012 and 2019, state lawyer Jonathan Conley said Wednesday.

    LaPierre said he wasn’t aware of the dollar amount, just that he was instructed to fly private for security reasons. He recounted a 2013 swatting incident that he said stepped up his need for precautions.

    “That was the beginning of the harassment that started not only on the street, in restaurants, in airports, but it had started at the house,” LaPierre said. “That’s when they said the threat level was so high that I had to start flying private.”

    New York Attorney General Letitia James also claims LaPierre tampered with the appointment of NRA officers and failed to disclose numerous conflicts of interest.

    For instance, film producer David McKenzie, whom LaPierre hired to produce TV shows for the NRA, also happened to be the owner of several yachts, which he allowed LaPierre to use on a number of globetrotting expeditions.

    As his personal relationship with LaPierre flourished, McKenzie continued to receive payments from the NRA for years after he stopped producing shows for it.

    LaPierre claimed Wednesday that he didn’t find out until years later.

    “I was shocked when I still saw bills coming in,” LaPierre said, and he encouraged the NRA to “terminate the relationship” with McKenzie’s production studio.

    The defense rested its case on Wednesday, putting an end to roughly six weeks of testimony between the state and the four defendants. Counsel will deliver closing arguments on Thursday and the jury will start deliberating on Friday.

    Depending on the jury’s findings, LaPierre and his co-defendants could owe millions in damages to the NRA. The nonprofit also could be forced to replace executives and enforce new compliance policies.

    James initially hoped to remove LaPierre from the helm of the NRA, but the 74-year-old beat her to the punch in January. Just days before the start of the trial, LaPierre stepped down as the NRA’s chief after more than 30 years in charge.

    He cited health complications from his chronic Lyme disease as the primary reason. The condition also forced him to fragment his testimony throughout the trial to combat fatigue, according to his lawyer.

  19. #4794
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
    When will they learn eh...
    They won't ever learn. This has become a near daily occurence. Americans are resigned to the fact that their elected officials will do nothing as they know well if they try to do anything they can kiss their political careers goodbye. Fucking with a $50 billion+ industry with a very strong lobbying organization does not make for a winning political strategy.
    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect,"

  20. #4795
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    They won't ever learn. This has become a near daily occurence. Americans are resigned to the fact that their elected officials will do nothing as they know well if they try to do anything they can kiss their political careers goodbye. Fucking with a $50 billion+ industry with a very strong lobbying organization does not make for a winning political strategy.

    It's good to see the next generation are picking up where the dying trumpanzees left off.


  21. #4796
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    ANALYSIS

    NRA Watch does not offer any predictions as to what the jury will do tomorrow. That said, NRA Watch offers four key takeaways from the trial:

    NRA Whistleblowers Spill the Tea: The NYAG’s case started with ousted NRA board members and executives testifying how they were forced out after they tried to blow the whistle about the NRA’s problems. The lead witnesses to the State’s case were adamant Second Amendment supporters. This culminated with the testimony of conservative stalwart Oliver North, the former NRA board president, became the third LaPierre associate to claim under oath that LaPierre had told them that the head of the Brewer firm was the only person who could keep LaPierre out of jail and an “orange jumpsuit.” Furthermore, former longtime NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox also testified against LaPierre and bore witnesses to the financial mismanagement at the organization.

    Wayne LaPierre Resigns and Admits Mistakes: On the eve of trial, and after three decades leading the NRA, LaPierre resigned. Thus, in many respects, the NYAG had won this trial before it even began. But this foreshadowed LaPierre largely falling on the proverbial sword during trial, admitting receiving improper benefits. At one point, he walked through the eight checks he wrote the NRA between 2020 and 2023 in an attempt to “square things up,” testifying “I couldn’t believe it, but when you add it all up, it’s over $1 million.” The NYAG alleges the scope of the misconduct is much greater, but even so, this admission really raises doubt whether LaPierre is putting on any real substantive defense at all.

    NRA Points the Finger: From the opening statement when they said “the NRA is not this man,” it was clear the NRA wanted to put daylight between itself and longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre. Counsel for the NRA said, of LaPierre, that he was “not always a meticulous corporate executive.” In its questioning of LaPierre, the NRA often treated LaPierre as a hostile witness. In this manner, the NRA appears to be hanging its hat on the jury making a distinction between the NRA and LaPierre in its deliberations, which seems like a tricky notion when, as its current CFO has testified, LaPierre really was the NRA for nearly three decades. Testimony has all borne out a “Wayne says” culture at the NRA where his word was the final word. As for the other shady business dealings? The NRA had someone else to blame for each one from longtime public relations firm Ackerman McQueen to the travel agent that booked the NRA’s private charter flights to the vendor whose stakeholder provided free vacations on a yacht to LaPierre and his family.

