RICHARD BURR IS USING CAMPAIGN FUNDS TO DEFEND INSIDER TRADING CHARGES: The North Carolina Republican has used donations from his fellow senators’ leadership committees to pay mounting legal expenses throughout 2021 as his own campaign account has dwindled. Burr said in mid-January that the DOJ probe had been closed and no charges would be filed. At least 25 current U.S. senators and one former member have contributed money since February to the Richard Burr Legal Expense Trust Fund, according to first-quarter documents filed with the Senate’s Office of Public Records and campaign finance reports. Fellow North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and two current U.S. representatives from the state have donated. It's obvious that Burr cares nothing about ethics, when it comes to money, anyway.
RALEIGH RUSSIAN GETS FIVE YEARS FOR ATTEMPTED BRIBERY OF HOMELAND SECURITY AGENT: A Russian national living in North Carolina who had been accused by authorities of involvement in a $150 million kickback scheme while working for a Russian military contractor was hand a five-year prison sentence Friday after his earlier guilty plea on unrelated bribery and visa fraud charges. Leonid Teyf, 59, of Raleigh, and his wife, Tatiana, 43, also will forfeit nearly $6 million in assets, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Leonid Teyf will be deported after he completes his sentence, authorities said. Teyf pleaded guilty in March to offering a $10,000 bribe to an employee of the Department of Homeland Security in 2018 to cause the deportation of a man who he thought was having an affair with Tatiana. He also pleaded guilty to making a false claim on a visa application in 2018 and falsely denying overseas financial interests on his 2012 tax return. So, does this mean Tatiana is available now? Asking for a friend...
THERE ARE SOME GENUINELY STUPID REPUBLICAN DONORS OUT THERE: Republican North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Pat McCrory on Thursday announced he raised more than $1.2 million in his first fundraising period since he entered the primary in April. The former Charlotte mayor who lost a pair of general election gubernatorial bids in 2008 and 2016 but won in 2012 got support from 8,000 donors between April and June, according to his campaign. The veteran politician is marketing himself as a "Washington outsider" and hopes his track record in North Carolina politics will set him apart from his two main GOP opponents, who have both served in Congress. "We've proven that we are the only candidate with the record of accomplishments and the ability to marshal the resources necessary to win a statewide primary and general election against the well-funded far-left," McCrory said in a news release. "I'm especially encouraged by the deep level of small-dollar donations we received." The top two Democrats in the race, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and state Sen. Jeff Jackson, announced earlier this week that they raised about $1.3 million and $700,000, respectively, between April and June.
TRUMP WAS BREAKING UP MIGRANT FAMILIES MONTHS BEFORE IT WAS ACKNOWLEDGED: The Trump administration began separating migrant families along a remote stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border months earlier than has been previously reported — part of a little known program coming into view only now as the Biden administration examines government data. In May 2017, Border Patrol agents in Yuma, Ariz., began implementing a program known as the Criminal Consequence Initiative, which allowed for the prosecution of first-time border crossers, including parents who entered the United States with their children and were separated from them. From July 1 to Dec. 31, 2017, 234 families were separated in Yuma, according to newly released data from the Department of Homeland Security, almost exactly the same number as were separated in a now well known pilot program in El Paso that year. Because the Yuma program began in May, and the existing data on family separations begins only in July, the number of separations there was likely higher than 234, a prospect the Biden administration is now investigating. Some of the parents separated under the Yuma program still remain apart from their children four years later. Others are missing — lawyers and advocates have been unable to locate them since they were deported alone. The children separated in Yuma in 2017 were as young as 10 months old, according to government data.
BIDEN GIVES PUTIN AN ULTIMATUM ON RANSOMWARE HACKERS: President Biden on Friday urged President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to “take action to disrupt” online criminal organizations in his country and said that the United States reserves the right to respond against hackers who launch ransomware attacks from inside Russia, according to a White House readout of a telephone call between the two leaders. “I made it very clear to him that the United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil, even though it’s not sponsored by the state, we expect him to act, and we give him enough information to act on who that is,” Mr. Biden said to reporters after signing an executive order at the White House. Asked if Russia would face consequences for the spate of recent attacks, Mr. Biden simply replied “yes.” The call came in the wake of a ransomware attack over the July 4 weekend in which a Russia-based group called REvil, an abbreviation of “ransomware evil,” hacked a Florida company that provides software to thousands of smaller firms. Russian hackers were also accused of breaching a contractor for the Republican National Committee last week. “Biden underscored the need for Russia to take action to disrupt ransomware groups operating in Russia and emphasized that he is committed to continued engagement on the broader threat posed by ransomware,” the White House statement said. “President Biden reiterated that the United States will take any necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure in the face of this continuing challenge.”