    AG’s Evidence of Financial Mismanagement Largely Goes Unchallenged: With witness testimony and documents, the NYAG has substantiated the vast majority of shady financial transactions raised in the complaint, including (1) LaPierre’s various trips on the yachts owned by a stakeholder in multiple key NRA vendors, (2) extensive private charter flight travel for the LaPierre’s totaling over $10 million, including for flights that Wayne LaPierre wasn’t even on, (3) a variety of NRA contractual relationships with NRA board members that were not approved by the board ahead of time, (4) lavish spending on things like gifts, makeup, hair cuts, suits, and black car service, (5) multi-million dollar post-contract golden parachute arrangements for LaPierre and former CFO Woody Phillips, and (6) the contemplated purchase of a Dallas mansion for LaPierre.

    WHAT’S NEXT?

    The jury will receive instructions from Judge Cohen and begin deliberations tomorrow, Friday, February 16.

    __________



    State attorney Monica Connell opened with a sweet analogy Thursday during closing arguments at the New York attorney general’s civil trial against the National Rifle Association.

    “What happens when someone is caught in the act?” she asked a Manhattan jury. “When someone is caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar?”

    The metaphorical cookie culprit is Wayne LaPierre, the longtime NRA chief executive, who the New York attorney general accusing of violating state nonprofit law by treating the NRA as his “personal piggy bank.”

    “They might try to minimize what they did,” Connell said, continuing her analogy. “They will say, ‘But it wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s a few cookies. What’s the harm?’”

    That’s exactly what the defendants did in response to the state’s lawsuit, the attorney general claims. Despite Wayne LaPierre apparently repaying some of the cash and the NRA starting a course correction to address compliance issues, that “doesn’t mean you didn’t take the cookies,” Connell said.

    Connell’s roughly two-hour presentation reiterated the state’s claims against LaPierre for his errant spending, executives Wilson “Woody” Phillips and John Frazer for helping cover up the expenses and the NRA itself for turning a blind eye to it all.

    Connell argued that the millions in NRA funds that LaPierre spent on private flights were — contrary to the defense’s claims — not necessary in supporting the NRA’s mission, particularly the more than $500,000 on trips to the Bahamas, according to one of her presentation slides.

    Additionally, she chided the NRA for playing victim. Connell noted that LaPierre’s conduct was widely known, but he was never punished for his spending habits and resigned on his own fruition.

    “They cannot walk away from this misconduct,” Connell said.

    Earlier Thursday, the NRA’s counsel claimed in its closing argument that the organization was blind to LaPierre’s spending. The NRA’s lawyer Sarah Rogers says the state acknowledges this in its own complaint.

    “The government admits that the NRA is a victim,” Rogers said.

    According to the attorney general’s complaint, LaPierre, Phillips and Frazier could be forced to pay back the NRA for any “excessive” charges billed to the organization. That’s proof, Rogers argued Thursday, that “there was misconduct against the NRA.”

    “The essence of fraud is it’s a lie, and the victim didn’t know about it,” she said.

    But LaPierre’s lawyer Kent Correll said Thursday that his client did nothing malicious. He argued LaPierre’s spending was for his safety and the betterment of the NRA as a whole. LaPierre flew private due to security issues, Correll argued, and took trips to Los Angeles to network with pro-gun celebrities.

    “The organization was lucky to have him,” Correll said. “He’s a one-of-a-kind individual. You met him. He’s not the greedy, arrogant exploitative person the attorney general was making him out to be.”

    Correll scolded the attorney general’s office for making LaPierre’s luxury yacht stays a focus of its case. At trial, LaPierre testified he used the yachts owned by NRA vendor David McKenzie while simultaneously paying McKenzie for TV production work for the NRA.

    But Correll said that’s not the devious conflict the attorney general claimed it to be, insisting Thursday that LaPierre stayed on the yachts for both friendship and safety.

    “They fault him for accepting an invitation for staying on a boat during a time that his threat level was so high that he couldn’t go home,” Correll said.

    Correll eventually directed some of his fury towards New York Attorney General Letitia James, herself. Towards the end of his closing, Correll attacked James for not attending the proceedings.

    “Where is Letitia James?” he asked. “I don't see her. If this case was so important, why wouldn't she be here?”

    If James had been in the gallery, Correll added that he would have called her as his first witness to “ask her why she did this.”

    After all, LaPierre didn’t care about money, Correll argued. LaPierre was a talented lobbyist prior to taking over the NRA. Correll said Thursday that if money was the goal, LaPierre would have simply stuck with that.

    “He wasn’t interested in building a big pile of money for himself,” Correll said. “If he wanted to make a fortune, he could’ve. He could've bought a yacht if he wanted one.”

    Correll and the other attorneys praised the Manhattan jurors for their patience over the six-week trial. They'll start deliberating on Friday morning. Depending on their verdict, LaPierre and his co-defendants could owe the NRA millions.

    James initially hoped to remove LaPierre from his CEO post, but the 74-year-old beat her to the punch last month. Just days before the start of the trial, LaPierre resigned after more than 30 years at the helm, citing health reasons.

  22. #4797
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Jurors began deliberating Friday in the New York civil corruption trial against the National Rifle Association and its longtime leader, Wayne LaPierre.

    The jury will decide whether LaPierre, the organization's former CEO, drew millions of dollars away from the gun rights group on luxuries for himself, as well as whether other executives flouted laws and internal policies to enrich themselves.

    The other defendants are the NRA itself; John Frazer, its corporate secretary and general counsel; and Wilson “Woody” Phillips, its former treasurer and chief financial officer. They are accused of violating their fiduciary duties and failing to take action against LaPierre, 74, ultimately helping him maintain power.

    Out of a dozen jurors who sat through the trial, six were randomly chosen Friday morning to deliberate. Five out of six jurors need to agree on the verdict.

    The jury will weigh the fate of each defendant separately and decide on a total of nine claims, which include violations of state nonprofit, estate and trust statutes. Those claims are related to whistle-blower protection violations, breaches of duties, wrongful transactions and false filings.

    If they find the individual defendants liable, they will recommend the amount of money that each defendant would have to repay the NRA.

    The lawsuit was brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James in 2020.

    Her attorneys have spent the last six weeks in a New York City courtroom painting the NRA as “Wayne’s World,” which they said was full of free private jets, expensive meals, travel consultants, private security and trips to the Bahamas for him and his family.

    During closing arguments on Thursday, Monica Connell, an attorney with the State Attorney General’s Office, compared the defendants to children caught stealing from a cookie jar.

    She urged the jury to hold the defendants accountable, even if their attorneys outlined steps they may have taken to address or correct violations.

    “Saying you’re sorry now,” she said, “doesn’t mean you didn’t take the cookies.”

    The NRA’s attorney countered by distancing the group from LaPierre and fortifying its defense that former rogue employees had stolen from the NRA without the group’s knowledge.

    “If this is a case about corruption, it wasn’t corruption by the NRA,” NRA attorney Sarah Rogers told jurors.

    In his final remarks, LaPierre’s attorney, P. Kent Correll, said James set out years ago to “decapitate” the NRA and sued LaPierre as part of that goal.

    On the stand, LaPierre said he used the NRA’s financial resources on chartered private jets, family trips, black car services and high-end gifts for friends. He also testified that he authorized thousands of dollars in helicopter rides so that NRA executives could avoid getting stuck in traffic while traveling to and from NASCAR races.

    17 page verdict sheet: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbe...==&system=prod

  23. #4798
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    While our resident spammer is frantically C&P'ing about a largely irrelevant court case. Irrelevant in that it won't stop mass murders, there has been yet another shooting hitting the international headlines...

    Minnesota shooting: Two police and a medic killed


    Minnesota police say two officers and a paramedic have been killed in a shooting at a family home.
    The gunman, who was barricaded inside his Burnsville home with seven children, opened fire as officers tried to negotiate with him.

    The dead officers were named as Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27, and the paramedic was Adam Finseth, 40.

    The attacker also died in the incident, which followed a domestic abuse call in the early hours of Sunday morning. Burnsville police chief Tanya Schwartz said her whole force was "hurting", while Minnesota Governor Tim Walz described it as a "tragic loss for our state".

    State authorities said officers were called at about 01:50 local time (07:50 GMT) to the address in Burnsville, a city about 15 miles (24 km) south of central Minneapolis.

    They were responding to a "report of a domestic situation" involving an armed man, said Supt Drew Evans from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

    Minnesota shooting: Two police and a medic killed - BBC News

  24. #4799
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    And you wonder why they go in guns blazing most of the time.

  25. #4800
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    And you wonder why they go in guns blazing most of the time.
    its quite clear the problem was use of guns, now if the police had been properly equipped with RPGs then i think the score would have been reversed.

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